The Russian hockey community reacted with pride after four of that country’s legendary players were named to the NHL’s list of Top 100 all-time greats. Along with Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin, the list included Pavel Bure, Pavel Datsyuk, and former-Capital Sergei Fedorov.
However, some commentators and former players were upset that more Russian greats didn’t make the cut.
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin took a moment after a decisive, if non-Bailamos-worthy, 5-2 win over New Jersey Devils on Thursday night to wish his big brother Mikhail a happy birthday via an Instagram post.
Wednesday night, Alex Ovechkin scored his 1,000th point in front of his hometown fans. Ovechkin’s wife Nastya was also in attendance as well as the Russian machine’s parents, Mikhail and Tatyana.
Unlike Ovechkin’s 500th goal celebration, Ovi’s family was not featured in NBCSN’s national telecast of the game. The Ovechkins did however talk to Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov.
“We just returned home from the game,” Mikhail Ovechkin said to Lysenkov as translated by Igor Kleyner. “Of course we are very happy. What a day! We are proud of our son. As a father, I am very pleased. Put it right on the front page of Sovetsky Sport. But now I want to pass the phone to Tatyana. Let her talk about Sasha, she is better at that than I am.”
“It’s a great day,” responded Tatyana Ovechkina. “This is real happiness. It took Sasha only 35 seconds to score his goal. He didn’t want anybody to wait for too long for this point. He had a chance, and he took it. A timely shot, he caught the goalie. Turned out to be a pretty goal.”
After scoring his 20th goal of the season last night, Alex Ovechkin became a distinguished member of the 1,000-point club. 84 players in NHL history have reached the 1,000-point plateau, but only four of them are Russian: Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Mogilny, Alex Kovalev, and now, the Russian machine.
One of those all-time greats, Sergei Fedorov, spoke with Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Panyshev and had some very kind words for his former Caps teammate.
Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov showed support to his hometown KHL team — Traktor Chelyabinsk — in a big way once again on Friday. The former KHL superstar bought shirts and posters for all 7,500 fans in attendance at the Traktor-Avangard game.
The shirts read in Russian Thanks, Chelyabinsk! When we are together, we cannot be defeated! It also included the message ALL IN! in English as well as his signature.
Washington Capitals goaltending prospect Ilya Samsonov has been crushing it in the KHL lately and was recently named the KHL’s Rookie of the Week after his triumphant performance in consecutive victories against Avangard and Medvescak. Samsonov spoke to the KHL about the distinction between a Stanley Cup victory and a Gagarin Cup victory. Additional topics that were discussed include being named #4 on the Capitals “top 5 prospects” list and if he’s ready to start mentally preparing for the NHL and, ultimately, the Stanley Cup.
Igor Kleyner has a partial translation of the interview.
NHL Russia mic’d up Caps center Evgeny Kuznetsov during the Russia/North America World Cup of Hockey game and the video is a must watch.
Kuzy is revealed to be a chatty player during games, frequently talking strategy and instructing players where to go on the ice – even veteran Pavel Datsyuk.
Then there are Kuzy’s priceless interactions with on-ice officials and players. After scoring a beautiful, coast-to-coast goal, Kuzy did a flapping bird celebration and high-fived his teammates at the Team Russia bench. Kuznetsov then began yelling at an unknown North America player (possibly Mark Scheifele) skating off the ice. “HEY? SOMETHING LIKE THAT?!” Kuznetsov screams. “Something like that? Something like that?”
Kuznetsov was also asked by an official about how he likes his steak. “I like medium rare,” a smiling Kuznetsov said in English. “They don’t have baked potato in Russia.”
This season, Alex Ovechkin’s first game in Pittsburgh won’t be in a Capitals uniform. Instead, he’ll be playing for Team Russia in a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at CONSOL Energy Center.
Although Ovi won’t be donning Caps red, his Team Russia teammate (and Penguins center) Evgeni Malkin expects Ovi to be booed.
After Sweden’s first World Cup of Hockey practice over the weekend, Nicklas Backstrom sat down and spoke with Aftonbladet’s Tomas Ros for a podcast. The interview is a fascinating journey through Backstrom’s career, where he speaks frankly on a number of topics.
Backstrom talks about how he and Liza came up with their baby names, his hole-in-one in Sweden, having his dad’s “grumpy head,” his close relationship with Alex Ovechkin, failing that drug test for an allergy medication in Sochi, the World Cup of Hockey, and how he’d love to end his playing career in the SHL with Brynas.
The Caps center also takes time to thank Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg for the advice he received a decade ago – to stay in Sweden an extra year before starting his NHL career.
Magnus Cadelin has your translation.
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