In a Russian-language interview with Sport-Express’s Igor Rabiner, Kuznetsov revealed that his daughter has started getting mad when Dad doesn’t do the bird walk celly.
Kuznetsov shared in an interview last year that he does the celebration for his daughter, who loves it.
When Kuznetsov scored twice against the LA Kings last week, he did not do the bird celly and had to answer to his daughter when he got home.
“Come home at 11 o’clock, and she demands an explanation: ‘Why no bird?’ It’s hard to explain to a child that when you score, it’s impossible to control your emotions, it either happens on its own, or it doesn’t,” Kuznetsov said.
The last time Kuzy did the bird celly was against Colorado, after scoring the OT game-winner.
Little Ecenia missed it because of her bedtime.
“My [family] don’t go to the home games that often, because they start at 7 o’clock, but [Ecenia] needs to get up at 7 in the morning to go to preschool. But they did come to that game, and first I scored in the second period. My wife was telling me later, my daughter was so upset when I didn’t do the bird. ‘At least you did it in overtime,’ she said, ‘we left the game after the second period, and for two hours on our way home I had to listen to her talking about daddy forgetting to show the bird.'”
Kuznetsov said he asked his wife to explain to Ecenia that the bird celly doesn’t always happen, but was told: “Explain it yourself!”
“And now I have to think about that!” Kuznetsov said.
Kuznetsov also shared a heartwarming story about his daughter’s first full sentence, which happened over the summer.
“My daughter was saying ‘Stanley Cup’ more frequently than any other words. That’s pretty much how she started talking altogether. ‘Daddy won the Stanley Cup!’ – was the first full sentence she managed to say. And how clearly!” said Kuznetsov.
Kuzy put Ecenia in the Stanley Cup after the Capitals won and returned home to DC for the first time. He said he hopes his daughter will remember some of that experience.
“It was at Ovechkin’s house where she sat in the Cup. And she liked it! We were thinking how to take pictures, and she was rather light back then, so we sat her [in the Cup]. Every player was given a mini copy of the Cup to take home – so once in a while she picks it up and says ‘Stanley Cup!’ I hope she will remember something,” Kuznetsov said.
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At the Cup-clinching game against the Golden Knights, the players’ families were all in Vegas to celebrate once the final horn sounded.
Their game tickets and transportation were all handled, free-of-charge, by the Capitals organization. Kuznetsov thanked the Capitals for that gesture and praised the family atmosphere around the team.
“The team organized a flight from Washington for all families,” Kuznetsov said. “I understand that’s the tradition when in the finals you are playing in the game where you can win the Cup. The team owner takes care of that. We didn’t even have to pay for the tickets – the organization covers all expenses, we are very thankful for that.
“That is probably the essence of the Capitals over the last four years – they were creating a spirit where the family comes first,” he continued. “In some organizations, they only pay lip service to that. But here they really do everything for us to spend as much time as possible at home, with our families, but at the same time, to feel like the team is your second family.”
While out on the ice, Ecenia was seen pointing out into the distance while skating with dad out on the ice.
“She was probably very tired after the flight and the time difference – the families only came on the day of the game,” Kuznetsov said. “When the game ended, it was like two or three in the morning back in Washington. She knows Sasha and Dima. Probably was pointing at them.”
Translation by Igor Kleyner
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