As the old saying goes, “I got an offer I couldn’t refuse”. I’m happy (not to mention extremely honored) to report that I have been asked to join the team over at the prestigious Japer’s Rink blog. Starting now, all my posts are going to be found over there. I think this is a win-win situation which will allow a much larger audience for my translations, as well as open the door to a whole host of new possibilities, so make sure you check in often! In fact, you can head over now to check out my first official post as a Japerite — a long interview with Fedorov from today’s issue of Sovetsky Sport.
You have to check out Dan Steinberg’s D.C. Sports Bog page. Apparently Ovechkin, Brashear, Backstrom and Green (along with Chris Cooley) were all ringside at the UWC MMA Cage Fight event on Saturday night in Fairfax. Oh, and surprise surprise, Alex was in the company of a stunning young lady. I think I’m going to try that as a pickup line sometime– “Hey beautiful, want to go to a cage match?” Well at least it got them all pumped up for Sunday, so I say they should attend cage matches before every game!
(All photos: UWC)
The Capitals/Penguins rivalry is getting a lot of press after today’s game. Alex Ovetjkin has a nice round-up of the various news outlets, as well as some good video clips of Ovechkin’s “buh-by” wave to Crosby. You can also get a good feel for the Crosby love that was flowing inside the Verizon Center over at Puck Daddy. However, in my humble opinion the best post-game insight into the Ovechkin/Crosby rivalry was provided by Sport-Express’s Slava Malamud (via Tarik’s Capitals Insider Blog at WaPo), who caught up with Ovechkin after the game. How can you not love a quote like this?
“What, I can’t play hard against him? What is he going to do, cry?”
WE RIDE ON THE BUS
Hershey was leading 3:0 but ended up losing 4:5. Is this type of thing typical for the AHL?
“Sometimes games turn out that way. You have a big lead after the first period, but that is no guarantee of a win. The AHL is a very unpredictable league. It is easier to predict the outcome in the Russian league.”
What generally differentiates the AHL from the KHL? Or from the NHL?
“In comparison with the NHL, it is slower here and the players aren’t quite as skilled. It is obvious that the level of the Russian league is higher than the AHL, and the salaries in Russia are much higher. The maximum annual salary for a rookie in the AHL is $62,500, which is what I receive. That is for three seasons, including this one.
They also organize things better in the KHL. For example, on away games with Hershey we only travel by bus, since that is the most economical. When I played with Yaroslav Lokomotiv, we flew.
This is a pretty big difference. Just try to take 2-3 away games per week on a bus. One time when we traveled to Providence, we spent about eight hours on the road. At the beginning of the season it was easy to take, but when you play an away game, then pile into the bus, then lumber five hours through the night and the next day have another game… it is hard to bounce back.
True, Hershey did recently get an awesome bus. The interior has a lot of space and comfortable seats, like in a business class airplane. We have internet, video, and television with the NHL channels. It makes the time pass by quickly. But not every team in the AHL has a bus like that.” Read the rest of this entry »
“Hotline” (or “Direct Line”, take your pick) is a regular feature of Sovetsky Sport, whereby the fans are allowed to post questions which are then provided to a major sports figure for their replies. In tomorrow’s edition they have published (my head hurts from that use of two diametrically opposed tenses, but gotta love the whole global time-zone thing) a Q&A with Ovechkin. Dmitry Chesnokov has provided Japer’s Rink (and Puck Daddy) with a translation of a bit from the first installment of the Ovechkin series, and below is the entire article translated for your reading pleasure.
NHL MVP Alexander Ovechkin answers some questions from Sovetsky Sport readers posted on our sovsport.ru website. In the first part of “Hotline”, Ovechkin talks about the Olympics, reminiscing on Turin-2006 and dreaming about Sochi-2014.
The first question is from reader Denis: “Alexander, which world hockey trophies do you not yet have? And of the ones you have won, which is means the most to you?”
“All of my trophies mean a lot to me, since I won them through hard work. But first of all would have to be the Gold Medal from the World Championship in Quebec. As for which ones I don’t yet have… I have yet to win an Olympic medal or a Stanley Cup.
It is difficult to compare these two competitions. You represent your country at the winter games, and the Olympics only happen once every four years. As for winning there-it is difficult enough just to qualify.
For the Stanley Cup you have to play 82 games in the regular season. You work like a horse to make it to the play-offs and then you work even harder. It is a totally different priority, but winning both trophies is my goal.” Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve just come back from a long “guys only” weekend. No web surfing, no translating, no thinking. Just hanging out with old friends, mountainbiking, hiking, eating, drinking and watching movies with crude humor and things that blow up real good. Now that I’m back home I found this interview Pavel Lysenkov at Sovetsky Sport conducted with Ovechkin a few days ago after the disappointing loss to the LA Kings.
Washington Forward Alexander Ovechkin: “You Can’t Play That Way”
After the game, your Sovetsky Sport reporter had an interview with Alexander Ovechkin, who was given his milestone puck right in the locker room.
Reporters were standing in the middle of the player’s room and were looking around perplexedly. There wasn’t a single hockey player there. Then Mike Green came out and he was immediately engulfed by the press.
Usually, Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis makes his way to the locker room after a game, but the avuncular Greek wasn’t there. All of a sudden head coach Bruce Boudreau shot like a bullet into a neighboring room, where the team is located. His face was bright red-either from anger or displeasure. It appeared that the players were now going to get an earful. Boudreau is an expressive fellow. He doesn’t mince his words.
At the request of the reporters, Ovechkin finally came out. He had a Capitals baseball cap pulled down over his eyes and a towel wrapped around his body, and another flung around his shoulders. Ovechkin seemed morose. Questions about his milestone goal seemed inappropriate, but nonetheless the American reporters started right out on that topic.
BRINGING US DOWN TO EARTH
You are now in some elite company.
“That is great, but our team lost. We did not play well our first two periods, and Los Angeles made good use of our mistakes. So I really don’t want to talk about my personal stats. If we had played the entire game like we played in the third period, everything could have turned out differently.” Read the rest of this entry »
I just noticed this post on the Sovetsky Sport website. They often do this type of article, where they solicit questions for their readers and will have the athlete answer those in an article in a few days. You do have to register on the site to be able to post, so brush up on your Russian if you want to be able to ask the big man a Q.
Thanks to Slava Malamud at Sport-Express for this followup to his earlier article about the Russian players’ readiness to go AWOL to attend the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014.
Bill Daly: “The NHL Will Think About Sochi-2014 after Vancouver-2010″
The recent NHL All-Star Game which took place in Montreal was memorable for Alex Ovechkin’s comedic presentation, Ilya Kovalchuk’s mollifying mission, Alexei Kovalev’s beautiful performance, Zdeno Chara’s record, and an announcement by Gary Bettman in which he cast doubt on the possibility of all these European players participating in the 2014 Olympics. At any rate, using carefully guarded words the league commissioner expressed no small amount of skepticism. One could boldly assume that the head of the NHL does not have a burning desire to go to the Sochi-2014 games.
Immediately after this, Evgeni Malkin made his own personal statement, just for SE, in which he said that he, as well as Ovechkin and Kovalchuk, would nonetheless go to Sochi, and that no Bettman could stop them. A conflict is brewing over an activity five years in the future, and it would be interesting to know what the NHL thinks about this.
Bill Daly, whose responsibilities include league international relations, is the ideal candidate for commentary from “the other side”. Just as before, he readily agreed to give SE an interview. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ll admit I’m not always able to be the first to get to some of the good stories in the Russian press. Here are a few of the things that you might have missed in the last few days. First, Alex Ovetjkin provided a translation of Slava Malamud’s Q&A with Ovechkin after the Detroit game last Saturday. And the fine folks over at On Frozen Blog have a translation of a great Sovetsky Sport interview with Varlamov up in Hershey. Gotta love “Varly and the Chocolate Factory”. And while not a translation from the Russian press, you should still check out the Peerless Prognosticator’s period-by-period analysis of Ovechkin’s goals this season. Russian machine, indeed.