On Monday, Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov spoke to the media following today’s practice. He discussed his excitement about being added to the roster for the upcoming 2022 All-Star Weekend and his overall play this season versus last year.
“Every time you get selected there, it’s pretty fantastic,” he said on being added to the roster for the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, which kicks off this Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas. Kuznetsov, who is set to skate in his second career All-Star Game, replaces New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox on the Metropolitan Division roster.
“I believe it will be [a] good couple [of] days… [I] Feel like sometimes players say they don’t want to go there, but in the back of their heart, they kind of believe they’re ready. If they are having a good season they want to get credit for that. I’m happy that I’m going there.”
Kuznetsov joked saying that being with fellow Capital Alex Ovechkin, who is the Metropolitan Division captain, will be a “bad thing,” adding, “I was hoping to stay away from him for a couple [of] days…hope those coaches don’t like our connection and they [are] going to separate us…I do my best to get separated from him.”
Although he’s excited for All-Star Weekend, Kuznetsov is focused on the next two games: the Capitals will visit the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington), and when Washington hosts the Edmonton Oilers at Capital One Arena (7 PM ET, TNT) on Wednesday. “I’ve been looking forward [to] those two games more than [the] All-Star game for now,” he said.
After having a difficult season last year, which even sparked trade rumors, Kuznetsov feels his play is better now, but notes there’s “always room” for improvements. “I really believe and feel like my teammates make me better, force me to be better every day, which I also try to do…make them be better and that’s the partnership, right? That’s why [we’re] here—to make ourselves better.”
On Ovechkin and Penguins captain Sidney Crosby—both who are in their 17th NHL season—, Kuznetsov said, “I feel like older players know when and where they have to be and [be] on point…they [have] a lot of games behind their backs and it’s hard to be [the] best player in the league for like over a thousand games…they’ll both be on point tomorrow and there is no question about it.”
By Della Young