Photo: Chris Gordon

Sunday was Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s first full day as an official Washington Capital, and we were all over it. Our intrepid reporters were at Kettler Capitals Iceplex first thing in the morning, taking photos, and covering his first press conference. But we also got a couple minutes with the man himself to chat in his native tongue.

RMNB’s own Igor Kleyner and Kuznetsov chatted about his first few hours in Washington, expectations for the Penguins game, and comparisons to Evgeni Malkin. Igor’s got your translation below.

What are your first impressions here in Washington?

Everything is even better than I imagined. I am really happy that I am finally here. I have only got here twenty hours ago, and for the whole twenty hours everything inside me is just boiling. I am ready to play, and not just to play– to win.

Your very first game for the Capitals is going to be against one of the team’s biggest rivals: the Pittsburgh Penguins.

All of the NHL guys say that it really is not that important who you play against in your first game; the emotions are just overwhelming. Of course I realize that Malkin and Crosby are great hockey players. I also really like their defenseman Kris Letang. It will be interesting to share the ice with such players.

Speaking of Malkin, in the beginning of your career some analysts often compared you with him.

I think mainly I was compared to Malkin because we are both from the same Chelyabinsk Oblast (Ed. Note – Magnitogorsk, Malkin’s hometown, is indeed a part of Chelyabinsk Oblast and the two cities are separated by less than 200 miles). In reality, I have a long way to go before I can be compared to Zhenya [Malkin]. Of course, every hockey player wants to achieve what he did in his career, to win the Stanley Cup, the World Championship. Well, he is yet to win the Olympics, but everything is still ahead for him.

Another similarity between you and Geno: he also spent some time playing in Russia before coming to the NHL.

But it’s not like I was following his example in that; I lived my own life. That’s just how it turned out.

At that point Kuznetsov apologized. He had to excuse himself. Kuzya needed to ride the exercise bike for a bit — a routine he performs after every workout — and finally get some sleep. Or make Ovi do push-ups or something.

  • Sasha Kahn

    The Caps and Russia are one step closer to being like the the Red Wings and Sweden!

  • Dman

    Only on the team for 2 days… Already love this guy.

  • yv

    Caps could be DRW of 90-s for the next season with Burakovsky (in 54 games for Erie 37goals, 78 points) ready to jump in and Forsberg, but:(… Maybe Caps will get Swedish Dman during off-season.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Are we allowed to call our Evgeny, ‘Geno’ or are we going to stick with ‘Kuzya’?

  • Sasha Kahn

    As a Russian, I hope they end up as the Russian counterpart of the Swedish Red Wings

  • Rob W.

    I love this kids personality, Milbury and Roenick are going to hate him so much LOL

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    We need to talk about the monobrow, Zhenya. If things start going well, keep it. If not, see me and my wax.

  • Ternesti

    Kuzya is much better in my opinion.

  • Ternesti

    Well when he gets on ice you are going to love him even more. His hockey sense is just through the roof and his hands.. but don’t have too high expectations on how he’s gonna perform in his rookie season. Loved watching him play in KHL especially when those games started at about 5pm in Finland where as games in nhl start at about 2-3am in Finland.

  • Christoffer Salo Salomonsson

    Christian Djoos

  • Matt Lauer

    SO TRUE.

  • JenniferH

    Loving him and his attitude. SO MUCH!

  • Todd


  • Hatfield

    “Geno” sounds like someone who makes cheesesteaks.

  • Jonathan Kenny

    Respect for the defense (Letang)–something the Caps need.

  • Bilal

    Man, I am so damn pumped. Usually I would be terrified of our next couple games, and Im not saying Kuzya is going to get us into the stanley cup playoffs jst like that, but i just wanna see him play! Only been here for like a day and a half and I think im going to go buy his jersey…..

  • Igor Kleyner

    Thanks to Chris and his magic photography skills I look 2 inches taller than Kuzya!

  • Rhino40

    I suggest Наш Женя (“Our Zhenya”)