I like Wale. I think he’s a good rapper and I like his songs and I also like that he mentions the Nets in his lyrics. No one does that. Maybe Treach or the Artifacts were shouting out Chris Morris and Rafael Addison back when I was a kid and I missed it, but that really works for me. But as much as I respect the guy, I’m just not sure that it’s possible to lend hip-hop credibility to the Washington Capitals, or to hockey in general. But bless the guy for trying — the DC-born MC has come closer to it than anyone since the days when Big said “You either sold crack rock/or you had a wicked slap shot.” The D.C. Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg — who basically has the best beat in sportswriting for stuff like this — reports:

One of Wale’s first Twitter updates from the arena was this: “im the only black person here.” Now he was saying he’d become a regular, and pledging to bring more fans from “around the way.” So I asked if he really planned on returning for more hockey.

“That [stuff]?” he asked. “Dog, I’ll be back. . . . The shootout was so cliché, though. Oh, Ovechkin wins it, in a shootout, in overtime, the first hockey game I go to. Like, really? Sure. I could have told you that was gonna happen before I went.”

…A few minutes later, the Russian came out. “I heard you put my name?” Ovechkin asked.

“In like three songs,” Wale said. “You got me a lot of new fans.”

Three songs with Ovechkin’s name? I only knew of the one.

“But a lot of them are underground,” Wale said. “It’s my alias. Wale Ovechkin’s my alias.”

Heck, that’s even his gamer tag: Wale Ovechkin. A metaphor, he called it. He’d never been to an NHL game before Saturday, and only occasionally watches highlights on ESPN, but he knows who Ovechkin is, and what he represents.

“He’s the [stuff],” Wale said. “I want to bring what he brings to hockey to my music.”