Photo credit: Mitchell Layton
In his first game back since January 8th, Alex Semin led the Capitals with four shots on goal in 17:47 of ice time. After a 12 game layoff that stretched over 26 days, Sasha Minor looked rusty and missed on several golden opportunities. The Capitals fell to the Sharks 2-0, and endured their eighth shutout of the season.
After the game, SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov caught up with Semin and asked him how he felt in his return, his thoughts on Bruce Boudreau’s trap, and what it’d mean to him to open next season in Russia. RMNB’s Igor Kleyner has your translation below the jump.
I GOT INJURED IN DECEMBER
Semin played on the second line with Brooks Laich and Mathieu Perreault. Alex was so upset by the loss, it took some persuading to get an interview. “We have waited for a month for your groin injury to heal!”
“It’s kind of hard at first,” admitted Semin. “But I played out the game without any pain.”
Pavel Lysenkov – Do you remember how you got injured?
Alex Semin – No. it happened a long time ago, in December.
PL – Did you play on with injections?
AS – Why would I? This is not the playoffs. I played through the pain. When I couldn’t tolerate it anymore, I went to the doctors.
PL – Evgeni Malkin just came back after his injury, and went down again. Did Washington push you to return to the ice?
AS – Not at all. I finished my treatment and returned to the lineup.
PL – The team is playing more defensive hockey now. Does this style fit you?
AS – The coach chooses the tactics. I haven’t changed my game. You simply have to execute your assignment. But you do what you want in around the opponents’ goal.
PL – Washington has tightened the neutral zone coverage…
AS – That is one of the coaches’ ideas.
PL – Was the game against the Sharks playoff-like?
AS – No. We just did not score. Their goalie had a good game. What kind of tactics is it if we end up losing 2-0? We need to do something differently. We relaxed in the third period, and the game got away…
PL – Is the team talking about the need to overtake Tampa?
AS – I have not heard anything like that. We need to win every game. And not think about who we’ll get in the playoffs. And what’s the difference anyway?
BETTER TIMES ARE COMING
PL – It appears Washington is simply lacking emotions this season.
AS – We used to win a lot of games. For whatever reason, it’s not happening this year. We need to find ourselves and play like we can.
AS – That’s what I am talking about. Or the game against Pittsburgh: 3-0.
PL – Are you sick of the press-box? You sat up there while injured.
AS – Oh, totally. I even wanted to stop coming to the games. I was fed up with watching hockey from the sidelines. I wanted to go on the ice. But you can’t rush.
PL – Earlier this season, when everything was going wrong for him, Kovalchuk said, “Maybe someone put a spell on me.” Are you superstitious?
AS – To each his own. Yes, I do believe in such things. But I don’t know why anybody would put a curse on me. Who would want to do that?
PL – It seems the whole Russian Olympic team has been cursed.
AS – Things happen. We are all going through a dark period. But it will get better. You can’t get hung up on that.
PL – Do the words of the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman bother you? He doesn’t want to send his teams to Siberia.
AS – But he has never been there. It’s a longer flight from here to Los Angeles than from Moscow to Novosibirsk. It’s only four hours to my hometown Krasnoyarsk…
PL – Would you like to go there with Washington?
AS – From what I have read, we are opening our regular season in Peter [Saint Petersburg] against Buffalo. But I did not hear anything about playing against the KHL teams. We’ll play if we need to. And we will not be taking it easy. If you relax, it’s easy to get seriously injured.
PL – Ovechkin said: if the Capitals get to play at Khodynka, a half of Krasnoyarsk will gather there.
AS – There will be a lot of people supporting me. Although nobody has asked for a ticket yet. It’s still too early.
Additional reporting by Ian Oland.