Hahaha. Yeah, ooooooook, Don.
Old, yelling, Canadian relic Don Cherry left his piano desk on Wednesday and spoke to SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov after game four. Cherry answered questions about a variety of Russian hockey topics, but our RMNB radar went into panic mode when he brought up Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.
Over the years, Cherry has made Ovi one of his favorite athletes to flog. From telling the three-time MVP to “have a little class” to declaring some NHL player is “gonna cut him in half,” Cherry has made his feelings known about the Russian star.
Wednesday, Cherry revealed that “Ovechkin is one of my favorite players.” Wait, what?
Igor Kleyner has your translation.
[Editor’s note: The original interview was in English, and then translated into Russian. We’re translating it back, so this reverse translation may not be a perfect match.]
What do you expect from this series?
I can only tell from my experience, which I do have – I took Boston to the Stanley Cup finals twice. It’s not who is faster with the puck – it’s all about the better goaltender. Especially in the finals. That’s what the previous games showed. If a goalie is at the top of his game – you win the game.
Tampa’s goalie is a youngster, Andrey Vasilevsky. Was that the deciding factor in game four?
I wouldn’t say that. I liked that he went out with a smile on his face, even for his first game. The kid is confident. Not afraid of anything. I know he can handle it if Tampa will bet on him from now on. Even though Chicago won.
Ten Russians are moving to the NHL next season. What do you expect from them?
It’s been awhile since such an influx from Russia. I think they come with a different worldview now, a different attitude. You can even say to a degree they are North Americans already. These days all top players are pros. Canadians will have to work hard in order to keep their jobs.
I hear Chicago signed Artemy Panarin from SKA – the next Patrick Kane. Have you seen the guy?
Too early to say. He has to prove himself before we call him the next Patrick Kane. Fit in with the system, score a few goals, then we’ll see. You have to prove yourself. So far we don’t know anything about Panarin in the NHL.
Do you watch Team Russia games?
I don’t really follow the Worlds, but I do remember the Olympics very well. I was in your country. I was mostly irked by the game against the US, when Russia had a goal stolen from them. Yes, write exactly that. Of course there are IIHF rules, but that goal by Tyutin should have counted. There is such thing as common sense.
Why does such a good team continue to fail at Olympics?
I don’t know, I don’t understand! I get asked a lot. The Russians seemingly have everything, even Ovechkin comes. Malkin, Datsyuk, great goalies. What are you missing? Maybe you should add a few Canadians to the team. Give them Russian passports!
You brought up Ovechkin. When is he finally going to win the Stanley Cup?
Many people started believing in Washington again this year, but they lost to the Rangers. You cannot just blame Ovi. If everybody on that team played like him – the Capitals would have won the Cup many times by now. It would have been a dynasty! Ovechkin is one of my favorite players. Did you know that?
Not really. We remember how you criticized him sometimes. For his hot stick celebration, for example, when he scored his 50th goal.
I criticize him because I love him. But my favorite Russian player of all times is Pavel Bure. He was like Bobby Orr! They played a similar game, they both had to retire because of bad knee injuries. But Pavel for me is the greatest of all Russians.
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