Music can be powerful inspiration. That certainly was the case for the Washington Capitals when they made their run towards the Stanley Cup in 2018. To that end, they had a team play list that played in the locker room during that time frame.
“I love rap (Eminem, Tupac), I love dance music. I listen to what I like. I am a music lover,” said Ovechkin in a recent interview for the Sychev podcast and Denis Kazansky YouTube channel.
Ovechkin revealed the team had a playlist for the entire 2018 playoff run, which Tom Wilson had set up.
“We had a playlist from day one of the playoffs. Wilson made it, but sometimes when we lost, I put on my playlist. If we won – we put back Wilson’s playlist. We then had a lot of superstitions and our own topics, which it is better not to talk about.”
It was all part of the team’s playoff-related superstitions.
“Before going out on the ice, we had to do what we did during the first victory. They immediately began to remember who did what – it worked. At the hotel, if someone left last, someone first on the bus.”
In the interview Ovechkin also detailed nicknames used for Capitals players. “We had Orpik on the team – he was immediately given the nickname Batya (Dad). We explained it to him. Because he was the oldest and most experienced, won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh. We have an assistant manager and I gave him the nickname Puzo because he has a big belly. A doctor came to us, his name is Serbs – I gave him the nickname Si. When you need a towel – not Serbs, but C, and that’s it, he understands what is needed. That is, we gave many nicknames in Russian, and the guys understand everything normally.”
Ovechkin was also asked to compare the bubble life of this years playoffs to life in an Olympic village. “These are different things. If you are in a bubble and you left the gate, you must go through quarantine for four days. In the Olympic Village, you can go wherever you want, you have a pass, you can safely walk around the city. It’s real there, like in a prison. Step left, right – quarantine. You have a hotel, training, game. And so for a month, in the third week, you just…” said Ovechkin.
“There are board games. You can go to play table tennis, there are consoles, but you cannot play table tennis and a console for 2 months.”
Ovechkin was asked about the possibility of having some form of bubbles for at least a part of the upcoming season.
“This is nonsense. You don’t see the family, nobody – the same thing happens. God grant that this does not happen, because it is bad both for the fans and for us, hockey players, it is very difficult to play in silence. When you go out on the ice, you only hear screams from the bench.”
Finally, Ovechkin was asked about what happened to Alexander Semin.
“The man went home to play. You come from Washington to Moscow, then you have another 5 hours to fly to Krasnoyarsk. The man just wanted to be with his family, with his father, with his mother, he was just tired of being in America.”
By Diane Doyle