Fedor, our dear Russian who never sleeps, noticed this mammoth interview between Sport Express journalist Slava Malamud and Alex Ovechkin two nights ago, which was done right before the Washington/Montreal game. This is Part II of their interview translated. You can check out Part I that we published yesterday here.
Alex Ovechkin “Lundqvist is the coolest”
Slava Malamud- What about Canada?
Alex Ovechkin – Why do I have to think about Canada? Why not the Czech Republic?
SM – Russia – Canada is the trademark of hockey. Hockey as a sport would be absolutely different without that rivalry.
AO – I don’t disagree that everyone’s dreaming about these two teams in the final. But we have a situation where to dream is to damage. We can’t dream, we must play “at this moment”. Moment by moment.
SM – Pretty Canadian ideology. By the way, Don Cherry says again and again that you have a Canadian spirit and that all his countrymates should try to become like you.
AO – I’m Russian. I’m not a Canadian.
SM – You were told that you’re a “hit-n-run” player.
AO – It was just figuratively speaking, it was a joke. I’m “shoot-n-run”…? Seriously, I don’t like this perception. Was Wayne Gretzky “hit-n-run”. Or Mario Lemieux? Or Jarome Iginla? Or Crosby? Why are all Canadians called “hit-n-run”? Let’s not make this thing simpler than it is.
SM – By the way, about Crosby. You have much more assists than him even though he’s a centerman [Ed. Note – Really he’s centerBABY]. You’re one of the League Leaders in assists. But in Torino you didn’t have one. What happened?
AO – I just shoot and teammates score on the rebounds.
SM – Let’s continue about Crosby. Vancouver may be your last chance to prove that you’re better than him outright.
AO – I’ll try to do it, if God will allow us to play in the finals. But really, I want to win more than to prove something.
SM – Short tournaments often are won by the goalies. Whom are you afraid of?
AO – First of all – Brodeur. And the other Canadian – Luongo. When he played in the West i had problems with him.
SM – But others? If someone needs to depend on a goalie, they are not the favorites. Like Hasek and Czechs in 98.
AO – But why, for example, Swedes are not favorites? OK, I’ll name their goalie – Lundqvist. I know him better than others and i think he’s the coolest.
Keep reading: Ovechkin makes an Olympics Guarantee!
“We’ll think only about Gold”
SM – The Olympiad will happen in Canada. The main sport in Canada is hockey. That means that the biggest star will be the most celebrated person in the Olympics.
AO – I don’t think about that. I never think about fame.
SM – I don’t believe that. How you can avoid it in Washington? I would say you like your fame. And you like to play along with the public.
AO – I can’t play without it! I can’t hide myself from people, right? And when i come on ice I know that Washington fans loves me. Some in other cities do not.
SM – I have my doubts that you’re so philosophical-minded on the ice. People in Buffalo hate you and you don’t miss a chance to taunt the public there.
AO – It was only once, I put my hand on my ear after a goal. I don’t know I probably am affected by the public somehow. And I give something back from it. But we’re talking about my philosophy, right?
SM – From the time you became a Captain the Capitals lost only one game. Does it say anything about you? Especially right before the Vancouver Olympics?
AO – I play the same as I always did. It’s a confluence of circumstances again. Morozov will be the captain in Vancouver. But what’s the difference? Everyone understands that one mistake in the Olympics may cost you everything. You don’t have to stand up and say anything about it.
SM – In American sports, sometimes star players make a guarantee before an important game or tournament for the fans. Even a gold medal. Can you promise something?
AO – I guarantee that the Russian team will fight until the end and play hard for victory. And we won’t think about any other medals but gold.