Alex Ovechkin: “Hang On, Malych. Such is Life.”

Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom look for revenge on Matt Cooke.

Photo credit: Greg Fiume

In Sunday’s matinee against their most hated rival, the Washington Capitals had their second straight dominant performance, beating Pittsburgh at home 3-0. Since they lost to the Pens in game seven of the 2008-09 playoffs, the Capitals have won six out of their last seven meetings and have outscored the Pens 29-17 during that same span.

Unfortunately, there were two key incidents that overshadowed talk of the game itself. First, Tim Wallace tried to exact revenge on “Danger” Dave Steckel for his incidental contact with Sidney Crosby in the Winter Classic. And second, perrenial agitator Matt Cooke tried to take out the Great 8 with a knee-on-knee collision late in the third period.

After the game, SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov spoke with Alex Ovechkin and asked him what he thought about Cooke’s hit, the physical nature of hockey, and Evgeni Malkin’s season-ending injury. Below the jump, RMNB’s Igor Kleyner has the translation.

Pavel Lysenkov – What do you think about the incident at the end of the game, where Matt Cooke hit you knee-on-knee?

Alex Ovechkin – It was just a collision, and part of the game. There’s nothing to worry about.

PL – Was it payback by Pittsburgh for Crosby’s injury?

AO – Oh, come on. Payback to whom? For what? ::in a dismissing tone::

PL – Did you see Malkin’s injury?

AO – I did not see the replay. It’s very disappointing that the season is lost for him. I don’t know when he can recover. It’s a very serious injury.

PL – Will he be able to return to the level where he was scoring 100 points in a season?

AO – I have no doubt about it. Zhenya knows how to recuperate after injuries, how to return to form. What? Has he become a lesser player now?

PL – But Bure’s career ended because of similar injuries.

AO – I don’t think it’s that serious.

PL – Do you want to say anything through the newspaper to your Sbornaya (national team) comrade?

AO – What can I say? “Hang on, Malych. Such is life. Get better.”

PL – Should the NHL switch to the bigger ice surface to avoid such an avalanche of injuries?

AO – I disagree. That would lead to a less spectacular game. Yes, there are a lot of injuries, but that’s because it’s a man’s game. Everybody is fighting to make the playoffs. What’s the alternative, skate around empty ice, like ballerinas?

PL – So, injuries are the price for entertainment?

AO – I do not want the NHL game to become less physical. Then we may as well go play in China. Have a normal tournament there, everybody will stay healthy. Or you can make a career playing in a beer league.

Everybody takes risks here in every game. If Cooke was more precise, he would have shattered my knee. In hockey, you are not guaranteed anything.

PL – Did you see the KHL All Star game?

AO – No, I didn’t see it.

PL – Avangard’s defenseman Denis Kulyash had a harder slapshot than Zdeno Chara. What do you think?

AO – Boston should immediately sign Kulyash to a contract. And let Chara go to Omsk.

PLWashington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov won the breakaway competition.

AO – Awesome! Soon there will be two showmen playing for the Capitals!

Additional reporting by Ian Oland.

  • CDizz

    Gotta love his personality. It’s starting to get much more professional but it still has that boyish livelyhood that we all love.
    “AO – Boston should immediately sign Kulyash to a contract. And let Chara go to Omsk.”
    Hahahahaha I’m afraid some journalist is going to take this too seriously and call a vendetta on Chara on Ovechkin’s behalf.

  • deann

    It’s really hard not to love him.

  • http://www.irockthered.net/ IRockTheRed

    “If Cooke was more precise, he would have shattered my knee.”

    It’s a good thing for Caps fans everywhere that Cooke probably doesn’t read RMNB, since he’s probably kicking himself for his bad aim now…

  • Nikola

    “Hang on, Malych. Such is life. Get better.”

    anyone else have a hard time picturing ovi say “Such is life”? lol

  • 28ISGREAT

    “What’s the alternative, skate around empty ice, like ballerinas?”

    Got a laugh out of that one – love the guy!

  • Ron

    Actually, Ovi said “that’s life.” Don’t know why they translated it as “such is life.” Whatever. The ballerinas comment is pricesless.

  • rockcreek

    LOVE it, RMNB. Thanks for making sure insights aren’t “lost in translation”.

  • Nikola

    @Ron, I’m serbian which I guess is a bit like Russian, anyways we have sayings here that can be translated a few different ways depending on who you ask.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian

    I love how the day after we post this, Cooke gets suspended. Karma’s a bitch!

  • Greg

    Ovechkin must be a joy to interview. Such a candid guy, and funny to boot. Seems genuinely empathetic about Malkin’s injury.