Was it psychologically more difficult to score 50th goal compared to others?
You know, yes, it was. Thank God, this time it didn't take six games like last year, only two. And I had the scoring moments. But after I scored, it was like the mountain that fell off my shoulders. When you are at 49th mark, you always think about scoring the next, one more, you think about it constantly. Now it's over.
Can you tell us about the celebration of a goal?
I made a new performance so that our guys would laugh. Got that stick as if it was hot.
Who advised you or did you make it up yourself?
My teammates helped. Specifically, it was the goalie, Jose Theodore.
Don't you feel sorry for stepping on Don Cherry's nerves?
I do not care. Let all the people think what they want... In fact, I just wanted to dedicate this goal to my grandfather who passed away, and I am very glad that I was able to score.
Washington had Russian Five again. What could you say about Varlamov?
Excellent play, made a couple of awesome saves. Well done. He plays very calm. You can see that he is not worried, and he looks confident.
What are your personal goals now?
We have ten games left and, of course, would be nice to get 100 points. Although, in reality, all my thoughts are about the playoffs, the most important part of the season. It will be a very interesting and very difficult.
We've calculated that if you continue to score 50 goals in each season, after 13 years by the end of your current contract, you can pass Wayne Gretzky and may reach 900 goals mark. Is it feasible in principle?
It is quite feasible. The main thing is to avoid the injuries and some big slumps.
Do you think that you can play the same level of hockey as you do now, up to when you'll be 36 years old?
I wouldn't look and guess that far. I am still only 23 years old. I enjoy life and I am not looking far to the future.
Some people think that if Gretzky'd play today, he could be scoring about as much as you.
There is no need to compare us with the players of the past. It was a completely different hockey, it was much easier back then. One can't do anything about it. Who knows, maybe in 20 years the same could be said about us by other guys. Hockey is developing all the time, it is moving forward.
Is your jubilee puck taped and signed already?
Of course. And I saved the stick too. My collection has a lot of trophies, the memories of every milestone or a record.
In the scoring race you've passed Sidney Crosby and behind Evgeny Malkin by 9 points. Do you have a desire to beat him as well?
It is also feasible. I even want to beat my previous year's result, 112 points. But there's no need to think about it too much. I'd just play as I can.
If you could award Hart Trophy, of the most valuable player in the NHL, who would you have given it to?
I have two candidates, Nabokov and Malkin. I don't know who I'd choose. Malkin is carrying Pittsburgh on his shoulders, and Nabokov has played great in San Jose, he is in the second place in victories and has 6 shutout games.
It is a coincidence that you've named two Russians?
Of course not. The Russians are playing better than anyone right now!
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