In Game Two of the Capitals’ Stanley Cup Final matchup against the Golden Knights, Evgeny Kuznetsov absorbed a hit from Brayden McNabb. Kuznetsov left the ice and would not return to the game.
On Friday, Kuznetsov took part in optional practice, though he did not meet with the media as he was not medically cleared. Kuznetsov returned to the top line for Saturday’s morning skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, and spoke to the media immediately following practice, indicating that he would be ready to play in Game Three.
When Kuznetsov was asked whether he’d feared that something had been broken, he answered in typical Kuzy fashion.
“If something was broken, I would not sit here. I would be in the ambulance,” he said. “But no. It’s a hockey play and sometimes they hit us and sometimes we’re going to hit them.”
Kuznetsov added, “I think I’m born lucky.”
— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) June 2, 2018
The Russian center was then asked when exactly he felt better.
“When we get the win,” he said.
According to Jay Beagle on Friday, Kuznetsov wanted to return to Game Two — though Kuznetsov disputed that fact.
“I don’t know where he get that information,” he said smiling.
“In these type of games, you always want to play, but you have to do better for your team and you have to understand it doesn’t matter who you are, what kind of player,” Kuznetsov added. “You have to understand, ‘Can you help the team or no?’ That’s the biggest part. You have to understand it and you have to communicate with the coaches, doctors and everybody, can you help the team? It doesn’t mean what you want. Sometimes it’s just emotional. You want to play every game, but you have to do what’s best for the team.”
As for whether Kuznetsov will be in the lineup for Game Three, he remained coy.
“I don’t know,” he said. “We’ll see if I’m in, I definitely can help in the morning skate, no?”
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.