Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin let Evgeny Kuznetsov (whom I’m praying has a license) drive the $500,000 Ovi Mobile to Verizon Center today. The Russian machine blasted Finnebassen’s electronica hit What You Do and then shot an Instagram video while driving.
Kids, don’t try this at home. Actually, Ovi, you probably shouldn’t do this either.
In Evgeny Kuznetsov’s first NHL game on Monday, he skated a little over 10 minutes on the fourth line, briefly seeing time on the power play. It was clear the young Russian was an NHL rookie playing on a team he had yet to practice with. Things got better the next day though. In Pittsburgh, Kuznetsov registered nearly 15 minutes of ice time, collecting three shots on goal. If not for a confounding leg save by Marc-Andre Fleury, the 21-year-old Russian would have scored his first NHL goal.
On Friday, Kuznetsov continued the trend. He picked up the first three points of his North American career. The 2010 first round pick collected the first two in just over three minutes, assisting on successive goals by Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson in the second period. He added the third on Washington’s go ahead goal in the third period. The Caps won 4-3.
“I hope we win today,” he told 15 members of Washington Capitals press corps gathered around his locker. “That’s first for me.”
1,358 days after being drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Evgeny Kuznetsov has finally recorded his first NHL point. Not one to settle, Kuzya then got a jaw-dropping assist on Tom Wilson‘s third goal of the year and recorded a secondary assist on a Mike Green goal.
On Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, Evgeny Kuznetsov had his first prime scoring chance in the NHL. After Karl Alzner unleashed a rare bomb from the point, Penguins goaltender Marc-André Fleury blocked the shot with his pad and kicked the puck back out to the slot.
There Kuznetsov stood, his eyes growing wide. Like a dude who had already scored 20 goals in the league before, Kuzya patiently gathered the puck in, put it on his forehead, and chipped it hard towards the net.
Wednesday night, the Washington Capitals held their fourth annual Casino Night at the Pentagon City Sheraton. Fans had the opportunity blow fake money gambling with their favorite players, as well as dishing out real money on a live auction featuring big-ticket experiences, a silent auction on equipment and memorabilia, and a raffle. The money made from Casino Night will benefit the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation. The team has raised nearly $1 million on past Casino Nights, and the live auction this year took in over $40,000.
“We did a got of research on craps,” Karl Alzner, who was there with his wife Mandy as well as her mom and grandparents, told me. “The correct throw and the technique and all that.”
“Even though it’s play money it’s still a lot of fun,” Alzner added. “We get to dress up.”
When I talked to Tom Wilson about the night, he had one main takeaway.
“Ovi’s pretty risky,” Wilson said.
Below, take a look at some of my photos from the night.
It is silly to compare Evgeny Malkin (500+ games, Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe, Hart, two Art Ross Trophies) to Evgeny Kuznetsov (one game, 10 minutes on ice)– even if they were born a couple hundred miles away from one other– basically the same neighborhood by Russian standards.
Then again, it’s also fun, which is why people have been doing it for awhile– including Valery Belousov, Kuznetsov’s old coach at Traktor and the man who oversaw Malkin’s development at Magnitogorsk.
Playing for a team on the wrong side the playoff line, Kuznetsov seemed to understand the gravity of his situation as he spoke in Russian after the game to Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo Sports, Igor Tichonenko of Voice of America, and yours truly. Zhenya didn’t really want to talk about his individual performance, no matter how much it probably meant to him. The team lost, he wasn’t able to help, and that’s what was on his mind.
Here is the translation of our short conversation.
Then almost four years went by. But now we’re here. Kuzya has suited up for this first ever NHL game– a homer against Metro rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins. Thanks to the hard work of Hana Imiolczyk, we’ll have all your GIF-y updates right here.