ovechkin-celebration

Photo: Capstagram

Last night, the Washington Capitals found out that they had earned a playoff spot while flying back to DC from Detroit. According to the Caps’ Mike Vogel, there was a “loud cheer on the plane as [the] boys learned the news.”

If that wasn’t endearing enough, the Caps took a ridiculous celebration picture as Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, and Alex Ovechkin emerged from the plane. They smiled for the camera flailing their arms like it was an R. Kelly video.

Ovechkin didn’t stop there. Not even a little.

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evgeny-kuznetsov-dmitry-orlov

Photo: @kuzy092

On Monday, Evgeny Kuznetsov did a Russian language interview with Sport FM radio host Vladimir Dekhtyarev. Kuznetsov gabbed about his season to date and explained what it has been like playing under Barry Trotz.

“His plan was easy to understand,” Kuznetsov said, as translated by Fedor Fedin. “It was hard though to do all the little things that he demands, everything, even what side to place the stick on. Nothing escapes his attention. He watches very carefully and it was tough to change early on.”

The interview even features a cameo by Dmitry Orlov who started talking while in the car. Check it out.

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alex-ovechkin-anastasiya-shubskaya

Photo: @aleksandrovechkinofficial

244 days after his engagement to Russian tennis player Maria Kirilenko ended, Alex Ovechkin is dating again. At 4 AM on Sunday morning, Ovechkin posted a photo of himself with Nastya Shubskaya. The caption in Russian reads:

Моя девочка,спасибо что ты появилась в моей жизни !!!очень дорожу тобой❤️

According to Igor Kleyner, it says in English, “My girl, thank you for appearing in my life!!! I cherish you so much❤️”

O rly?

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ovechkin-parents

Photo: @aleksandrovechkinofficial

On Thursday, Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov spoke to Alex Ovechkin’s mother, Tatyana Ovechkina, on her 65th birthday. Much of the conversation was devoted to the two-time gold medalist’s career in basketball, but Lysenkov managed to get one adorable tidbit about the Russian mother’s personal life too.

Ovechkina revealed how she and Ovechkin’s father, Mikhail, first met 47 years ago. She was an 18-year-old athlete and he was a soccer player.

It’s cute.

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alex-ovechkin-doctor

On Monday, Alex Ovechkin‘s parents spoke to SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov about their son’s latest donation to charity: 70 bags of hockey equipment to a Moscow Region orphanage.

The conversation was not limited to the donation. Olympic champion Tatyana Ovechkina revealed to Lysenkov that her son was finished a graduate program and will defend a dissertation either “this year or next.”

Um, excuse me? Ovechkin’s getting his PhD in Russia? This is news.

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burakovsky-goal

Photo: Debora Robinson

Since December, Andre Burakovsky‘s usage in the Caps lineup has been curious as Barry Trotz has had to juggle playing time among veteran and younger players. Coming into Sunday’s game, the skilled young Swede had not received more than nine minutes of ice time since the beginning of February. He’d been used as a fourth-line center, a second-line winger, and a first line winger. He had been scratched in three of the team’s last four games.

But in Burakovsky’s return to the lineup on Sunday against Anaheim, The Burracuda scored twice off of two amazing primary assists from Alex Ovechkin. He played nearly 13 minutes on the team’s first line.

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hershey-bears-syracuse-crunch-st-johns-icecaps-2

Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey

Caps prospect Stan Galiev has put the work in this season and has become a great story. After initially struggling with system play as a teenager, the 23-year-old forward has carved himself out a roster spot in AHL Hershey. Galiev is fifth on the Bears in scoring. Earlier this season he authored a brilliant streak of 8 goals in 8 games, putting him on the Caps radar as a potential call-up.

The young Russian, a restricted free agent this summer, did an interview with Sports.ru blogger Dmitry Groshev on Wednesday. Galiev spoke about his relationship with Alex Ovechkin, what it’s like playing in front of Hershey’s fans, and the key to his success lately.

“This year I played well in the pre-season, our head coach Troy Mann, trusted me and I began to score,” Galiev said. “I get power play time, get some points. I stay healthy too. You put all that together and you can say I’ve now got confidence.”

Fedor Fedin has your translation below.

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ovi-tarasenko

Photo: Dave Sandford

In an interview with SovSport on Saturday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was asked straight up if he wanted to return to Russia next year. Ya know, to debunk the rumor once and for all so we could all move on. Instead, Ovechkin left the door open for a possible return and even sounded like he has put a lot of thought into the idea.

Sigh.

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nail-yakupov-kuzya

Why does he look like he’s playing Diablo in his sweatpants? (Photo: @Nail10_1993

I wasn’t the only one impressed by Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s shootout move. Tuesday night after the lowly Edmonton Oilers defeated the Caps 5-4, Nail Yakupov, the first overall pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, tweeted his friend and fellow countryman.

Fedor was nice enough to translate their entire exchange, which surprisingly had nothing to do with late night filings and Ivan Drago.

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burakovsky

The drama continues. Hours after the Capitals announced that they had sent Andre Burakovsky to AHL Hershey, the Swedish Hockey Federation held a phone interview in which they accused the NHL and the Capitals of “a breach of contract.” It was first reported by Hans Abrahamsson of the Swedish sports website Aftonbladet.

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