By Igor Kleyner
Photo: Chris Gordon
Sunday was Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s first full day as an official Washington Capital, and we were all over it. Our intrepid reporters were at Kettler Capitals Iceplex first thing in the morning, taking photos, and covering his first press conference. But we also got a couple minutes with the man himself to chat in his native tongue.
RMNB’s own Igor Kleyner and Kuznetsov chatted about his first few hours in Washington, expectations for the Penguins game, and comparisons to Evgeni Malkin. Igor’s got your translation below.
What are your first impressions here in Washington?
Everything is even better than I imagined. I am really happy that I am finally here. I have only got here twenty hours ago, and for the whole twenty hours everything inside me is just boiling. I am ready to play, and not just to play– to win.
Your very first game for the Capitals is going to be against one of the team’s biggest rivals: the Pittsburgh Penguins.
All of the NHL guys say that it really is not that important who you play against in your first game; the emotions are just overwhelming. Of course I realize that Malkin and Crosby are great hockey players. I also really like their defenseman Kris Letang. It will be interesting to share the ice with such players.
Speaking of Malkin, in the beginning of your career some analysts often compared you with him.
I think mainly I was compared to Malkin because we are both from the same Chelyabinsk Oblast (Ed. Note – Magnitogorsk, Malkin’s hometown, is indeed a part of Chelyabinsk Oblast and the two cities are separated by less than 200 miles). In reality, I have a long way to go before I can be compared to Zhenya [Malkin]. Of course, every hockey player wants to achieve what he did in his career, to win the Stanley Cup, the World Championship. Well, he is yet to win the Olympics, but everything is still ahead for him.
Another similarity between you and Geno: he also spent some time playing in Russia before coming to the NHL.
But it’s not like I was following his example in that; I lived my own life. That’s just how it turned out.
At that point Kuznetsov apologized. He had to excuse himself. Kuzya needed to ride the exercise bike for a bit — a routine he performs after every workout — and finally get some sleep. Or make Ovi do push-ups or something.
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