Evgeny Kuznetsov scores the shootout game-winner. (Photo: Metallurg Novokuznetsk)
Last Wednesday, Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov made a lot of Caps fans happy when he tweeted out his US visa application form. After three years of waiting, it seems Kuznetsov is finally ready to come to the NHL.
Caps fans, however, may have been the only ones happy about the tweet. A half an hour after publishing the photo, Kuznetsov deleted the tweet. We do not know why he took it down. It’s possible Traktor’s management and coaching staff had issues with their best player announcing his imminent departure while his team is still playing.
Over the weekend, Kuzya told Sport-42.ru that his comments about coming to America have caused backlash. He also assured fans that he would give it his all during Traktor’s hunt for the playoffs.
And now a question that has probably tired you already…
I can answer it without listening. Let’s wait until the end of the season. We’ll see then. I’ve said a lot, and it has cost me dearly.
So the question of you leaving hasn’t been decided?
I’ve decided everything in my head, but while I’m here I’m fighting for a playoff spot, and when I said what I have decided, I was reproached for not wanting to battle or play. But it’s just little things, that’s why I tell you, let’s put it off. For now we need to battle and grind for every point, I still want to play in the postseason and achieve something this year.
The translated portion starts at 1:30.
The interview was conducted after a game in which Kuznetsov was benched for almost the entire second half. Though coach Valery Belousov said he was limiting minutes for a player who had just returned from injury, the timing was suspicious. To Belousov’s credit, he put Kuznetsov on the ice in overtime, and the young forward responded by creating a scoring chance and then winning the game in the shootout.
With just five games left on Traktor’s regular season schedule, they’re currently eighth in the Eastern Conference with 69 points over 49 games — just one point ahead of ninth-place Admiral with a game in hand. A lot will be decided when the two teams meet face-to-face on Wednesday.
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