Photo: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images
Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov weren’t the only Capitals named to a World Championship team. Forward Andre Burakovsky was also tabbed by Team Sweden and played the hero in his very first game.
On Sunday, the Burracuda scored twice in the shootout, including the game-winning shootout tally, to down Switzerland 3-2.
If you count the Capitals’ regular season and playoff games, Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s World Championships goal Saturday was his second tally in 32 games. And it was another jaw-dropping example of Kuznetsov’s magical hand-eye coordination. As Kuznetsov flew by a Swiss defenseman, he put a shot on goal before whacking the rebound into the net out of mid air.
The Russian Hockey Federation managed to snap the brilliant above photo, which shows Kuznetsov getting the blade of his stick on the puck from behind the net.
Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov all made their 2016 World Championship debuts for Team Russia, Saturday. Ovechkin, the NHL’s leading goal scorer didn’t dent the twine, but his Caps teammates sure were busy. Orlov delivered one of the biggest hits of his career while Kuznetsov, the Caps regular season leading point scorer, tallied on a brilliant mid-air deflection.
The Caps are done, so– like the swallows to Capistrano– Alex Ovechkin is going to the IIHF World Championships, held this year in Prague.
According to Sov Sport, Ovechkin agreed to join Team Russia by phone as soon as the Caps landed in Washington at 2 AM. Ovechkin took a flight out of Dulles this afternoon and will arrive in Prague Friday at 11:40 AM. RMNB reader @Super_Dad_Esq snapped a photo of him at the terminal.
Failure in Sochi brought big changes to the Russian hockey team. Zinetula Bilyaletdinov and the whole coaching staff (except one guy) were sacked, as was the general manager. The Russian Federation of Hockey (FHR) didn’t stop there: they also changed the team’s PR man, Mikhail Zakharov. Stepping in for him was a controversial figure: Sport-Express’ Igor Larin.
Choosing a member of the press to run media relations is already questionable (it’s like hiring a pilot to be an airline operator), but Larin’s candidacy seemed a bad idea from day one.
The topic of Alex Ovechkin naturally came up at Tuesday’s press conference introducing new GM Brian MacLellan and new head coach Barry Trotz.
“I’m going to have a conversation with Ovi on his role with the group and how I would like to play,” Trotz said, before admitting he had some problems communicating with the Russian machine. “I haven’t really discussed that with him [though]. Actually, I talked to him when he was over in Russia and they won the World Championships, and he was at Mr. Putin’s house — I believe, or somewhere like that — so it wasn’t the proper time to really sit down and do that.”
If the Kremlin counts as “Putin’s house,” then yes Ovechkin was totally there yesterday.
Sometimes, words can say only so much. In the photos above and below, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian captain Alex Ovechkin celebrate together in the locker room after the Ruskies won the 2014 World Championship on Sunday.
They are total bros. Let’s just enjoy the moment.
Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov played in only three games for Team Russia during the World Championship. Dima’s tournament ended after he broke his arm and returned to North America to get surgery.
Orlov watched from home on Sunday as Russia defeated Finland 5-2 in the gold medal game. On Instagram afterwards, an excited Orlov tweeted a photo with the caption:
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