Washington Capitals‘ defenseman Brenden Dillon, who acquired the nickname “Zeus”, a reference to his workout regimen, during his time with the Seattle Thunderbirds (2007-2011), recently appeared on the “Sound of Hockey” podcast. He talked about his junior hockey days in the pacific northwest, generating motivation from not being drafted in his junior hockey days, being traded to the Washington Capitals and playing with Alex Ovechkin.
Dillon was asked about not being selected in the WHL Bantam draft, and if he still used it for motivation today?
“It was a massive day for me, it was a big letdown…That’s what i took to myself, another chip on my shoulder…I definitely, definitely, think about it a lot. I don’t take anything for granite, to this day.”
After playing most of his career on the west coast, Dillon was asked about his move to Washington, and how different it was.
“yeah, it’s definitely a change, for me… when you don’t really know a place, when you visit a city when you are on the road, you’re usually in the hotel, you’re there for a night, a lot of times you’re in the same restaurant, so you don’t really get to see the city… I’ll always remember, the first week I was there (Washington), I was on my own. Finally when Kovalchuk came, we would be Uber’ing around to dinner, people kept talking about this “DMV, DMV, DMV” and I’m thinking to myself, geese, what is this whole “DMV” thing…because it was always a positivie thing, on the radio.. and I’m thinking, who likes going to the DMV (Division of Motor Vegicles)? So finally I asked an Uber driver… DMV stands for DC, Maryland and Virginia”
Dillon was jokingly asked if he has accidentally drank from Alex Ovechkin’s water bottle yet? (because of the lore he puts soda in there)
“I don’t want to give away too many of his cheat codes, if you want to call them that, they threw me, my spot in the room is right in between Ovechkin and Carlson, so, pretty cool me sitting between those guys… well put it this way, Ovi likes his soda, for sure”
Dillon spoke about Ovechkin’s power play prowess, and how everyone knows that the play is going to go to him in the left circle, and why he is still successful.
“I’ve been on the penalty killing side of that, and trust me, the meetings are pretty darn similar to that…”ok guys, they’re gonna wanna get the puck to Ovi”…those meetings go on every time. I think for Washington, specifically, first off, you have Backstrom with the puck on the first side, John Carlson can shoot the puck pretty darn well, you got Oshie with a pretty big bomb in the middle, when you got guys like Kuznetsov, these guys who can make plays off of the goal line, I think teams, for whatever reason, sometimes, not that you forget about him (Ovechkin), but can kind of get mesmerized with some of the other players. I think the team as a whole does a such a good job of disguising him. I think a credit to him, too, is he always finds a way to get open. You can have a guy on him…Ovi, one of the best ever, if not the best ever, he finds those spots, he finds the areas to get open, where the defenseman isn’t, or wherever he can find his best angle…you don’t score 700 goals by accident, he’s doing something right, and it’s pretty cool to see.”
Dillon was asked about how frustrating it might be, after all of those meetings, and he still scores from that spot
“I think for everybody, collectively, from the coach, to the players, to the forwards, I mean it takes a lot of courage to block that, first and foremost, for whoever is doing it, but secondly, when the play does go to him, it almost seems like clockwork, and it goes in you’re kinda like, oh my gosh, “guys, we watched about 30 clips of this, how can you let that happen”, It’s definmitely super frustrating.”
The full podcast. The Dillon interview begins at the five-minute mark.
Brenden Dillon: “ What’s really struck me early on is just how good of a group it is”
First Check-In on Ilya Kovalchuk and Brenden Dillon
Dillon vs. Malkin: Brenden Dillon’s First Fight As A Capital
A Deeper Dive on Brenden Dillon
Capitals Acquire Brenden Dillon From Sharks In Exchange For 2020 Second-Round Pick, Conditional 2021 Third
San Jose’s Brenden Dillon to Have Hearing for Slashing Madison Bowey
By Jon Sorensen