Alex Ovechkin On No Checking In OHL: “Hockey Has To Be Hockey, And This Ballet…We Do Not Need”

Photo: Greg Thompson/Global Look Press

Alex Ovechkin has been making the interview rounds while at home in Moscow this week. The latest comes from the Russian sports media outlet MatchTV, who met with Ovechkin earlier this week on two occasions, once at a local rink, and once at the MatchTV studios.

Pavel Lysenkov, who has interviewed Ovechkin many times before, first met with Ovechkin at the SportTech Arena where the Ice Wolves amateur team practices. Ovechkin is an honorary member of the team, and stopped by for a visit earlier this week.

Photo: IG: @maxtheflutter

Later that day Ovechkin stopped by the MatchTV studios to give an interview with his amateur teammate Roman Skvortsov for the fifth anniversary of the MatchTV channel.

Lysenkov and Skvortsov aggregated the 10 most striking quotes from Ovechkin’s two interviews for a piece they published to the MatchTV website. The following is a translation of the 10 questions and answers.

1. About training for the upcoming NHL season:

“I have trained with my physical training coach Pavel Burlachenko for the third time. Four more times and I will go out on the ice. That is, the work has begun. Most likely, I will soon go for a little skate with Dynamo Moscow. But there is uncertainty about what is happening with hockey. We do not understand what will happen. Does the NHL season start at all? Or not? And if so, what is the formula? There is no news.”

2. About a possible loan to Moscow Dynamo:

“Young people do the right thing when they come to the KHL on loan with NHL contracts. Playing and practice is needed, especially if they want to break into the NHL. After all, they cannot come to the camp and in three weeks, prove their right to the role of the club leader.

But I have a different situation. I have a contract with Washington, and to protect it, you have to pay a lot of insurance. So I would like to play (for Dynamo in the KHL right now). But this is still unrealistic.”

3. How Ovechkin connected former Capitals forward Dmitrij Jaskin with Moscow Dynamo:

“I was approached by the club, they found out about this player. I said that Yashkin is a wonderful person. And most importantly, he is a team player. I knew that he had great potential that could be shown in Dynamo and in the KHL. Thank God they listened to my advice. And you see the result.”

4. About participation in the Beijing Olympics:

“You see, what is happening in the world is not clear. There is no point in guessing at all. My words that I want or don’t want to go to the Olympics are already worthless. It all depends on whether there will be hockey at all. Now there is talk that it will not be at all this year. There will be no world championships either … ”

5. About the reported removal of bodychecking from the upcoming OHL season:

“Hockey has to be hockey. And this ballet, as they say, we do not need!”

6. About whether or not son Sergei will become a hockey player:

“Of course, we in the family see it, that he will be a sports boy. He will choose the sport himself. But it is unambiguous that he loves a stick, a puck, balls. Spends a lot of time at sports grounds. Where we live now, there is a tennis court and a football field. We even asked Dynamo Moscow to provide us with real hockey goals. They put them in front of the door, made artificial ice, and the son is constantly engaged in the street, shooting pucks. ”

7. Why the Capitals lost to the Islanders:

“We had chances. If you take the first game, they scored some kind of funny goal. This broke us a little at the end of the second period. It is clear that we did not show the hockey that we could show. The pandemic also broke us a little. This affected all teams. Two months of rest, not understanding whether the season will be, whether to be in shape – you had to have a lot of patience.”

8. About the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov winning the Stanley Cup:

“I didn’t see most of the moments how it all happened. Therefore, I cannot appreciate Nikita’s performance. Although I congratulate all the Russian guys from Tampa Bay on winning the playoffs. They went to this for a long time. The strongest won. Probably, because of the pandemic, Kucherov could not swim in the fountain. But maybe he dived into the local bay?”

9. About the Hungarian player who broke the glass when he emulated Ovechkin’s signature celebratory jump into the glass:

“I saw this moment on Instagram. Maybe the protective glass turned out to be defective? God grant that the guy did not cut himself there. I had moments when I did strength techniques, and the glass broke into small pieces. I got small cuts. ”

10. What is the secret to the patented celebration?

“I try to jump on the glass as hard as possible. This is emotion and joy. It’s good that nothing broke before. ”

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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