While the rest of his teammates conducted interviews on breakdown day, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin touched down in Finland for the 2013 World Championships. And we have some disappointing news: he only wore one pair of pants.
Ovi told Championat.com’s Igor Bragin that while he slept peacefully for most of the flight, the journey was not without challenges – all of the Great Eight’s gear was missing when the plane touched down.
Ovechkin speaks to the media at Kettler on Tuesday. (Photo credit: Alex Brandon)
Alex Ovechkin played in 86 games between the NHL and KHL this year. Though the season was lockout-shortened, several Capitals stars were still bruised and battered. Nick Backstrom injured his neck in Russia, Brooks Laich injured his groin in Switzerland, and various others dropped off along the way. We know now Ovi was playing through some sort of injury as well.
“Of course, there were aches and pains,” he told Slava Malamud of Sport-Express in Russian after game seven Monday. “Won’t say anything about needles, but injuries are always there. There were enough hits and physical play.”
While the Washington Capitals season ended painfully last night after a 5-0 game seven loss to the New York Rangers, Alex Ovechkin will continue playing hockey. The Capitals revealed before his final press conference of the season that Ovi has been invited to Finland to join his comrades on the Russian National team competing in the 2013 World Championships. He will be flying over this afternoon.
“This morning they just called me and asked if I’m healthy and ready to go,” Ovi told reporters at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “I said ‘Yeah, I’m ready to go.’ I’m still wanting to play. I don’t want to take off, I don’t want to watch games. I want to play hockey.”
“I’m in good shape,” he added. “Mentally I think I’m ready.”
Kuzya skates with the national team. (Photo credit: Champtionat.com)
Evgeny Kuznetsov has been engulfed in rumors of trades to the KHL’s Dynamo Moscow and getting lured out of his current deal by Capitals officials. But speaking with Mikhail Zislis of Sport-Express, Kuznetsov cleared the air on both sides of the Atlantic. Kuznetsov squashed the rumors and restated that he’ll make the jump to the NHL next year.
Less than twenty minutes into the contest between the Washington Capitals and the Florida Panthers, the Caps’ big trade deadline acquisition, veteran winger Martin Erat, went awkwardly into the boards courtesy of a reckless shove by hulking young defenseman Eric Gudbranson. A few anxious seconds later, Caps fans were holding their breath as Marty was helped off the ice by his teammates, clearly favoring his right leg. Later on, the team referred to it as a “lower body injury.” Nothing to be happy about, of course, but it could have been so much worse, especially given Erat’s extensive concussion history.
“Wait! What concussion history?,” you may ask, and rightfully so. After all, Marty has been an NHLer for over a decade, and in all that time the Nashville Predators (his team since his debut in 2003) released exactly zero statements mentioning Martin Erat having a concussion. The ubiquitous “upper body injury” appears numerous times, but never a concussion. In fact, a Google search for “Martin Erat concussion” yields references to just one suspected case – an injury Erat suffered during the last World Championship. So, no worries then, right?
But what if someone actually asked Marty? Because someone did.
Mark Gandler is always good for a pot stirring. As an agent for Alex Semin, Gandler has rarely hesitated to drop a bombastic statement about his client or his critics. With Semin moved to the Carolina Hurricanes, playing pretty well, and pulling in a cool prorated $7 million for 48 games of work, Gandler must have figured it was his time to speak. In an interview with Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov, Gandler talks about how great Semin is doing in Raleigh, how underappreciated he was in DC, and why the Washington Capitals are so bad this year.
Evgeny Kuznetsov, an active Instagrammer, made a media splash with this recent photo.
Kuznetsov has been the subject of some harsh criticism of late. The second half of the season hasn’t been kind to Kuznetsov as his team has struggled to score goals. During the playoffs, Kuzya had scored just three points in nine playoff match-ups (he scored nine points in twelve postseason games last year).
The Instagram image uploaded by Kuznetsov (and later deleted) contains a note that said: “Dear specialists, please shut your mouth about my jersey that’s hanging from the rafters of our arena…”. Allhockey.ru picked up the story, publishing the picture. Kuznetsov screengrabbed that post adding a caption that said “Leave me alone, bastards!”.
Mike Milbury doesn’t think highly of Alex Ovechkin. That was clear when the failed Islanders GM delivered his frothing rant about Ovi during last week’s Caps-Flyers game. He said Ovechkin acted “like a baby,” and should instead “act like a man for god’s sake.” He said it was “an awful display of hockey” by Ovechkin. He said Ovechkin “should be ashamed of himself.”