Despite recording a point in his first-ever KHL game, Alex Ovechkin missed on numerous opportunities to score in Dynamo Moscow’s 7-2 blowout victory on Thursday. On Sunday, Ovechkin showed why he’s one of the world’s most fearsome shooters, immediately recording a goal in the first period of Dynamo’s loss to SKA St. Petersburg. It was the Russian machine’s first regular season tally in Russia since 2005.
Here are some reflections of the Canada and Russia game in the words of players, coaches and famous analysts back home in Russia. All quotes were translated by Fedor Fedin and pulled from interviews by “Soviet Sport,” “Sport-Express,” & “Sports Day By Day.”
Vyacheslav Bykov, Russian Head Coach:
“You can’t “order” the result. It’s a sport. We were in a situation where we met one of the best teams in the world in the quarterfinal and couldn’t win. What will be the consequence? I don’t know. I think, our successors will give a balanced grade for this. I don’t think that the decision to start Nabokov was a mistake. All the players of the Canadian team put very big pressure on us and we had to get out together. With Zhenya. [Ed. Note - Zhenya - short form of Evgeny]. [...]
All teams had the same conditions and I think that now it doesn’t make any sense if we blame tournament system. It’s hard to say, did additional game against Germany help the Canadian team? Anyways, I have never seen a team who ran 60 minutes without a break. Everyone wanted to see the Crosby / Ovechkin duel. Everyone made a hullabaloo about it, but the match is the game between teams. We tried different lines but the pressure by the four Canadian lines were much higher than ours”.