Alex Ovechkin‘s 2014-15 season came to an end Sunday as Team Russia got crushed by Team Canada 6-1 in the World Championship gold-medal game. Yes, that’s two crushing defeats for the Russian Machine in five days.
On Sunday, however, Ovechkin managed only two shots on goal in 15:57 of ice time. Russia’s roster, filled with mostly KHL players (and Evgeni Malkin), could not overcome Canada’s team full of NHL all-stars (plus Cody Eakin).
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.