Evgeny Kuznetsov and Artemi Panarin have known each other since they were five-year-old children, growing up in the same Russian city, Chelyabinsk. On Thursday, their NHL organizations will meet in the playoffs for the very first time.
The Associated Press’ Stephen Whyno spoke to Kuznetsov prior to Thursday’s game. The Caps forward had the most Kuzy response to facing his hometown acquaintance on the ice.
“If I will see him, for sure I will talk to him,” Kuznetsov said to Whyno. “But we’re not that close to calling FaceTime before the sleep. We’re not that close.”
Any hometown loyalty between the two will be left at the door. “We have the same jokes, for sure,” Kuznetsov added. “We’re from the same hometown. It doesn’t mean anything right now. He go after me, I’ll go after him.”
We’ll just have to wait until they take to the ice to see whether or not Panarin has a similar response to Evgeni Malkin if Kuzy speaks Russian to him.
Evgeny Kuznetsov has known Artemi Panarin since they were 5 growing up in Chelyabinsk. "If I will see him, for sure I will talk to him. But we're not that close to calling FaceTime before the sleep. We're not that close."
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) April 1acquaintance1, 2018
Kuznetsov on him and Panarin: "We have the same jokes, for sure. We're from the same hometown. It doesn't mean anything right now. He go after me, I'll go after him. "
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) April 11, 2018
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