Capitals’ Aliaksei Protas On Skating With Ovechkin, Kuznetsov During Morning Skate: ”Watching Them Growing up, It’s Awesome. Playing With Them? That’s Great.“

Photo: NHL.com

Before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Montreal Canadiens at Capital One Arena on Wednesday (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington), right-wing Aliaksei Protas, who is expected to skate on the top-line alongside center Evgeny Kuznetsov and captain Alex Ovechkin, said “I think it’s going to be really fun, really great experience for me when you’re growing up, watching those guys play and now you’re playing with them.”

”Watching them growing up, it’s awesome. Playing with them? That’s great. … I can’t wait to play with those guys,” Protas continued. He added that all three communicate in Russian. Even though Protas is from Belarus, there are a lot of similarities between his native language and Russian.

He said that the key to success against the Canadiens will be ”just have to keep battling and competing every game” and his confidence will go up.

On his first career NHL goal getting called back in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on November 16, the 20-year-old quipped ”If I was the ref, I would for sure say it was a goal.”

Going into Wednesday’s contest, Protas wants to compete and do what the coaches tell him to. He knows that Ovechkin and Kuznetsov will support him but the key to playing with them will be communication. The two Russians help him a lot. “I think you have to be focused every time” because they’re experienced and good playmakers, Protas added. ”I just have to play my game.”

Regarding Ovechkin specifically, Protas called him ”professional” and “a goal scorer. He tries his best every shift [and] that’s why he scores goals.” With him just two power-play goals away from the NHL record, Protas told the media that “He’s got a shot, he can shoot the puck for sure. Now, it’s up to them to try to help him to get it.”

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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3 Responses to Capitals’ Aliaksei Protas On Skating With Ovechkin, Kuznetsov During Morning Skate: ”Watching Them Growing up, It’s Awesome. Playing With Them? That’s Great.“

  1. Anonymous says:

    He finally scores tonight. Count it.

  2. redLitYogi says:

    First off, goals will be scored with that line on the ice. The Caps will hopefully score the majority of them. I love Protas’s game but he’s still a bit undercooked. I’m a little surprised since Wilson is so good on that line. Is this as much about moving Wilson to another line to help that one? Who is our fourth center tonight??

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