Ahead of the Capitals rivalry night game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, NBC’s Jeremy Roenick sat awkwardly on a couch with three-time MVP Alex Ovechkin. Necklessly, Roenick asked Ovechkin about his passion for the game and how he felt about the constant criticism he receives from the media.
Ovechkin answered in Runglish. He made a boat metaphor.
The full transcript is below.
Where does your passion come from? You can tell the passion on your face every game whether you score a goal or your teammates score a goal. It’s like you won a Stanley Cup every time. Where does that passion come from?
Alex Ovechkin: I don’t know. It’s maybe I am who I am. I love to celebration, I love to goals. I like to see the people when they get goals. I’m that kind of person I think.
What was the hardest transition when you came over? Was it the language? Was it the way of life? What was it?
AO: It was both sides. The language one hundred percent, the culture. I was the same guy since my first day here. It was hard, but I said, “Guys, help me a lot.”
[The media] has been difficult on Alex Ovechkin because we expect Alex Ovechkin to be the best. What would you want to say when you hear a guy like me saying, “Alex needs to play better or Alex isn’t doing this.” I want you to throw it back to me and tell me.
AO: You know sometimes when you listen to something to say, somebody say some good things, some bad things. It’s their choice. You think like, I’m good now, but tomorrow I’m going to play bad and you going to say like “he plays bad.” I’m not going to scream to you…
Which you could by the way…
AO: It’s not reasonable.
What’s been different for you this year? Is the mentality different with Barry Trotz behind the bench because you’re game all the way around is real solid. The whole team is following right behind you.
AO: Yeah. You’re right. It’s not about my side. It’s all about the group of guys who I play with right now. This have to be our year. The group of guys understand. We play the system and nobody wants to be outside the boat. Everybody want to be in the same boat. It’s kind of cool stuff.
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