Why Is Alex Ovechkin Shirtless This Time?

alex-ovechkin-sanduny-banya

Photo: @a0gr8

Over the weekend, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin posted a shirtless selfie on Instagram. Again. As this is a regular occurrence, I didn’t make much of it, but just in case I asked actual RMNB Russian Igor Kleyner if there was any significance to the photo.

Apparently, yes.

Ovechkin is posing inside Russia’s most famous bath house: Sanduny.

The cultural and architectural landmark is located in Moscow and was first built in 1808. Like look at these photos; it’s pretty fancy.

sanduny2

sanduny1

Among the famous guests to visit the bath house (or in Russian, banya) include John Travolta, Dolph Lundgren, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vladislav Tretiak, and Evgeni Malkin.

malkin-sanduny

The things that both Ovechkin and Malkin are wearing on their heads are the traditional steam room hats. They allegedly keep your head from overheating, which if you really think about it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

The best part of Ovi’s photo was obviously this:

kuzya-orly-like-ovis-pic

Over the weekend, Ovi also visited with Mikhail Grabovski and posed with 12 women.

Pretty normal weekend for him I guess.

Additional reporting by Igor Kleyner.

  • Brouwer Rangers

    “John Travolta, Dolph Lundgren, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vladislav Tretiak, and Evgeni Malkin.”

    One of these things is not like the others …

  • Sarah

    Random banya story.
    A Russian friend of mine in Texas was telling me about a misadventure her friend had on a trip back from the fatherland. She’d asked him to bring him back some of the birch branches from a bath house in Russia, to remind her of home. They’re used to gently strike the skin, which is apparently stimulating… I’ve never tried it, but apparently it’s pretty popular.
    So he dutifully brought some back and in customs they asked him, “What are these?” And he answered, in English about like my Russian, “Uh, you beat yourself with them.”
    Apparently they eventually let him go, but when he got back he told her, “I am never bringing you anything back again!”

  • Igor Kleyner

    Just wanted to state for the record that I am in now way at all responsible for the inevitable consequences of our editorial board strategically placing a picture of Ovi surrounded by a dozen of scantily clad women in the post dedicated to his outing at a famous banya.

  • Graham Dumas

    Yeah, I’ve got a picture of myself in one of those silly hats (my inlaws have their own wood-fired banya, which is pretty awesome). The stated reasoning is to avoid burning your hair in the high temps of the banya (typically around 85-90 C).

    So, who’s ready for October?!

  • Roman Z.

    Motherland*

  • Red

    Absence of post-season has not been kind to the boys. They’re on a fast-track to a ballooning “Summer Byfuglien” look.

    http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/1350123/A2X3wQhCQAEGoZh.jpg

  • Igor Kleyner

    Ah, but does yours say Сандуны? :)
    And the stupid hat actually makes perfect sense, at least in theory – once the air temperature exceeds the body temperature significantly, you want as much insulation as possible to prevent heat transfer.

  • Graham Dumas

    No, it unfortunately says “Рожден в СССР”, which most definitely does not apply to me. My goal is to find one that reads “Кино” or “ДДТ”, something like that.

    Not arguing about the hat in theory, or even in application–I’m sure it works. But I do dispute the form, as it tends to make the wearer resemble некую часть мужского полового органа, not to put too fine of a, err, point on it. Slightly silly.

  • Sarah

    Eh, so they’ve gained a bit in the offseason, so what? As long as they’re in shape for the season, whatever, they’re off duty.
    Besides, I for one have never been one to worry if a guy’s got a little extra on him. Maybe we’re just more lenient in the southern states. Maybe women are not men with missing parts. Anyway, far be it from me to cast aspersions…

  • Sarah

    Отечество не значит fatherland?

  • Igor Kleyner

    Well, they do say men tend to think with the organ you are referring to, so might as well put it where the thinking is supposed to occur :)
    And, wow – a fan of Цой! We used to be almost neighbors (about 10 min walk from my apt building to where he lived)

  • Igor Kleyner

    Sure does. But “fatherland” sounds too German :)

  • Sarah

    Ah. Thank you, Igor. #RMNBRussianLessons

  • Graham Dumas

    Haha, OK, you win that arg.
    So you lived in the Moskovskii raion? That’s cool. When I lived in SPb I was on the other end of that same line, at Pionerskaya. Miss that city…

  • Sarah

    Wait a minute, are you seriously referring to the guys pictured here? That didn’t even register for me at first, I thought this was off topic about the other Caps players who didn’t, you know, just win a World Championship.
    Did I read that wrong? Are we looking at different pictures? I’m so confused.

  • Red

    The guy on the far left is Dustin Byfuglien, who is well known for gaining a ton of weight in the off-season (like 50+lb), being ridiculed by the fans/media, and miraculously getting back into shape by October. So no offense to him or our boys. Just a funny observation.

  • Sarah

    I know it’s Byfuglien, and of course it’s pretty routine for a lot of hockey players to put on some weight temporarily in the offseason. Never made any sense to me to criticize it, either professionally or aesthetically. Anyway, there are people who seriously criticize, e.g., Ovi’s conditioning, for reasons that completely elude me, and for a sec I thought you might be doing that. If you weren’t, then, in the words of Brooks Laich: “Dude, my bad.”

  • caps fan

    * no way

  • Igor Kleyner

    Парк Победы. 1971-1989. I think I left about 6 months before he died. Went to more than one of his Rock Club concerts. But I liked Алиса a bit more.

  • Graham Dumas

    Yeah, Kinchev’s voice always sorta grated on my nerves, but he had his moments. I prefer Цой and Шевчук. My favorite Russian band is actually TequilaJazzz, which I think probably came out after you left–around 1993 or so. Great band, horrendous name.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRfh5BBmZeI

  • Red

    This is good shit. I love finding new bands, esp through unexpected sources. Also a big fan of the golden age: Kino/Alisa/DDT/Nautilius/Aquarium.

  • Graham Dumas

    Awesome! Unfortunately TequilaJazzz broke up in 2010, but they were easily the best band I’ve ever seen in concert. Their fans were also great.

    I’m also a fan of Nautilus. Did you ever feel like repeating the opening lines of “Titanik” to Oates/GMGM this season? Hopefully this year won’t repeat the cycle.

  • Graham Dumas
  • Graham Dumas

    Chiming in on this, because that’s what I do. Отечество, in my experience, is not common in everyday speech–more for written rhetoric (e.g. “Славься отечество наше свободное”). Родина is the much more common term that I’ve heard, though, of course, as a non-native speaker I have very little standing to argue about it.

  • Sarah

    I think Ovi agrees.

    Едем в Сочи!!!! @Anisimov42 @mkirilenko @Datsyuk13 !!!скоро будем на РОДИНЕ!!!!!!@Sochi2014 @sochi2014_ru pic.twitter.com/KE36H5whPH

    — Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) February 9, 2014

  • Graham Dumas

    ‘course he does! Ovi and I have been bros ever since I helped him get honey from those bees way back when…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X8ZQPcr-Bg

  • Sarah

    Holy crap, I’m going to have nightmares. My listening comprehension is still such that I have to listen even to children’s videos at half speed, which makes the little bear sound f—ing demonic.

  • Sarah

    Honest to God, Graham, I haven’t been so traumatized since the “Winnie the Pooh worships Satan” video. DO NOT look that up on Youtube. Or if you do, major warning for R-rated language and ruined childhood memories.

  • Graham Dumas

    Bwahaha. That’s the beloved Russian version, Vinni pukh! For the record, I also have often found his voice a bit demonic.

    It’s funny, there must be something about Winnie the Pooh and parodies, because there’s an over-the-top hilarious Russian one of this episode. Look up Чих пых и пыхтачек on Youtube some time…

  • Roman Z.

    Vinipuh! Damn you, my childhood!

  • Graham Dumas

    Ha! You especially need to check out the чих пых vid.

  • Igor Kleyner

    My favorite Pukh parody is the Censored Version.

    http://youtu.be/OSAt2iIAH6M

  • Rhino40

    Perhaps in Abu Dhabi these girls would be considered “scantily clad”…

  • Graham Dumas

    «Мой настоящий собственный х**! » That’s really well done.

  • Igor Kleyner

    “Х** или есть, или его нет совсем!”

    “Нет, наверное его кто нибудь с******!”

  • Graham Dumas

    Родина “мат” зовет!