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.
Early Sunday morning DC time (2 AM), Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkininstagrammed a photo. The Russian machine stood in front of some sort of Dynamo Moscow shrine (I assume in his mansion), smiled, and held up his finger. He wrote:
с Днем рожДения, роДное Динамо!!!я очень горД что я Динамовец!….Люблю..Горжусь…я очень горжусь что вся моя семья Динамовцы!!!!
I had no idea what that said, so I asked Igor and Fedor. This is how it translates.
Two years ago, Igor and I visited Caps 2012 seventh round pick Sergey Kostenko in Reading, PA for an interview. Kostenko, who sadly is no longer with the Caps, previously played in Metallurg Novokuznetsk’s system in Russia and had a lot of great stories.