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.
The Russian National Team remained undefeated Tuesday with the Caps trioka — Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov — on the roster. Russia beat Team Sweden 4-1 to finish second in Group A.
But the victory didn’t come without a scare – especially for Caps fans. In the second period, Evgeny Kuznetsov absorbed a dangerous hit from Swedish center Mikael Backlund as he skated into the offensive zone. Kuznetsov, who did not have the puck, was hit the head and shoulder by Backlund. Kuznetsov, woozy, needed help to get off the ice, but returned several minutes later after applying ice on the bench.
Team Russia head coach Oleg Znarok commented briefly on the play in his post-game press conference.
Photo: Patrick Smith
Humble af Evgeny Kuznetsov spoke with SovSport’s Natalia Bragilevskaya after the Capitals closed out their first-round series with the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday. He addressed a topic likely to dominate media conversations over the next week: the Caps’ past playoff failures. Many of those disappointments have come against the Pittsburgh Penguins, whom the Caps will face in the second round.
Kuznetsov wanted to get ahead of that talk now.
“You mention the previous century – but of those people, who is still playing?” Kuznetsov asks. “That’s history, nobody cares about it.”
“The guys in Pittsburgh are the same people – two legs, two arms, one head,” Kuznetsov added.
Igor Kleyner has your translation.
Monday night at Wells Fargo Center, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his first goal in 22 games. It was a gift from the Hockey Gods. Kuznetsov scored after a Justin Williams dump-in took a strange bounce off the boards. The puck ricocheted to Kuznetsov, who was skating alone towards the front of the net. Using sublime patience, Kuznetsov tucked the puck past Steve Mason’s outstretched pad, giving the Caps a back-breaking 3-1 third period lead.
Several minutes later, Kuznetsov was on the ice when he saw his friend, Dmitry Orlov, get shoved headfirst into the boards by Pierre-Édouard Bellemare. As Orlov received medical attention on the bench, a Flyers fan threw a bracelet from the stands, striking Orly in the left cheek.
In the locker room, Kuznetsov conducted a Russian-language interview with SovSport’s Natalia Bragilevskaya and spoke about how the game turned into a sideshow in the third period.
“No fan would be happy when his team is losing,” Kuznetsov said. “That’s how it happened, but it is on their conscience. Our fans have more class.”
Kuznetsov also seemed to be genuinely touched and heart-broken by the pre-game ceremony honoring Flyers owner Ed Snider.
Monday night at Wells Fargo Center, Dmitry Orlov became the target of the Philadelphia Flyers’ rage, as Pierre-Édouard Bellemare sent the Caps defenseman headfirst into the boards. As Orlov received medical attention on the bench, a Flyers fan threw a bracelet from the stands, striking Orly in the left cheek. Although bloodied, Orlov remained in the game and later assisted on a power-play goal by Jay Beagle, making the final score 6-1.
In the locker room, Orlov conducted a Russian-language interview with SovSport’s Natalia Bragilevskaya and spoke about how the game turned into a sideshow in the third period.
“Sometimes you just want to get the puck,” Orlov said. “But when they play dirty against you, that’s not hockey. I don’t even know what to call it. I don’t want to talk about it.”
Orlov confirmed he was “fine,” but said he’d prefer the Caps not “prolong this series.”
Photo: Jonathan Daniel
Earlier this week, we published a partial translation of an Evgeny Kuznetsov interview with Igor Rabiner of Sport-Express. Kuzy spoke about his ‘close’ friendship with Alex Ovechkin, how the team celebrated Ovi’s 500th goal, and how important the Stanley Cup is to him.
In the second part of the interview, Kuznetsov speaks about his affinity for Barry Trotz.
“I don’t think this coach will allow us to relax,” Kuznetsov says of Trotz. “He straightens you out very quickly. And our team has character, we won’t let ourselves take it easy. We work hard every practice, not to mention the games. We are very comfortable within our team off ice, and everybody works hard in training.
Kuznetsov and Rabiner also talks about Ovechkin’s leadership inside the locker room.
Igor Kleyner has your translation.
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