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.
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.