Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Mike Milbury doesn’t think highly of Alex Ovechkin. That was clear when the failed Islanders GM delivered his frothing rant about Ovi during last week’s Caps-Flyers game. He said Ovechkin acted “like a baby,” and should instead “act like a man for god’s sake.” He said it was “an awful display of hockey” by Ovechkin. He said Ovechkin “should be ashamed of himself.”

Now it seems Ovi has a few thoughts of his own.

“I can talk about his work as an Islanders general manager,” the Caps captain told Slava Malamud of Sport Express. “I could care less about his opinion.”

Ovi made his comments after Washington’s thrilling overtime win over Boston, in which he crashed into Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask approximately 83 times. That game ended with a highlight-reel goal by Eric Fehr in overtime, a comeback that could have been spurred on by Ovechkin’s intermission comments to the team with the Caps down 3-0 after one period.

Below, check out Fedor Fedin’s translation of Ovechkin’s interview with Sport Express.

How are you feeling? Three big collisions with the goal…

I’m feeling normal. Something close to normal.

Early in the year you probably wouldn’t climb back from such deficit. What changed in the team since then?

We need points and have no right to lose now.

Matt Hendricks just told me that you gave a good speech to your teammates in the intermission.

Nothing special. I said that we have 40 minutes left and if we score once we can get back on track. We had a good first five minutes. I had a decent chance. We just needed to re-group and find ourseleves.

It was very clear that you personally played with anger and even fury in the second period.

Everybody did. You know what it means to come back from three goals behind against Boston. It’s not easy. But the fact that they had four games in six days helped us. We were in that situation in Philadelphia. Everybody was tired. There was a feeling that Boston doesn’t have enough left in the tank to save the lead.

But you had to fix something first. In the shift when Ribeiro scored Washington’s first goal, you did an unbelievable amount of work.

Everyone was responsible, not just me. Had we let down after the first period and given them more chances… Especially since they’ve got them from the refs too. Their third goal resulted from the official’s mistake. Where did he see an infraction there?

Was that hit on Kelly intentionally hard to kickstart the guys?

In the end, I brought a goal to our net, giving them the power play. What’s Kelly’s weight? Is it like 150 kilograms (330 lbs)? Yeah, I pushed him. Where was the interference? He had the puck in his feet!

Are you playing better when angry?

Rather, emotional. In the first period, Oates gave me a chance to play on two lines, and it helped me to feel better. I had a lot of puck possession in all three zones and I always play better when I have the puck.

Did Milbury’s words motivate you in some way?

You know, it’s better to not pay attention to such people. I can talk about his work as an Islanders general manager. And so what? Do we need to get into a battle of words? He said what he said. I could care less about his opinion.

Varlamov, by the way, told me to say hi to you. He was outraged by Milbury’s words, too.

I think Milbury just doesn’t like Russians. You shouldn’t listen to people that want to get you off-balance. Or what is he saying? That he wants to get me going? I don’t need that [type of motivation], as I have a coach and teammates. They can get me going, but not those “funny money.” [Editor’s note: We translated the word “fantiki” to “funny money” though it may also translate to “candy wrappers.”]

GIFs of Ovechkin’s Net Crashes



GIFs by welshhockeyfan

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  • Ash

    I’m kind of smiling and touched at the idea of an outraged Varly giving Milbury his best bitchface glare. Nice to know that he and Ovi are still on good terms.

  • Dude, you need to buy yourself a new Russian-English pocket dictionary. Fanatiki is a cognate (Fanatic) with a Russian plural ending.

  • Fanatiki is not the word that was used by Ovechkin, nor the word we translated. Они меня могут завести, а не эти… ф(f)а(a)н(n)т(t)и(i)к(k)и(i). fantiki not fanatiki. Here’s how Slava Malamud, the author of the article translated the line too. https://twitter.com/SlavaMalamud/status/309222992511115264

  • Hockeynightincanada

    Milbury is a bigot, just like Don Cherry (although sometimes Cherry actually makes sense). I’ve criticized Ovie a lot, but he’s still an important asset and still can be a top-5 winger with the proper adjustments and room.

  • Ovechkin 1-0 Milbury. Such class from the Captain, showing that Milbury is the one that’s washed up.

  • Jacob

    Has anybody asked the goal post how they’re feeling after last nights run ins with Ovi? Any word on their status? So one sided!

  • Yv

    It was good to be there and to watch great comeback victory against one of the top EC team. It reminded the other such comeback 5:4 OT win against Crosby’s Pittsburgh in 2010 when Caps were down 1:4 and Ovi took over.

    Now, everybody who will be not in VC should buckle up and prepare themselves for another portion of Mike Milbury and PMg on this NBC Sunday matinee with Rangers. Mute button would be very helpful. I guess nobody will ask MM about Ovi’s comment on his GM tenure.

  • Mike

    I know Milbury seemed a it out of line there, but most of what he was saying was hard to fault at the time. It wasn’t like he was making stuff up about the guy. Maybe people are upset because he said it and everyone already knew. Kind of like pointing your finger at the kids with Down syndrome or somthing.

  • first, i love an “angry”/emotional Ovi, Mike Milbury played at a 1/4 of the level Ovi is capable of, second I live in Bruin territory this win was BEAUTIFUL, third, I would personally rather everyone focus on Chicago, Philly, Pitt, LA, Van-nothing better then being the sleeper team, fourth if Ovi was such a bad example of a captain then why is he always quick to credit his teammates because many others don’t

    but hey I’m just a girl what does little old me know about hockey

  • MikeRocksTheRed

    I watched the game at a bar and couldn’t hear what Milbury was saying, but after watching the video, it was almost exactly what I figured he said. What a bum!

  • Pete

    Milbury is a moron, and I have no idea how he has a job on television. He would be a better fit as a game show host.

  • poop

    Didn’t millbury call the Russians “euro trash” in the winter Olympics as well as assault a 12 year old last year?

  • Ryfox

    I honestly think the Ovechtrick should be redefined from meaning 9 goals (good luck), to Alex crashing into the net three times in a single game.

  • Brandon Beylo

    Even though the goals haven’t been there for Ovi, his leadership and emotion towards the game of hockey and towards this years team has been un-matched. Sure sometimes he disappears during games, but we don’t know what goes on inside the locker room, we don’t know how much he is motivating everyone around him, but we sure as heck know how much effort he is giving, his all.

  • I agree in a lot of ways, BUT ONE EXCEPTION.

    There were times– mostly last season– when he’d throw up his hands when he didn’t get a penalty (that should’ve been called– to be fair). I think that kinda frustration is no good for leading a team.

  • Mike

    He did. It was right after Semin put a perfectly legal check on Dan Boyle (who responded with a cheap slew-foot) with like 4 minutes left in a 7-3 elimination game. I guess Milbury thought Semin should have given up??

    Milbury is a talking head on TV for his train-wreck ability; that’s it.

  • Wichawon

    Don’t care what anyone says, I love Ovi!