By Igor Kleyner
Photo credit: Russian Hockey Federation
While the NHL announced next year’s Winter Classic between Detroit and Toronto, Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov participated in his own Outdoor Game Thursdsay, as Team Russia took on the Finnish National Team. Kuznetsov finished with a goal and an assist, his tally coming on a jaw-dropping 1-on-4 semi-breakaway that not only looked good, but closed out the game 2-0.
Soviet Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov caught up with Kuznetsov after the game to talk about his goal, though characteristically Kuznetsov was more interested in talking about the team’s victory than his own “super” effort. Below the jump, RMNB’s Igor Kleyner translates their conversation.
Pavel Lysenkov: Describe your super-goal.
Evgeny Kuznetsov: How was it “super”? I just couldn’t figure out who to pass to. So I had to take everybody on by myself.
Pavel Lysenkov: Have you ever scored a prettier goal in your entire career?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: It’s not how pretty a goal is, it’s how important it is.
Pavel Lysenkov: Why did you take your mask off during the game?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: It wasn’t cold. At first only my hands and feet were getting cold. Then I warmed up. I got my breathing going during the morning skate.
Pavel Lysenkov: If the Swedes make an offer to play outdoors in Stockholm?..
Evgeny Kuznetsov: I like this. It’s very interesting. The only disappointment was the lack of large crowd. 25 thousand people? I thought there would be more.
Pavel Lysenkov: How was the ice quality?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: Not bad. Although quite hard. But I do not complain.
Pavel Lysenkov: What happened to the Finnish referee?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: Oh, I did not see it. But I am scared of such moments.
Pavel Lysenkov: What did Bilyaletdinov say after the game?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: The coaches simply congratulated us. Nothing special. The main thing, we won.
Pavel Lysenkov: You beat the Finns for the third time in a row.
Evgeny Kuznetsov: Oh yeah? I wasn’t counting myself, just found out from you. But it’s too early to celebrate. We should see a totally different Finland at the Worlds.
Pavel Lysenkov: Nevertheless, you did score a supergoal.
Evgeny Kuznetsov: Oh come on. Just drop it.
Pavel Lysenkov: Does everybody who plays for Chebarkul Stars score goals like this? [Ed note: Chebarkul is a small factory town not far from Chelyabinsk; “Chebarkul Stars” was Kuzya’s sarcastic answer when he recently had enough of “Where are you going to play next year” questions.]
Evgeny Kuznetsov: I am not big enough for that team yet [laughing].
Additional reporting by Ian Oland.
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