Photo: R-Sport

On Monday, Washington Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov joined the Russian national team in Novogorsk, near Moscow, to get ready for the IIHF World Championships to take place in Minsk, Belarus beginning on May 9th.

According to new national team head coach Oleg Znarok, the players exercised for an hour and fifteen minutes. How exciting.

Znarok also revealed that all three Caps players will play Thursday against Germany in the Eurochallenge, an exhibition tournament to help teams prepare for the World Championships.

Afterwards, Ovechkin talked to a bunch of different Russian press members. He didn’t really say much.

First, he spoke to Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov:

Would the Worlds victory leave a better taste of a season considering lack of success at the Olympics?

If I didn’t want to win the Worlds, I wouldn’t come here.

Didn’t Washington’s season end far too soon?

It did. It was a muddle, but what can you do?

How is working with Washington’s head coach Adam Oates?

He’s a normal man. He’s a pleasure to work with.

Next, Ovechkin spoke to R-Sport’s Alexander Rogulev:

I think the motivation to come to the national team should always exist, regardless of what tournament it is. Yes, we lost in the Olympics, but time heals. Everyone has a desire to play, I don’t think anyone declined.

Are we favourites? We’re favourites every year. So it makes no sense to talk about who will send whom to Minsk. We just need to go out and play.

My condition is okay, everything’s alright. It’s unusual to end the season so early, but that’s what we’ve got. In a week I had I was able to rest a little bit. Now I’m ready to go to battle with new energy.

Would I want to be a captain? That’s not a question to me, a coach should be asked that. But if I get that right, then why not?

Znarok was later asked about making Ovechkin captain of the team. Ovi has not led a Russian national team since 2005, when he was 19-years-old and did so during the World Juniors.

“I can’t say anything,” Znarok said to Championat.com. “We’re not picking captains soon. Before every game we see who can lead the team, so captains and alternates change. We watch, how they work with the team in the locker room and at the warm-ups.”


Translations by Fedor Fedin.

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  • riggorules

    Should I be concerned that Adam Oates hasn’t been fired yet?

  • Swedeitis

    Be more concerned with the fact that GMGM is still GM.

  • Rob W.

    This is the worst offseason ever and not because we arent in the playoffs but because no one has been fired yet

  • Well that trade few days ago concerns me in that matter.

  • Myan

    The lack of hammers dropping on the management is really disheartening. The longer Ted waits, the more limited our options will be. I don’t understand what any more ‘analysis’ is needed. Hockey is a results-based industry and isn’t it already painfully obvious that the results this season were unacceptable?

  • Clint Petty

    Does anyone know exactly when GMGM’s contract expires? Or when the deadline to renew is?

  • If he spends three weeks and makes a great decision, it’ll be fine.

    If he spends three weeks and hires a schlub, I’ll be heartbroken.

  • If it’s this year as reported, there are only a couple of possibilities– late June/July 1st are pretty likely.

    If it’s a friendly parting of ways, McPhee would likely resign (NOT RE-SIGN) before then.

  • Eh, it’s not like we’re out for blood. I want folks fired only so that good new folks can be hired. I just don’t want the Caps to lose free agents in the process by waiting too long.

  • Shaun Phillips

    I’d be more worried if he spends 3 weeks and stays the current course.

  • JH

    If Oates is “normal” is there some implication that Hunter and Gabby were, uh, not? Just asking.

  • Myan

    Don’t jinx it!!

  • I took that as “Um, no, I’m not answering that question for real so here is a nothing response back.”

  • Not gonna happen. #TheBank

  • JH

    Ah, OK. Much funnier the other way, however!

  • 70Caps

    I’m not hearing nearly as much of the second sentence as I would like to.

  • themav80

    Followed with, “I vill break him.”

  • John

    Normal man? Good guy is a better translation.

  • Smiley456

    Full quote, “Oates is a normal man, even though at times he looks like an elf or the devil.”

  • Guest

    I agree.

  • Graham Dumas

    Yeah, or even, “solid dude,” or “total bro.” Muzhik definitely doesn’t translate as “man.”

  • Graham Dumas

    It’s a not-so-great translation from Russian. See above.


    McPhee`s contract expired today !!!!!!!

  • Myan

    Do you think it’s important for us to hire a head coach and GM who have had experience winning a cup with another organization?

  • Danny Lioudkevitch

    You have to believe the assessments are still being made. I too wanted them gone when playoffs started. However, I’m giving Ted the benefit of the doubt; he was expecting playoffs, he didn’t expect to have to fire anyone, and he didn’t have any backup candidates beforehand. That’s, at least, what I hope is going on right now. Like others have said, they better get it sorted out quick before our FAs start changing plans. Especially Grabo.

  • The next GM should at least think about changing the marketing direction. Less Rock The Red and Building America’s Hockey Capital and more of this….

  • Igor Kleyner

    Well, Fedor likes his translations to be a bit on the literal side! 🙂 Besides, only Ovi could manage to put “Oates” and “Muzhik” in the same sentence!

  • Igor Kleyner

    The guy behind Ovi in the picture is [I beleive] none other than Igor Larin, formerly of Sport-Express and KHL-TV show “Icing” (where 2 years ago Kuzya announced he’d be attempting to ruin his career at Traktor for two more seasons). I think he is Sbornaya’s top PR guy nowadays.

  • Graham Dumas

    BWAHAHA, indeed. Somehow I can’t quite see Oates in a кепка-таблетка and track pants, standing around outside some dacha grilling shashlyk or eating vobla.

    I know that’s kinda crossing muzhik and gopnik, so, uhh, my bad.

  • themav80

    Is on now, bro.

  • Igor Kleyner

    mmmmm… Vobla! I know what I will be thinking about for the rest of the day!

  • Graham Dumas

    Vobla + Baltika 8.

  • Igor Kleyner

    No, for me vobla means pre-Baltika times – as in пивная точка, где зимой спрашивали “Вам подогреть, или холодной разбавить?”

  • Graham Dumas

    На вам, советского пива.


  • Fedor

    Can’t stand the guy.

  • Fedor

    I think it’s a good translation, meaning might differ depending on a tone, but given that I couldn’t hear the tone, I think that was the most neutral way to translate it. It took some time to figure out. “You’re the man!” definitely translates to “Ты — мужик” though.

  • Sarah

    На вам… сидит мух? Are you referencing the joke, or am I missing something, as I often do? I don’t drink, so if this is a beer ad reference the whooshing sound is because it’s going over my head.

  • Graham Dumas

    OK, sorry–I was a little harsh, and I didn’t mean to call you out. And I feel you, but on this occasion, I disagree.

    Sure, ты–мужик could translate as “you’re the man,” in one context, but in English “man” is too general a term to capture the meaning of мужик. Likewise, if someone tells you нормально in response to you asking как their дела are, the proper translation isn’t “normal,” but “good,” or “OK.” That’s why I like John’s “good guy” translation better.

    Anyway, it really doesn’t matter too much, and your translations, IMO, are almost always spot on. Sorry to be overly critical.

  • Graham Dumas

    Noooooooo, no. You’re way too highbrow, and giving me way too much cred. I meant that in the literal sense: here’s some Soviet beer for you (since Igor was talking about the пивные точки).

  • Jonathan Kenny

    Ian can taste that burrito…

  • And it tastes delicious.

  • Sarah

    Oh, “Для Вас,” then, or it sounds confusing. And I am so easily confused…

  • Fedor

    Again, as a native speaker, I played the phrase i my brain in a few different tones and got different ideas from each.

  • Graham Dumas

    На вам is the idiomatic way to (slightly rudely) say, here you go. Kinda like a surly Russian waiter might.

  • stacyh13

    Baltika is good. . .Siberian Crown is better.

  • Sarah

    Спасибо! Я изучала русский сама, чтобы читать Русских писателев, и теперь я не могу читать Достоевского, а стати на NHL.com я могу! Я говорю (и печатаю) …мед…лен..но. Но я не опытная, и по этому я смотрела на Ваш комментарий как собака в картине. Как говориться по-собаки: Baroo?

  • Graham Dumas

    Тогда можно сказать, что Вы замечательно изучали язык, даже если еще не достигли желаемого Вами уровня! Русский–очень сложный язык, особенно в плане нюансов граматики и лексики. Не падай духом, время еще есть улучить знания языка.

    Кстати, и мне Достоевского очень сложно считать, вопреки длинным годам формальной учебы (частично в России). Рекомендую Вам Булгакова или Пелевина, как писателей с более простым стилем писания. Еще мне нравится журнал “Власть”, в котором статьи всегда очень качествено написаны (даже если больше не соглашусь с идеями в них). Можете найти в онлайне.


  • holidayblues

    +1000 points for using that Hawkguy panel.

  • seconded bro

  • Graham Dumas

    Really?! Blah, SK is so plain. It’s like “Наилучшее из Милуоки”. Baltika 8 is so good when it’s hot out. Or at least, it was good like 10 years ago, when you could get it on tap at bars in SPb.

  • JS024

    How do you spell back-check in Russian? You don’t.