Nine games without a goal. Perhaps the time has come when it's beggining to affect your psyche?
The pressure was in the first three or four games, but now it doesn't matter. Actually I am even happy that this is happening right now at the start of the season. I understand that you can't focus on that problem. The puck doesn't go in. If you think about it all the time you can become a robot with limited movements.
It usually happens the other way around, the more bad luck lasts, the more you think about it, "when it'll be over?"
And this is how you get a constraint on yourself that I want to avoid. That's why I try not to think about bad luck. I just go to the ice and work hard. What else can I do?
Pretty soon your most loyal fans will start asking questions...
And they already do! By the way, it's funny to read some responses online. On the Caps forum someone wrote that I was traded from his fantasy hockey team. It's not bad, I like that. I even like when the fans start to discuss, when they are somewhat unhappy. These are the fans, you have to understand that.
Can you give them some hope?
I think they are more interested in when the team wins.
Did the ailment of your grandfather had some influence on your game?
Not now. Right now I am in good shape, playing well. After returning from Russia I am trying to forget about everything when I get on the ice.
And before that?
Before that it was hard, of course, it was a constant pressure for me. I knew a while ago that he was in the hospital and that the situation has worsened, that's what I was told before the game in Calgary. The whole game my only thoughts were about it and hoping that nothing bad might happened. I really wanted to see him. And the next day after we got back to Washington I called the general manager and asked if it could be possible if I could be released.
Did the information on the Russian web site about his death affect you?
You can't pay attention to the idiots. I've learned about it ten minutes after I left the hospital where my the grandfather was. All of a sudden I get calls and get the condolences ... In general you can understand what I felt.
How is he doing?
He got a little better, but he is still in precarious state.
After you got back; you're still playing at the same speed as last year, still doing a lot of hits, still leading in shots on goal. So what is not clicking here?
I think it's the matter of time. If you look at these last two games I had quite a lot of moments. Once I couldn't score in the empty net, on another occasion I hit the bar. Today Sema gave me a cool diagonal pass, and I thought that the puck was in, but the goalkeeper caught it between his shin pads.
Can you explain your reaction after this?
I raised my hands because I thought that the puck was on. And then I laughed realizing that I put myself in a ridiculous situation.
Are you growing your beard intentionally?
I am going to shave it. Here, I just got a hair cut, and it's time to shave.
In a game vs Canes you played with the Russian troika, with Fedorov and Semin. Do you feel that you want to continue to play with this line?
That line was a chic line. It is a pity that Fedya was injured, but we scored two goals with Backstrom anyway. As of regards to keep this line? It all depends on our Coach.
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