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Photo: Winslow Townson

Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and an assist in his first game of the Sochi Olympics. Russia won handily, defeating Slovenia 5-2.

Despite the win and his own personal production, Ovechkin wasn’t satisfied with the game. Russia struggled in the second period and watched helplessly as Slovenia’s Žiga Jeglič scored twice. Those goals made the game a tight, one-goal affair heading into the third period.

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Screenshot via Christoffer S.

Britt Bäckström, the 84-year-old grandmother of Nicklas Backstrom, gave a video interview earlier in the week to the small-town newspaper Östersundsposten later picked up by Aftonbladet. Her comments about her grandson are curious. “He’s gonna make a fool of himself [in Sochi],” Grandma Backstrom said, as translated by reader Magnus. “He’s been playing so bad. For a long time.”

Aaaaaaaaalright.

Here’s one newsworthy thing (according to RMNB’s somewhat loose definition) that happened in the interview: Grandma Britt shared this baby photo of Nicklas Backstrom’s daughter, Haley.

Britt says of Haley, “She looks so much like Nicklas when he was born.”

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Photo: Linda Forsell

Nicklas Backstrom is no stranger to Russian hockey. During the 2011 lockout, Backstrom put up 25 points in 19 games with Alex Ovechkin‘s Dynamo Moscow. Now back in Russia with Team Sweden for the Sochi Olympics, Backstrom will once again suit up for European hockey– but this time he’ll be playing against his BFF Ovi.

Nicky and Alex spoke with Henrik Sjöberg of Expressen about what it’ll be like to play against each other, and if Nick expects kid gloves from Alex should they collide on ice.

(No, he does not.)

And things got a little testy– in a playful way. Jake Ware has your translation.

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Ovi sits with head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov and Pavel Datsyuk (Photo: Getty)

Around 2AM eastern time, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and fiancee Maria Kirilenko landed in Sochi. Russian dudes Artem Anisimov and Pavel Datsyuk were there as well. The arrival signaled the beginning of a long day for the Russian machine, which I will now document for you.

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Photo: Patrick Smith

With only a couple games left before the NHL shuts down for the Olympics, the international hockey press’ interest in Capitals captain and Sochi goodwill ambassador Alex Ovechkin has increased from Unhealthy to InsatiableSpeaking with Sovetsky Sport correspondent Pavel Lysenkov during his recent pre-Olympic media tour, Alex Ovechkin recounted Olympics of yore, cheering fiancee Maria Kirilenko onto winning bronze in London, and meeting 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps.

And also the time he nearly wrecked his car a few weeks ago, but didn’t. So that’s good.

Your translated interview is below.

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Photo: Joel Marklund

Over the weekend, GD.se released a fascinating Swedish-language interview with the Caps’ reluctant star, Nicklas Backstrom. Interviewer Markus Bäckström (no relation) asked Nicky about the recent birth of his daughter Haley and how fatherhood has changed his life.

Backstrom also spoke frankly about how he feels more comfortable out of the spotlight. Friend-of-the-blog Jake Ware translates.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov scores the shootout game-winner. (Photo: Metallurg Novokuznetsk)

Last Wednesday, Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov made a lot of Caps fans happy when he tweeted out his US visa application form. After three years of waiting, it seems Kuznetsov is finally ready to come to the NHL.

Caps fans, however, may have been the only ones happy about the tweet. A half an hour after publishing the photo, Kuznetsov deleted the tweet. We do not know why he took it down. It’s possible Traktor’s management and coaching staff had issues with their best player announcing his imminent departure while his team is still playing.

Over the weekend, Kuzya told Sport-42.ru that his comments about coming to America have caused backlash. He also assured fans that he would give it his all during Traktor’s hunt for the playoffs.

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Alex Ovechkin Calls His Injury “a Micro-Bruise”

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Photo: Rob Carr

Tonight, Alex Ovechkin will miss his second straight game with some kind of lower-body aliment. From New Jersey, Katie Carrera of The Washington Post reported that it was a groin injury. The man himself, though, has not been made available to the media — at least not in English. However, in a recent interview with Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport, Ovi discussed the injury, which he termed “a micro-bruise.” Ovi also discussed Alex Semin‘s new spot on the Russian Olympic team and whether or not he goes to church.

Here’s your translation:

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ovindar

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is pretty good at hockey (when he’s not hurt), especially scoring goals. Everybody knows that. Special correspondent for Sport-Express Slava Malamud is pretty good at writing, especially writing about hockey– even more so when writing about people who are good at hockey like Alex Ovechkin. If you don’t know that by now, it’s only because you are too lazy to learn Russian just to avail yourself of Slava’s pearls of hockey wisdom and assorted hilarity.

Or maybe you are just waiting for RMNB to give you those Slava’s pearls on a silver platter, so you can partake in his body of work without leaving your pitifully monolingual comfort zone. If that’s your excuse, you are in luck. This latest Slava creation is just too good to ignore (and also he dared us). After all, in the history of western civilization since Julius Caesar, as far as we know only Commodus and Robespierre with his cohorts managed to successfully, albeit very temporarily, undertake a comparable feat… So without further ado, we bring to you a new calendar! No more boring Februarys, tiresome Junes, or dreary Novembers – every month from now on shall be an OVI-month! Let the OVI-time begin!

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Earlier today, we published a Russian interview with Evgeny Kuznetsov in which he repeated his desire to come to America. Speaking to R-Sport, Kuzya said he had broken off contract negotiations with Traktor Chelyabinsk and no amount of money would keep him from emigrating after this season.

Ahead of Sunday’s game with the New York Rangers, Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lynsekov spoke to Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin after the morning skate. He asked him about Kuznetsov’s comments.

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