ABC 7’s Erin Hawksworth landed an interview with Hockey Night In Canada’s Don Cherry. She asked questions a Caps fan might wonder.
For instance, Cherry has been openly critical of Alex Ovechkin for his personality and expressive celebrations in the past – such as the hot stick celly he did after scoring his 50th goal.
Wednesday night, Don set the record straight. He loves Ovechkin and he loves the Washington Capitals. He just hates Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Oh no, not this again.
— ABC 7 Sports (@ABC7Sports) June 7, 2018
“No I don’t hate the Capitals,” Cherry said to Hawksworth. “I was in Ovi’s corner, remember two or three years ago he was having a tough time. They were saying he couldn’t skate. I said, ‘he looks pretty good to me.’
“I don’t like The Birdman,” Cherry continued. “Everything in Canada, we always react like no other sport. And, uh, Kah-neeze-off, is that his name?”
“Kuznetsov?” Erin said, trying to correct Cherry.
“Whatever,” he replied. “We try to act in Canada, most of the players try to act.. you can celebrate. Ovi celebrates. The only player I don’t like is The Birdman. Whatever his name is.”
Cherry is referring to Kuznetsov’s wildly popular bird walk celly, where the Russian center flaps his arms up and down mimicking bird. Kuznetsov was inspired by a celebration in FIFA – one of his favorite video games.
It’s unclear when Cherry began calling Kuznetsov The Birdman. But during his Game Three Coach’s Corner segment, Cherry celebrated big hits by Brayden McNabb on Kuznetsov.
“Watch him do The Birdman. [McNabb] gets The Birdman pretty soon,” Cherry said. “You can see, he gives him an extra shot. Wise guy, you’re going to get it. He gets it pretty good. Watch McNabb get him here. You wanna be a wise guy, remember kids, you wanna jump around, this is what happens to ya. I used to give them the extra little shot there all the time. And tonight he gives it to him again, but he didn’t hurt him.”
Ron MacLean described Kuznetsov’s celebration as a “little extra hot dogging.”
Kuznetsov leads all players in the 2018 playoffs with 31 points.
Meanwhile, during the ABC 7 interview, the Canadian analyst added that Alex Ovechkin is going win the Conn Smythe Trophy “for sure,” and that “there’s no way [the Golden Knights] are going to beat Washington three straight.”
What makes Don think that?
“I’m very smart,” Cherry said. “I’m an expert”
What an incredible moment in my career. Just interviewed Don Cherry @CoachsCornerDC #AllCaps (For the record: he does not hate the #Caps) #StanleyCup I will tweet out sound which player he thinks is the team’s leader and it’s not Ovi, plus who he thinks will win Game 5. pic.twitter.com/NBtb77eNp1
— Erin Hawksworth (@ABC7Erin) June 6, 2018
Headline photo: ABC 7
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