By Chris Gordon
Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
Mike Milbury doesn’t think highly of Alex Ovechkin. That was clear when the failed Islanders GM delivered his frothing rant about Ovi during last week’s Caps-Flyers game. He said Ovechkin acted “like a baby,” and should instead “act like a man for god’s sake.” He said it was “an awful display of hockey” by Ovechkin. He said Ovechkin “should be ashamed of himself.”
Now it seems Ovi has a few thoughts of his own.
“I can talk about his work as an Islanders general manager,” the Caps captain told Slava Malamud of Sport Express. “I could care less about his opinion.”
Ovi made his comments after Washington’s thrilling overtime win over Boston, in which he crashed into Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask approximately 83 times. That game ended with a highlight-reel goal by Eric Fehr in overtime, a comeback that could have been spurred on by Ovechkin’s intermission comments to the team with the Caps down 3-0 after one period.
Below, check out Fedor Fedin’s translation of Ovechkin’s interview with Sport Express.
How are you feeling? Three big collisions with the goal…
I’m feeling normal. Something close to normal.
Early in the year you probably wouldn’t climb back from such deficit. What changed in the team since then?
We need points and have no right to lose now.
Matt Hendricks just told me that you gave a good speech to your teammates in the intermission.
Nothing special. I said that we have 40 minutes left and if we score once we can get back on track. We had a good first five minutes. I had a decent chance. We just needed to re-group and find ourseleves.
It was very clear that you personally played with anger and even fury in the second period.
Everybody did. You know what it means to come back from three goals behind against Boston. It’s not easy. But the fact that they had four games in six days helped us. We were in that situation in Philadelphia. Everybody was tired. There was a feeling that Boston doesn’t have enough left in the tank to save the lead.
But you had to fix something first. In the shift when Ribeiro scored Washington’s first goal, you did an unbelievable amount of work.
Everyone was responsible, not just me. Had we let down after the first period and given them more chances… Especially since they’ve got them from the refs too. Their third goal resulted from the official’s mistake. Where did he see an infraction there?
Was that hit on Kelly intentionally hard to kickstart the guys?
In the end, I brought a goal to our net, giving them the power play. What’s Kelly’s weight? Is it like 150 kilograms (330 lbs)? Yeah, I pushed him. Where was the interference? He had the puck in his feet!
Are you playing better when angry?
Rather, emotional. In the first period, Oates gave me a chance to play on two lines, and it helped me to feel better. I had a lot of puck possession in all three zones and I always play better when I have the puck.
Did Milbury’s words motivate you in some way?
You know, it’s better to not pay attention to such people. I can talk about his work as an Islanders general manager. And so what? Do we need to get into a battle of words? He said what he said. I could care less about his opinion.
Varlamov, by the way, told me to say hi to you. He was outraged by Milbury’s words, too.
I think Milbury just doesn’t like Russians. You shouldn’t listen to people that want to get you off-balance. Or what is he saying? That he wants to get me going? I don’t need that [type of motivation], as I have a coach and teammates. They can get me going, but not those “funny money.” [Editor’s note: We translated the word “fantiki” to “funny money” though it may also translate to “candy wrappers.”]
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