Photo credit: Luc Leclerc
Way back in March when I was interviewing several people for my feature on Joe Beninati’s rookie card, Alex Carbajal, Panini’s License Acquisitions Manager and contributor to their trading card blog, forwarded me to a glorious blog post they had done earlier in the season.
The story goes like this: Tim Thomas was the cover boy of Panini’s 2011-12 Certified Hockey cards. When Thomas and the Bruins came to Dallas to take on the Stars in late December – close to Panini’s American Headquarters, Terry Hackler met Thomas at the hotel and they opened an entire box of cards. As Thomas went through a few packs, he shared stories about certain players that he pulled.
Well, lucky for us, he pulled a card of Alex Ovechkin and shared a story that might be of interest to you.
The pertinent section begins at 4:16, which I have transcribed below.
Tracy Hackler: Now I pulled an Alex Ovechkin [card]… What’s the thought process in your mind when he’s coming at you with the puck? How do you defend him?
Tim Thomas: I just try to read and react to him. I’ve faced him — other than in [regular season] games — at the All-Star Game in Montreal. A couple years ago in the shootout, I accidentally tripped him and he went head-first into the boards. I skated right over to him and went, “Oh sorry, sorry, sorry. You okay? You okay?” His words to me were [Ed note: Thomas in his Russian accent] “Russian machine never breaks.”
Tim Thomas: And that’s a true story.
So apparently “Russian machine never breaks” is one of Ovechkin’s automatic responses when he seems injured. Awesome.
You can watch the moment that Thomas is talking about below.