This illustration will make sense at the bottom. I promise.

By all accounts, Evgeny Kuznetsov’s move to North America has been a success, both on and off the ice. Eight games in, the young Russian has managed a three assist game, scored twice in the shootout, and on Tuesday night scored his first NHL goal.

Kuzya has surprised us with his command of English and his willingness to interact with the media despite of limited language skills. Also, let’s not forget Zhenya’s love of social media, especially Instagram. Imagine how boring our lives would be without his baby pictures and Ovi doing pushups. So what if the captions are in Russian.

Google Translate is on the case.

Wait. What?


not Shmaglit can’t be right. That’s not even remotely close to English.

The funny faces of Kuzya and Orly are so adorable – but what does не шмагла mean? The picture collected “likes” by the thousands, but the mystery of @Kuzya92’s latest caption remained unsolved, no matter how much Google Translate huffed and puffed.

Dear admirers of Evgeny Kuznetsov, despair not. Should the language juggernaut of the Silicon Valley fails you, you may rely on the Russian Machine.

Russians love their anecdotes. Some are funny, but they lose every shred of humor in the translation to English. Here is one, or at least, that’s how it goes to the best of my recollection.

At a race track, a guy is about to make his bet. All of a sudden a very old and weak mare walks up to him and says: “Put your money on me”. The guy says “Are you crazy, you are almost dead!”

But the old mare persists; the guy finally gives in and puts all his money on the horse. The race begins; the poor old animal makes a couple of steps, collapses, and can’t get up.

Then the horse gives the guy a guilty look and says: “Не смогла…” [I couldn’t do it] –

You are supposed to say it like an old toothless person (or horse?) would – turning a “С” into a “Ш”. She just couldn’t get it done– kind of like the Caps couldn’t get it done in overtime on Tuesday.

Voila! The mysterious caption is no longer. And if this post is responsible for your love of Russian anecdotes on a scale from 1 to 10  to go from zero to negative, I can’t blame you.

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  • elizqueenmama

    This. Is. Brilliant.

  • themav80

    Following Kuznetsov, Sasha, and Masha on Instagram is the best decision I have ever made.

  • themav80

    Also, in my head, Maria is basically Katya from Archer.

  • Bilal

    Yeah I need a Kuznetsov Jersey and I need one now…….

  • Myan

    Whoa. What an utterly specific reference!

  • Igor Kleyner

    By the way, the caption for the horse picture says: “Kill me, please.”

  • Eugene Chernov

    Suddenly… Did you know that there was a sitcom in Russia called “Sasha+Masha”, which has USA version called “Lovebites”?

  • Bev Miller Bellamy

    What has happened with Ovi’s shaving cream pies to the face for these newbie milestones? I really thought if anyone would get creamed, it would be Kuzy….

  • Roman Z.

    “Gun me down*, please.”

  • factoryofsadness