On Monday night, the 2015 World Junior Championship final was held between Canada and Russia, and it was one a hell of a game. After going up 5-1, Canada gave up 3 unanswered goals to Russia in the second period. In the third, Canada bent but didn’t break, holding on until the final buzzer to win 5-4.
The chirping between Caps players was fast and furious on Twitter during the final, though mostly between roommates Tom Wilson and Michael Latta.
With a thrilling third period comeback against Canada, Team Russia and Alex Ovechkin are off to the semi-finals of the World Championships in Slovakia. Down, 1-0, midway through the final frame, Alexei Kaigorodov converted on a shorthanded breakaway to knot the score. Then, just over three minutes later, the Devils’ 100 million dollar man Ilya Kovalchuk rifled home a one-timer from the slot to give the Russians the lead and send their arch-rival home empty handed. Russia will face Finland, with the winner going to the gold metal game, on Sunday.
Fedor, our dear Russian who never sleeps, noticed this mammoth interview between Sport Express journalist Slava Malamud and Alex Ovechkin two nights ago, which was done right before the Washington/Montreal game. This is Part II of their interview translated. You can check out Part I that we published yesterday here.
Alex Ovechkin “Lundqvist is the coolest”
Slava Malamud– What about Canada? Alex Ovechkin – Why do I have to think about Canada? Why not the Czech Republic?
SM – Russia – Canada is the trademark of hockey. Hockey as a sport would be absolutely different without that rivalry. AO – I don’t disagree that everyone’s dreaming about these two teams in the final. But we have a situation where to dream is to damage. We can’t dream, we must play “at this moment”. Moment by moment.
SM – Pretty Canadian ideology. By the way, Don Cherry says again and again that you have a Canadian spirit and that all his countrymates should try to become like you. AO – I’m Russian. I’m not a Canadian.
SM – You were told that you’re a “hit-n-run” player. AO – It was just figuratively speaking, it was a joke. I’m “shoot-n-run”…? Seriously, I don’t like this perception. Was Wayne Gretzky “hit-n-run”. Or Mario Lemieux? Or Jarome Iginla? Or Crosby? Why are all Canadians called “hit-n-run”? Let’s not make this thing simpler than it is.
SM – By the way, about Crosby. You have much more assists than him even though he’s a centerman [Ed. Note – Really he’s centerBABY]. You’re one of the League Leaders in assists. But in Torino you didn’t have one. What happened? AO – I just shoot and teammates score on the rebounds.
SM – Let’s continue about Crosby. Vancouver may be your last chance to prove that you’re better than him outright. AO – I’ll try to do it, if God will allow us to play in the finals. But really, I want to win more than to prove something.
SM – Short tournaments often are won by the goalies. Whom are you afraid of? AO – First of all – Brodeur. And the other Canadian – Luongo. When he played in the West i had problems with him.
SM – But others? If someone needs to depend on a goalie, they are not the favorites. Like Hasek and Czechs in 98. AO – But why, for example, Swedes are not favorites? OK, I’ll name their goalie – Lundqvist. I know him better than others and i think he’s the coolest.
Keep reading: Ovechkin makes an Olympics Guarantee!
Fedor saw this mammoth interview between Sport Express journalist Slava Malamud and Alex Ovechkin, which was done right before the Canadiens game last night. This is Part I of their interview translated. Part II will come tomorrow!
“My best goal was against Brodeur”
Slava Malamud – You’re still playing games in the NHL but Olympics are getting closer and closer. And very soon your friends and teammates will become rivals, rivals will become friends… Alex Ovechkin – Yeah, pretty funny feelings. I look at the guys in the locker room and unintentionally think that we’ll play against each other soon. And we’ll play hard. And we’ll struggle against each other. Pretty strange, yes.
SM– How do you get yourself focused before the important games or tournaments? AO – Nothing special. I go there and play. Goalies have some weird traditions, but goalies are not like the other people. But I like to listen to good music before the game. I put some good hip-hop and think about the game. But usually if you like some music, it will tune you in right. For example, it’s more fun to warm up with music than without it. That’s all.
SM – Are your feelings getting worked up? Even now, a few days before the Olympics? AO – Sure I’m feeling that I will come to Vancouver very soon. I’ll represent my country and, obviously, I’ve been thinking about it.
SM – But what’s your thoughts? You have something to remember – Torino, Quebec… AO – No, the last Olympiad is over. I never think about it. And not only because we didn’t have success there. We had some good games there. But why do we have to remember the past?
SM – To learn from it. For example, Pavel Datsyuk said that team was going limp psychologically after the win over Canada. AO – I have another point of view, but it’s ok. Everyone can to have his own. I don’t want to remember it.
SM – But there were not only bad things, for example, you scored against Brodeur… AO – Yeah, it was the best goal in my career. Number one!
SM – You put it higher than unbelievable goal against the Coyotes? Higher than pirouette goal against the Canadiens? Higher than all your hat-tricks? AO – Sure. That was very important and then I played for my country.
SM – But do you have an ideal goal? Goal of your dreams? AO – I don’t want to dream about an ideal goal. I will remember it better once I have scored it. But an ideal goal… how about an empty netter at the last second. It’s the easiest, and the win is guaranteed.
Keep reading: Alexander talks smack about Canada after the jump!