Ovi sits with head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov and Pavel Datsyuk (Photo: Getty)

Around 2AM eastern time, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and fiancee Maria Kirilenko landed in Sochi. Russian dudes Artem Anisimov and Pavel Datsyuk were there as well. The arrival signaled the beginning of a long day for the Russian machine, which I will now document for you.

Before even deplaning, Ovechkin took care of one pressing matter: letting his one million Twitter followers know that he had arrived safely. “We’re in Sochi!” Ovechkin said around 10am Russian time.

Next, Ovi made his way to the Olympic Village, where he will stay for the next two weeks. He tweeted a photo of the Olympic flame, burning in the distance. “We arrived at the Olympic Village. So cool!”

A few hours later, Ovechkin tweeted another photo, this time from Bolshoy Ice Dome of his new skates. They were extra Russian-y. Then he jumped on the ice with his new teammates.

Dmitry Chesnokov reported the lines. Ovi will skate on the first line with his freindemi Evgeni and his bro Sasha (though who knows what will happen if/when Pavel Datsyuk plays).


Alex Ovechkin – Evgeni Malkin – Alexander Semin
Vladimir Tarasenko – Artem Anisimov – Nikolai Kulemin
Alexander Radulov – Aleksandr Svitov – Ilya Kovalchuk
Alexander Popov – Alexei Tereschenko – Viktor Tikhonov

Defensive pairings:

Anton Belov – Nikita Nikitin
Alexei Emelin – Evgeni Medvedev
Andrei Markov – Slava Voynov
Ilya Nikulin – Fedor Tyutin

Ovi quickly sought out Semin for a reunion.

Then it was time for some actual skating.


Like a happy dog does wag his tail, so too does a happy Ovi wag his tongue. He’s in heaven.


Photos via The Sporting News

Next, Coach Bill drew up some plays. The media already began to take notice: Ovi is fer ‘reals.

Next, came the team photo.


Photo: Scott Rovak

Come on, guys. Focus!


Photo: Scott Rovak

Almost there. Oh no, now Mike Wise is talking about expectations. Can we not? We were just starting to have some fun.

Once the team photo was taken, Ovechkin left the ice. He actually talked to the media. In fact, he charmed them.

Mike Wise front and center. Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski reaches out to the left.

Here’s a few more Ovechkin quotes:

Finally, Ovechkin retreated back to his room. His day finally over.

He had time for one more tweet.

“What else is there to say????))),” Ovi messaged, before turning in for the night.

Translations by Oksana Zolotar.

Tagged with:
  • Todd N

    those goalie pads are HUGE!!

  • Ash

    Ovi best ))))))

  • Shawn Murphy

    Good coverage, good sourcing, RMNB legit as usual.
    On a semi-side note; am I the only one who thinks the Russian forwards 2nd line looks sneaky good?
    Maybe not even that “sneaky” to the readers of this blog particularly but to the general Olympic viewership- I mean Anisimov and Tarasenko is no joke! Don’t know as much about Kulemin to be honest

  • “Good sourcing” That actually means a lot to me that you’d even notice. It’s important that the people who do the hard work, get the props they deserve.

  • Kessel Machine Never Breaks.
    Photo: A-Phil-da Kessel

  • Igor Kleyner

    In the team picture, Ovi is flanked by head coach Bill on one side, and none other than Vladimir Myshkin on the other. Myshkin was for years Tretyak’s understudy and famously replaced him at the end of the 1st period of the game known as Miracle on Ice. But he should be remembered as the goalie who shut out NHL All Stars in the deciding game of the 1979 Challenge Cup. Team Russia goalie coach now.

  • Igor Kleyner

    That would be their 3rd line, assuming Datsyuk is in the lineup.

  • Chris Cerullo

    So weak down the middle. Gonna pay for that I think.

  • Igor Kleyner

    Malkin and Datsyuk is not bad at all. Obvious drop off after those two.

  • Kelsey Tuck

    He looks so happy!

  • Shawn Murphy

    Duly noted! I think my point stands, don’t see a reason to edit it. Appreciate the correction

  • Igor Kleyner

    Bilyaletdinov clearly betting the house on his top lines. “Some players will only play 5 minutes a game. Everybody will have their role… They may play more for their clubs, but here the will have to play less”
    Which means we can expect Ovi to get a crapload of ice time every game, except maybe against easier opponents like Slovenia.

  • Ian, look out the window right now.

    What do you see?


  • Chris Cerullo

    I am an idiot. Forgot about Datsyuk taking today off.

  • I was talking with Ian about this earlier.

    That top line might be the best in the world, but I think Shea Weber and Duncan Keith can shut em down for Canada and Patches-Statnsy-Callahan can do the same for USA.

    Worried for Russia’s prospects.


  • You think Dats takes second line when he’s back?

  • Igor Kleyner

    I don’t disagree at all – I think Anisimov is very underrated. Everybody knows what Taras is capable of.

  • yv

    Does it mean that Mike Wise will report from Sochi, instead of Katie Carrera from WaPo??
    As Crosby said that 1st Ovi-Malkin-Semin line would create a lot of problems for other teams. I think they will score 15-20 goals combined. And why Radulov-Datsyuk(Svitov)-Kovy line is named as the third?

  • Igor Kleyner

    Pretty sure. And that line actually seems pretty well balanced, with Dats, Kovy and Rad. Not sure I can say that about the first line though.

  • Мне не нравится ваш Америка-любящая, патриот задницу!!!!

    Did I say that right?

  • Igor Kleyner

    “Shutting down” on big ice is quite different from NHL size rinks. There is always some room to operate, even if its on the perimeter. They’ll get their chances. And I can’t think of many guys who can shoot from God-knows-where and score than 8, 28, and 71.

  • Igor Kleyner

    THIS – I need to screen-shot, print, frame, and give you in 4.5 months!

  • They literally look like mattresses. I could comfortably sleep on one of those.

  • Igor Kleyner

    Good thing Ovi waited until they got off the plane before he violated The Focker Rule! #бомба!!! #BOMBBOMBBOMBBOMBBOMBBOMBBOMB!

  • Igor Kleyner

    If this is the 1st line, it seems high risk – high reward kind of move. They could end up dominating, especially if officiating is “helpful”. They could also end up causing more trouble in their own end.

  • scrubversive

    Semin, Ovi, Malkin, Datsyuk and others (with whose faces I am not familiar) laughing together jovially. For some reason that made my afternoon.

  • Igor Kleyner

    Traktor’s head coach Valery Belousov, whi is also Russia’s assistant coach, said today he is hoping for Kuznetsov to come through during KHL playoffs. Blamed injuries for Kuzya’s misfortunes this season.

  • scrubversive

    Not sure if want. I think the following link may suit him better.


  • Igor Kleyner

    And use the other one as a blanket. You know, the next time you lose power…

  • yv

    The best case would be if Traktor will be swept by MM in four games and Kuzya scoring in every game. Then, Kuz would be free and dress up for the Caps in Verizon for the home game vs LA Kings on March 25th.

  • Ben Reed

    Gotta admit, those uniforms are beeeee yoooo tiful.

  • bskillet

    Weird not to cheer for Ovi. Go Carlson and the States, and oh, our women are awesome too.

  • Graham Dumas

    My eyes — they burn with the lack of grammars!

  • bobo95

    Russia for GOLD!

  • Diller M

    Ovi, OWNS Price as well, no Halak to turn to here, Miller on the other hand….

  • Diller M

    Creepy…… just creepy

  • Cooper

    Peter Have a snickers, you get too upbeat when your hungry

  • kemiisto

    Offence wouldn’t be the biggest problem anyway. It’s defence that scares the hell out of me. 😀 The only hope is that Varly (or Bob) can somehow turn the Hašek mode on.

  • kemiisto

    Obvious drop? Seriosly? Comparing to whom? To team Canada? May be. But you never know how Getz or Toews (assuming one of them would be 3rd line center) will perform with limited ice time, different responsibilities and on big ice. Same for team USA.

    Team Sweden has Berglund as their 3rd line center with G+A almost identical to Artem, but almost everyone says that they look so good (at least on paper).

  • dylan wheatley

    sorry guys but sweden is taking the whole borscht bowl

  • Jeff

    Agree, the top line is probaly the best in the world. It hurts even thinking about the propsect of Datsyk, Malkin, and Ovechkin in pp.