Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and defenseman Dmitry Orlov made their way to Krasnoyarsk, Russia on Wednesday to participate in former teammate Alexander Semin’s farewell game on Thursday. As part of his visit, Orlov met with Russian media while he was attending a 3-on-3 tournament in Krasnoyarsk on Wednesday.
Orlov admitted to MatchTV that he believes changes are coming in Washington. He knows, like everyone else, that four consecutive first-round playoff exits aren’t going to cut it in the nation’s capital.
“Most likely, this summer in Washington there will be some changes. Apparently, the management wants to change something. We won the Stanley Cup in 2018, but after that we were knocked out in the first round four times in a row,” said Orlov.
Even with pending changes, Dmitry still believes the Capitals have the essential ingredients to win another Stanley Cup.
“Whether these changes will be for the better or for the worse, time will tell. Hockey players of Washington are still hungry for victories. We have the experience and everything else to win.”
Orlov was clear about the Capitals latest first round exit, a 4-2 series defeat to the Florida Panthers. The Capitals let the series slip away.
“If you look at the round with Florida, we ourselves gave up this series when we were leading 2-1. We must learn from our mistakes. What Washington, in principle, has always tried to do. For a long time it didn’t work. But when we won the Cup, it was a good start for the city and the organization. Because the Capitals have been playing in the NHL for a long time,” added Orlov.
(L-R: Alex Semin, Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov participate in tree-planting ceremony prior to Semin’s farewell game. Photo: Andrey Maximovv)
As has become obligatory questioning for all Capitals players in recent times, Orlov was asked about Ovechkin’s chase of Gretzky’s all-time goals record.
“It happens rather intuitively. When you’re in the game, adrenaline is pumping and you’re focused. When there is an opportunity, and Sasha (Ovi) is open – even without Gretzky’s record, everyone will make a pass to him. Because the guys understand – his shot, the puck goes into the net more often than not,” said Orlov.
“Yes, now everyone is thinking about the record, calculating the numbers. And we, as partners, want him to succeed. And that’s what the whole Washington system wants, because he did a lot for the franchise, became the most popular player in the city. Ovechkin came when the Capitals didn’t even make the playoffs. But everything changed with him, they won the Stanley Cup. It’s worth it if Sasha breaks Gretzky’s record. And this is especially important for Ovechkin’s relatives, who root for him with all their hearts.”
By Jon Sorensen