Yesterday, we linked over to a pair of rather epic interviews translated by the Alex Ovetjkin blog: One with Alexander Semin, and the other with Alexander Ovechkin. The Semin interview is wide-ranging, but worth it for his comments about Pavel Datsyuk being the best player in the NHL and Nicklas Backstrom being the best poker player on the Washington Capitals.
The Ovechkin interview, also from Russia's Sport-Express, is much more entertaining and at times rather hilarious. It's also longer than a Tolstoy version of The Iliad, so here are some selected passages for your perusal and amusement.
First up in this July 18 interview with Russian journalists Yuri Golyshak and Alexander Kruzhkov is Ovechkin on the infamous "digging up the Loonie" incident from the World Championships:
You've brought the souvenir from the Worlds, the Canadian silver dollar.
Before the game started our team had a meeting in the center circle, and at these moments I always go down on my knees. And I looked down "Wow! A coin under the ice!" Canadians planted the silver dollar for good luck. And Ilya Nikulin and I decided that if we win the championship, we'll break through the ice and get this coin.
Did you have to break sweat to penetrate the ice?
It turned out easier than I thought. I hit the ice with the heel of the skate and that was it. The coin could be seen through the ice, I was pecking not just blindly, but with a direction. I gave the dollar to Nikulin, he'll make two small pendants for me and himself.
So the Lucky Loonie is now commemorative jewelry for a pair of Russian hockey players. Most of Canada just felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Because something terrible has happened.
Here's a strange tale about Ovechkin, anger and a chocolate bar:
When was the last time you felt a real anger?
It is a very rare state for me. Last year there was a crazy moment in St. Petersburg arena. I was sitting there, pulled out a chocolate bar. The guard rushes in. "It's forbidden! Not allowed!"
Makes no sense.
For me too. Human's stupidity.
Did you throw that guard out?
What for? He is doing his job. As good as he can. It was easier to throw out a chocolate bar.
We thoroughly enjoyed the "human's stupidity" line. It's almost Zod-like in its omnipotent declaration.
Then there's the saga of Ovechkin's broken tooth:
But what about the case when you broke a tooth, and got another 15 stitches on your face?
It was really nothing.
15 stitches and nothing?!
It was not lethal. They stitched me right in a locker room.
The question which you certainly get all the time; why you don't insert the new tooth?
It is because I have a metal plate there already. If I put in the tooth now and get hit at the same place again, there will be nothing to recover from. I have a special implant tooth that I put on every two weeks to prevent the teeth to grow together.
The knocked out tooth has already became the part of your image. What the girls say, is it cute?
I'll ask tonight...
Pimp. Ovechkin was asked who the "chief freak" in the NHL is, and he answered Sean Avery of the Dallas Stars. Ovechkin explained that Avery is "a real clown" and recalled the Marty Brodeur/Avery Rule incident from the postseason: "He probably tried to divert the attention. He was waving hands, his stick, serpentined like a worm. Tried everything except maybe sticking out his tongue." Yeah, that would have taken it over the line ...
After ridiculing Capitals teammate Jeff Schultz's ride ("He drives a strange vehicle that looks like a minivan, but it is two seated and has an open trunk."), Ovechkin told a rather amazing story about speeding in Washington, DC:
Who in your team is known as crazy driver? About whom are the legends made?
The legends are made about Semin and me! I normally try to drive carefully. Only once, because I was late to the team's training, I accelerated to 165 miles per hour. You can convert yourself how much it is in kilometers. And the flying ended, the police stopped me near White House.
Did you get a fine?
I've exceeded the speed limit in more than three times, for that in the United States a fine is not enough. They take your license and put you in jail. But I was lucky. The police recognized me and let me go. I gave them 10 tickets that I had with me to the Washington Capitals game.
Good to see Ovie's hip to Capitol Hill kick-backs after only a few years in the District. He's well on his way to becoming an energy lobbyist.
Finally, here's Ovechkin on women. Well, not literally, but ... just read it:
The girls often write on the posters "Alex, will you marry me!"
All the time. Got used to it and don't feel shy anymore. Sometimes after the game, they pull up T-shirts and ask to sign on the chest. I am all for it. Never asked to sign on the passport. When someone asks to sign on the money I always refuse. Bad omen.
A couple of years ago you were asked why do you change your girlfriends so often? Do you remember what you've answered?
I want to live and have fun.
I could not say that for sure! It was all made up. On the contrary I've always hoped that I would have the one and only girl. But for now my record in relationships is 2 years. However I don't want to talk about my personal life. The newspapers write so much nonsense! For example, as soon as I showed up with the designer Lena Lenskaya at the presentation for Bilan, the rumors about our relationship started flowing. Isn't it delirious?
Yes Alex. It is, indeed, delirious.
Again, please head over to the Alex Ovetjkin blog for the full interviews and other interesting coverage of Ovechkin from Russian media. It rules.