While it was only seven games, Ilya Kovalchuk is feeling “it” in Washington. The Capitals trade-deadline acquisition is enjoying his time with the team, but even more important to the 37-year-old, at this stage of his career, he feels they have a good shot to win it all.
In an interview with Yulia Bordovskikh that was broadcast on her Instagram page over the weekend, Kovalchuk was clear, he was feeling good about Washington.
“I traveled this year. I spent only seven games with the Capitals, but it was a great time. I had to adapt, a new team and rules, game strategy and tactics. Each club has its own differences. We had a trip, we flew to Minnesota, New York, Pittsburgh, they were good rivals, but we somehow rallied.”
Kovalchuk noted that the road trip with the team really helped him get situated with the Capitals.
“These trips during the season help when we spend a lot of time together, go to dinners, and communicate. We get to know each other better, the character of each. Who is funny, who is moody. And when such an age-old player comes with experience like me, then you still need to join the team.”
Playin for his third team of the season, Kovalchuk indicated that his acclimation to Washington has gone well so far.
“At first I was calm, sitting in my place and listening more. Only then I began to open up, becoming myself. And so we became friends, and I felt this team’s chemistry. I really liked the team, coaching staff. Especially since I played with Todd Reardon in Atlanta. He spent the last season, and I – the first, “- Kovalchuk said.
In an interview with the Cam and Strick podcast back in early April, Kovalchuk made it clear he was eager to get back to work with friend Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
“It’s not just because he (Ovechkin) is my buddy, but, you know it’s a great chance to win something special, and I think that group of guys, they are ready. You know they are experienced, they are healthy, they are big, strong… I think the playoffs, it’s really about size and toughness, and they really have everything together. We were ready, the last few games we played really well. It took me a little time to adjust to the system and everything, but a great group of guys, I was very excited to be there.”
Despite a tough season, Ilya Kovalchuk has no plans to end his career just yet. He values his children’s wishes to keep playing, but doesn’t intend to play for a long length of time. “I have to thank the children for the boost they provide,” he said in an interview with Russian media outlet Championat earlier this week.
“They push me not to quit and say ‘no no don’t end your career, we want to go to your games.’ The older kids keep up with the news and know more about what is happening and when the season will resume.”
“It drives me so I have to thank the children for the boost they give,” he said.
By Jon Sorensen