Evgeny Kuznetsov is headed to his second career NHL All-Star Game after replacing New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox and he is excited about the opportunity, speaking of it highly when he spoke to the media after Monday’s practice.
Kuznetsov was first selected to be an All-Star in 2016 yet feels like this selection is even more special than the first.
“Every time you get selected there it’s pretty fantastic,” Kuznetsov said. “I believe it’s gonna be good couple days. Get to know some people and be around some good players so it’s always nice to spend a couple days like that. Feel like sometimes players says they don’t want to go there, but in the back of their heart they kind of believe they’re ready. If they are having a good season they want to get credit for that. I’m happy that I’m going there.”
The 29-year-old Russian forward has 43 points (13g, 30a) in 42 games this season while spending the vast majority of time centering the Capitals’ first line with Alex Ovechkin to his left.
Kuzy joins Ovi, the captain of the Metropolitan Division All-Stars, at the event. Normally, you’d expect Kuzy to be thrilled that his buddy and countrymen will be on the trip with him but not this time as Kuznetsov joked that it was a “bad thing” that he’d be heading to Vegas with Ovi
“I was hoping to stay away from him for a couple days, we gotta be in the plane together,” Kuznetsov said. “Hope those coaches don’t like our connection and they going to separate us. I do my best to get separated from him.”
In 2016 during the Breakaway Challenge of the Skills Competition, he paid homage to Ovechkin in a memorable shootout attempt.
Asked if he had any plans for this year’s Skills Competition, Kuznetsov retorted, “No, probably nothing. I don’t have a lot of skill.”
Sure, Kuzy, sure.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
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