Finland Beats Russia, 3-2; Ovechkin Speaks

Photo credit: Matthew Manor

After being mostly a non-factor in Team Russia’s loss Sunday, Alex Ovechkin was back in action Monday afternoon against Finland as he looked to regain his form. Ovi was certainly more noticeable against the Finns, registering an impressive nine shots on goal in 18:29 of ice time while failing to convert on a breakaway. Despite his efforts, Russia was defeated for the second day in a row, this time narrowly, 3-2, in the shootout. With Canada beating Sweden, 3-2, later in the day, a sure to be intense match-up of arch-rivals is set for the quarter-finals on Thursday between Russian and the Great White North.

Below, friend of the blog Aleksey Imaev translates the Great Eight’s video interview on Saturday with Russian website Sportbox.ru (Igor was unavailable and is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury). The clip was only viewable in Russia until RMNB’s Fedor Fedin stepped in, so props to him.

Alex Ovechkin — It’s middle of the night now in Washington. Therefore we must endure. The practice went well, so we will be getting ready.

Sportbox.ru — Did you know beforehand that you will be playing in the position (role, line) you played today with the white (team in practice)?

A.O. — Well, I was told about the opponent. I immediately had a meeting with the coaching staff after I came here, so they knew who I’m going to play.

Sportbox.ru — Your placement alongside with (Maxim) Afinogenov is interesting. Both of you are very fast forwards. Have you played with him on a team? If so, what was the experience, can you recall please?

A.O. — Well, I played for Dynamo with him when we won the Russian Championship. We played in the same line. And a couple of times our paths crossed when we played for the national team.

Sportbox.ru — Overall, they are good memories?

A.O. — Yes.

Sportbox.ru — The stitches are removed. I just want again to ask you again about the broken nose. Did you choose the color of the thread (of the stitches)?

A.O. — [smiles] No, it was an accident, selected randomly.

Sportbox.ru — Got lucky?

A.O. — Yes.

Sportbox.ru — Sasha, the thing that your teammates drew on the scheme — what did they draw?

A.O. — Well, (Alexey) Morozov, (Denis) Zaripov and (Ilya) Nikulin were out there because they had already played together in Kazan. So they told me where I need to be.

Sportbox.ru — Where?

A.O. — On the ice. [smiles]

Sportbox.ru — Understandable.

A.O. — Well, you’ll see, it’s too early to reveals the secrets.

Sportbox.ru — Sasha, did you have any difficulties with the paperwork? How fast it was resolved by the Federation? I mean, visas, insurance and so on.

A.O. — Well, I received the visa in 15 minutes. As for insurance, I have a person who deals with these matters and he did.

Sportbox.ru — As far as I understand you had a team meeting in Washington. Were there any problems? Did they just say can play on the [national] team?

A.O. — No problems at all. They asked me if I wanted to play. I said yes and they followed through with no problems.

Sportbox.ru — Did (the Capitals) wish you luck?

A.O. — Of course.

Sportbox.ru — How was the quality of the ice on the training rink?

A.O. — It is hard to say, because I haven’t been sleeping (due to jet lag). We will see tomorrow.

Sportbox.ru — Your teammates complained about it. Did they tell you?

A.O. — No, we haven’t talked about it yet.

Sportbox.ru — Sasha, you must already have an experience with crossing the time zones. What do you think you should do now to adjust to European time as quickly as possible?

A.O. — Well, I need to try not to fall asleep. Maybe will go for a walk somewhere, I don’t know. There is nothing to do in the hotel room now. So if I go there, there is a 100% chance that I will fall asleep. What to do at night? Walk around. It is better to endure being up until 10 or 11 PM and then go to bed.

Sportbox.ru — Did they tell you that you need to walk with caution, because there is such a press here. Maybe it’s not the press, maybe it’s television, something like that.

A.O. — Well, we already have an experience in communicating with these people. Well — they are normal people. I can go somewhere to sit down and eat.

Video of Ovechkin’s breakaway and photos from the game:

Thanks to Alex Ovetjkin for bringing the video to our attention.

Photo credit: Matthew Manor

Photo credit: Matthew Manor

Photo credit: Matthew Manor