ovi-scores-world-championships

Photo: R-Sport

Team Russia walloped Switzerland in the opening game of the 2014 World Championships in Minsk today. The fabled Russian offense, mostly inert in Sochi, delivered five goals while goalie Sergei Bobrovsky turned away all 27 shots he faced from the Swiss.

Newly named captain, Alex Ovechkin, also scored a goal and tallied an assist in the beatdown.

Continue Reading

alex-ovechkin-victory-loaf

Photo: R-Sport

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and the team he’s now captaining, the Russian National Team, arrived in Minsk, Belarus earlier today for the 2014 World Championships, which begin tomorrow. When Team Russia arrived at the President Hotel, they were greeted by a hotel official. Then things got weird.

As Ovechkin approached, the official came up to him and said (as translated by Fedor Fedin), “We’re welcoming all of you, dear friends, and we’ve been assigned by the Belarus National Committee manager to present you this Karavai, hoping this will be a victory Karavai.”

The official gave Ovechkin a giant loaf of bread. A victory loaf.

Continue Reading

Photo: Heike Feiner/eishockey-online.com

Hershey Bear and Team Germany goalie Philipp Grubauer shut out Team Russia in a pre-World Championship exhibition game. The Germans won 3-0.

Both Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov sat out (Ovechkin’s absence was described as part of an “acclimatization and adaptation” period by the team’s spokesman), while Orlov’s omission from the line-up seemed to be a part of the rotation process that comes from having 30 players (27 skaters) on the roster. Evgeny Kuznetsov played on the team’s second line.

Continue Reading

Alex Ovechkin Captains Russian National Team

Photos: FHR.ru

On Thursday, Washington Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov all played in a hockey game for the first time since the Caps’ dreadful season ended two weeks ago.

The three Russian Caps suited up for Russia’s national team in what was basically a glorified exhibition against Germany to warm up for the World Championships. Team Russia won 4-2 and scored three of their four goals in 1:38. None of the Caps players scored or tallied a point.

One interesting fact we can take from the game is that Ovechkin was captain of Team Russia. It’s the first time he’s led the national team since 2005, when he was the 19-year-old captain of Russia during the World Junior Championships. Though his captain patch totally looks velcroed on.

Continue Reading

evgeny-kuznetsov-practice

Photo: Sport-Express

After scoring nine points in 16 games with the Caps, Evgeny Kuznetsov has flown back across the world to play for Russia’s national team in the upcoming World Championships. On Tuesday, Kuznetsov spoke to Vladislav Domrachev of Sport-Express after practice and talked more about his NHL debut and how his English is progressing.

Apparently the NHL is like bobsledding or something.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

alex-ovechkin-flies-home

On Monday, the Washington Capitals held Breakdown Day at Kettler Capitals Iceplex after missing the playoffs for the first time in six years. Alex Ovechkin spoke about his disappointment, Evgeny Kuznetsov talked about sneezing, and Dmitry Orlov learned what corsi is.

Four days later, all three Caps Russians jumped on a plane to go back home.

You know what that means: selfies on an airplane.

Continue Reading

evgeny-kuznetsov-interview

Photo: Chris Gordon

What could be a bigger downer than giving an interview right after missing playoffs by by just four points? How about giving an interview after missing two playoffs by four points in two months! Because’s that’s what happened to Evgeny Kuznetsov: first in the KHL, when last year’s Gagarin Cup finalist Traktor came up short, then again when the Caps missed their chance by the same margin.

That was on Kuznetsov ‘s mind when we chatted on breakdown day.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

backstrom_nicklas

Despite not making the playoffs, a lot of Washington Capitals players still have some hockey left to play. Last week, Caps captain Alex Ovechkin announced that Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, and he will be representing Team Russia in the 2014 World Championships happening in Minsk, Belarus.

But what of the Caps’ Swedes? After winning a silver medal in Sochi, Marcus Johansson will likely not represent his home country due to a broken arm. On Thursday, Pär Mårts, Sweden’s national team coach, told Svenska Dagbladet that Nicklas Backstrom has turned down an invitation to play in the tournament this year.

When asked why, Mårts said Backstrom won’t be playing “for family reasons.”

Continue Reading

kuzya-selfie

Last night, Chris Gordon published a photo post entitled Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jay Beagle Take Adorable Selfies With Fans After the Final Game of the Season (Photos).

Yeah. Our resident photog posted a bunch of photos of people taking photos. It was our third most read post on Sunday. The internet is a dumb place.

Well, the actual Caps fans taking those photos with actual Caps players have graciously reached out to us and now we’ve got the original selfies.

Brace yourself. These are great.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

FinalGameLockerRoom-3

Evgeny Kuznetsov takes off his pads after Sunday’s game. (Photos by Chris Gordon)

By tomorrow morning, big changes may have already struck the Washington Capitals. After the Caps’ final game, a 1-0 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the players were somber, but not angry. They’ve been dealing with postmortem questions since Thursday. Four days later, those questions haven’t got any easier to answer, even if the team’s flaws are clear.

I brought my camera into the locker room as the players took off their skates for the final time this year and faced probing reporters Sunday evening. They’ll have to face the latter again tomorrow morning.

Take a look at my photos.

Continue Reading