Over the weekend, Caps Russians Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov arrived in Germany for the 2017 World Championship.
Kuznetsov, who will likely play his first game Monday against Latvia, caught up with Sport Express’s Igor Eronko and spoke about a variety of topics including Alex Ovechkin’s injury, the 2018 Olympics, and if he’s recovered from the Caps’ failed playoff run.
Kuznetsov revealed why he stopped doing the bird walk celly which he imitated from the FIFA soccer game.
“I was told that we lost every time after I did it,” Kuznetsov said. “It’s an old thing though, started all the way back when I was playing the game console. Nothing new.”
Kuznetsov did the celebration twice in the playoffs. The Capitals lost Game Three against the Leafs 4-3 in overtime after Kuznetsov scored his first goal of the postseason. Kuznetsov also did the celebration in Game One against the Penguins. The Caps would lose 3-2.
Here’s a translation of the rest Kuznetsov’s conversation with Eronko.
Have you recovered from your loss in the Stanley Cup playoffs?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: “I haven’t had a chance to think about it. Quickly switched from the club to the national team. It actually heped take my mind away from what happened in the playofss. After the Worlds, I’ll go home, sit down, open [the bottle], pour, and think it over.”
Did Ovechkin say anything to you before the departure?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: “Of course, he wished me luck.”
Why have you stopped doing the wing-flopping bird celly?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: “I was told that we lost every time after I did it. It’s an old thing though, started all the way back when I was playing the game console. Nothing new.”
Have you given Olympics any thought?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: “It’s rather simple. If the NHL says that its players are going – then we’ll play. I am not ready to make pronouncements like Ovechkin. If a couple of players band together and decide to go, the others will have a better chance to join them. Who am I to make a declaration – who is going to join me? Ovechkin, Crosby, Toews, Kane – if those guys declare their intent to go, many will follow.”
You and Orlov are out of contract at the end of this season, but you agreed to come to the Worlds right away. Why?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: “If you are scared of the wolves – don’t go into the woods, isn’t that what they say? They called me, asked how I was feeling, and I told them right away it will be my pleasure to go and play for the Sbornaya. Didn’t think much about the contract.”
Did you know in advance that Ovechkin wouldn’t be coming because of his injury?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: “No, I saw it on the Internet myself. I did see the bruise, of course. But when someone on your team is injured, it’s awkward to go and ask. Especially in the playoffs. You see that he is constantly dealing with the doctors. We talked after the series was over. But that will stay between us. We’ll miss him here.”
Translation by Igor Kleyner.
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