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.
Nicklas Backstrom is one of the best playmakers in hockey and Filip Forsberg is one of the sport’s best finishers. So naturally, they are being paired together on a line for Sweden’s World Cup of Hockey team. The news was first reported by the Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet.
Thursday was Knowledge Day in Russia and Alex Ovechkin spent his morning welcoming children back to school.
Joined on a stage by Russian stars Artemi Panarin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Sergei Bobrovsky, Pavel Datsyuk, and Ilya Kovalchuk, the Russian machine helped celebrate the first day of classes at School #576 in St. Petersburg, a special boarding school for developing athletes. Today marked the 60th anniversary of its opening.
“Hi, everybody,” Ovechkin said when given a microphone. “You see people on the stage here who are prominent athletes, Olympic and World Champions. We hope that sometime you will be standing on this stage and saying the same words to future first graders.”
Talented goaltending prospect Ilya Samsonov has already begun his season in the KHL. Four games into the campaign, the 19-year-old Russian has not received a start and is serving as back-up for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the 2015-16 Gagarin Cup champions.
Last week, Samsonov was called up to Russia’s National Team to participate in the Four Nations tournament held in the Czech Republic. Russia went undefeated in the tune-up for the U20 World Junior Championship, defeating Sweden, Finland, and the Czechs. Samsonov won a silver medal with Russia last year.
Recently, Sport Express’s Pavel Klimovitsky spoke to Samosonov about his experience at Caps Development Camp and why he became a goalie.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be [one],” Samsonov said, as translated by Igor Kleyner. “I was begging my parents, and when they took me to the rink, there was not any doubt that I made a wrong choice. I always wanted to stop the puck, be at the center of attention, to decide the outcome of the game.”
Early Friday morning, Expressen’s Gunnar Nordstrom reported that Nicklas Backstrom‘s family is now one tiny human bigger.
“We had our second child on Monday,” Backstrom said to Nordstrom, as translated by RMNB’s Magnus Cadelin. “Therefore, we went over (to the United States) earlier this year.”
“Everything went well and he’s named Vince,” Backstrom said.
Over the weekend, Alex Ovechkin brought his sick handles and gold number 8 necklace to the basketball court for a good cause. The Russian machine participated in the Step Forward Foundation’s charity basketball game for the second year in a row to help raise money for kids with cerebral palsy. The game was held at Moscow’s Dynamo Palace of Sports.
Ovechkin captained the green team, which was named “Together We Are Brighter” and coached by two-time Olympic gold medalist and his mother, Tatyana Ovechkina.
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