Evgeny Kuznetsov was demoted from first-line center to a fourth-line winger ahead of Russia’s final World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game against Canada, Wednesday.
“That’s because he went to Oleg Valerievich [Znarok] and said he doesn’t want to play on the line with Ovechkin and Kucherov anymore,” Ovechkin deadpanned while speaking with Pavel Lysenkov after practice. “I am still in shock.”
“And they moved me to the 4th line!,” a laughing Kuznetsov replied.
Question comes at the 1:13 mark.
On Thursday, Ovechkin scored his first point of the pre-tournament, tallying a five-on-three power play goal from his office. Meanwhile, Kuznetsov appeared to suffer an injury during the second period, writhing in pain on the bench.
Kuznetsov's AAARRRGHHH IM IN PAIN face pic.twitter.com/lXWED6Q7fe
— steph (@myregularface) September 15, 2016
The injury was to Kuznetsov’s left hand or wrist. A Team Russia trainer gave him a large bag of ice. After the game, Kuznetsov downplayed the injury.
“Nothing serious,” Kuznetsov replied to CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Tarik El-Bashir. “I am Iron Man.”
This is the second time El-Bashir has gotten a Caps’ Russian to ridiculously play off an injury during his illustrious journalism career. In 2006, when El-Bashir asked Alex Ovechkin if his foot was hurt after a blocked shot the night before, the Caps forward quipped, “I’m okay; Russian machine never breaks.”
Translation by Igor Kleyner.
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