Photo: Bruce Bennett
During the Caps’ recent road trip through Canada, center Evgeny Kuznetsov did a Russian-language interview with Championat.com’s Alexander Govorov. Kuznetsov spoke about new linemate TJ Oshie, his favorite places in Canada to play, and how he got the nickname Harry Potter.
Igor Kleyner has your translation.
On TJ Oshie:
Evgeny Kuznetsov: First of all, I want to say that he is a great human being. We found mutual understanding very quickly, we know how to play [together]. We interact a lot. When he fails to score, he gets very upset. Because of these sincere emotions, we get stronger, while supporting each other. We never fight. The most important thing in Washington is team spirit.
About playing in Canada:
EK: Frankly, I really like going to Canada. People here are more similar to Russians than Americans are. Cities are a bit different, I really enjoy playing here. Of course the atmosphere is better in Washington, but playing away in Canada is always enjoyable. People really understand hockey here. If you play well, you are applauded even though you play against their home team.
Which city in Canada is best?
EK: Vancouver is a great city. I also like Edmonton. Especially because Jason Chimera was born there (laughing). Frankly, I feel great in any Canadian city.
You said recently that this year you have to play as if you are a veteran of 5-6 NHL seasons.
EK: I am no longer a rookie, so I must bear more responsibility. I demand more of myself. There is no limit to perfection, you want to get better and better every day. When you play with linemates [like mine] – you are not making them better, they make you better. We help each other, I believe.
Does playing on the first line add responsibility, or makes it easier?
EK: I see it as a big challenge. you are trusted with new responsibilities, and you cannot afford to make the same mistakes you used to make. You must create more chances; do the right things for your team. Many get a chance like that, but not everybody can manage to hold on.
About staying up to date on the KHL and his former team, Traktor Chelyabinsk:
EK: I am constantly in touch with [Traktor] head coach Andrei Nikolishin. I congratulate him when they win, support him when they lose. He was my bat’ka [daddy] on the team when I was starting there. I take it personally when I see negative nonsense written about him. I wish him only the best.
About playing in World Cup:
EK: It really hurt to miss the Olympics in Sochi. I had injuries, and I didn’t play well. Participating in the World Cup is probably my next goal. Everybody wants to play for his country.
On being nicknamed Harry Potter:
EK: The guys came up with it when I was playing with my stick as if it was a wand during practice.
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