Photo: Rob Carr
Tonight, Alex Ovechkin will miss his second straight game with some kind of lower-body aliment. From New Jersey, Katie Carrera of The Washington Post reported that it was a groin injury. The man himself, though, has not been made available to the media — at least not in English. However, in a recent interview with Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport, Ovi discussed the injury, which he termed “a micro-bruise.” Ovi also discussed Alex Semin‘s new spot on the Russian Olympic team and whether or not he goes to church.
Here’s your translation:
Everybody is concerned about your injury. Why are you not playing for the Capitals?
Everything is all right. A micro-bruise, so to speak. But the team decided that I need to have a short pause.
I talked to Pavel Bure recently, and he told me explicitly: if you announce exactly where an injury is, the opponent will hit you there on purpose. Especially during the Olympics.
I fully agree. They always play physical against my line. And if you are going to declare, for example, that your knee is hurting, they’ll be hitting you right there with a stick, even after the whistle. That’s why one should never talk about his injuries.
Does that happen more often in the KHL or the NHL?
I don’t think there is any difference between the leagues as far as that is concerned. There are players everywhere that want to hurt you.
A couple of days ago we talked about your friend Alexander Semin not being invited to the Olympics. And now your friend has made Team Russia, replacing injured Sergei Soin. Is it a great joy?
It is for Sasha Semin, as well as the fans. Although it’s a pity Soin won’t make it to the Olympics. I know he really wanted to be in Sochi. But it’s a coach’s decision. I am very glad for Sema, that he’ll be playing with us.
Some experts said that Bilyaletdinov listened to Ovechkin and Malkin, who told Sovetsky Sport: “We are for Semin, although it’s up to the coaches…”
Zinetula Khaydarovich [Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, the Russian head coach] knew our feelings regarding Sema even before that. Especially mine, since I played together with him for Washington. What Malych [Evgeny Malkin] and I said did not have any influence at all.
Can you walk the streets of Washington?
How about popping into a store?
But the fans jump all over you.
Nobody at all. People behave in a tactful manner.
What’s the most interesting that people tweet at you? Do you read it?
I try not to miss anything. Just now I wrote something myself in support of Friske.
[Ed. Note: He’s referring to Jeanna Friske, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor]
“Zhanna, you are a very strong person. We all love you! We pray for you! We are with you!”
Yes, she is seriously ill. Most Americans do not understand what I wrote, because it’s in Russian. So they ask “What is this? Why?”
But I don’t have to explain my words, because they come from my heart. Those who want to understand will understand.
I wanted to ask you about Friske, but can’t figure out what question to ask…
You understand, Zhana is a dear friend of mine. So when you receive such news, it’s incredibly hard.
But what’s most unfortunate is the reaction from people who think it is some kind of ruse or a PR campaign. Something terrible happened to Zhanna. But there is all kinds of disgusting stuff being poured out on the Internet. I feel bad for the country, that we have such jerks. The woman is suffering, and they wish her even more harm.
Is it like that in every country, or is Russia particularly mean-spirited and angry?
I don’t think such actions have nationality. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, you must remain a human. If you can’t support someone with a kind word, why do you shove him in the back? That’s disgusting and dumb!
You mentioned praying. Do you go to church in Washington?
We have it here. But I don’t always have enough time to stop by. When in Russia, I go to church more often. But I do it in America as well.
Additional reporting by Chris Gordon.