Alexander Ovechkin says he and fellow Russian, Evgeny Malkin get on fine, despite admitting that he punched the Pittsburg forward’s agent and reports of a feud between the two stars in the US press.
RT caught up with the two-time Hart Trophy winner, who also reflects on another successful season in the NHL.
Your fourth season in the NHL and the furthest you’ve got so far in the play-offs. Do you think this is the best season for you so far?
Well, of course it’s the best season for my team and for our organization. I hope next couple of years it’s going to get better and better.
And this is the third time in four years you’ve got over a 100 points yourself. You must be pleased with that?
Well you know, I always want to make special moments in my career… plays, my personal stats – it’s always good. You know.
Just going back to the semi-final, Eastern Conference series in Pittsburg… Is that one of the best games you’ve played in?
One of my best games, yeah. But you know that series… Next series I hope we’re going to be in the final and win the Stanley Cup.
What was going through your mind when, I can’t remember, was it game 5 or 6, when you checked Gonchar on the knee? What was going through your mind when you checked your fellow-countryman?
Well I just said to him “it was an accident”. I don’t want to hit somebody to give him bad feelings, some injury or something like that. You know, it’s hockey and you never know what’s going to happen.
You did really well in that series… going into the final game in front of your home crowd it must have been very disappointing to go 5-0 down in the first period?
Well, yeah, of course it’s disappointing, especially when we play at home, in our building, for our fans. I didn’t score in my first shift, with a breakaway chance… you know, if I scored one goal maybe it would have been a different game.
Do you think these series have gone any closer to say who is a better hockey player? I mean, Aleksander Ovechkin or Sydney Crosby?
Going to Evgeny Malkin… you’ve adapted very well to the NHL, you speak very good English. Evgeny hasn’t been able to adapt as well to the NHL, he doesn’t speak much English.
I think if somebody can speak English, they can speak English anytime. They can learn, they can talk to some guys… But, you know, it’s hard, it’s a hard language.
How is your relationship with Evgeny?
It’s a normal relationship.
So what we saw at the All-Star game, when Evgeny gave you a..
It was just a moment.
So, reports about you punching his agent at a nightclub, that’s rubbish?
No it’s true, but it’s OK.
Staying with North America for a bit longer. Don Cherry, the colorful Canadian, hasn’t been saying the nicest words about your goal celebrations.
It’s always nice to hear some bad words about myself. It’s pushed me to do some more crazy stuff. I love it.
The Tampa Bay controversy, when you sort of rode your stick. It was almost too hot. That provoked some sort of reaction.
You know, it’s a hockey game. You have emotions. So, why do you have to keep emotions to yourself. I just want to give my emotions to everybody. I just do my thing and I love what I’m doing.
The best goal you ever scored. Was that still against Phoenix, do you think, in 2006?
Probably the Olympic Games, against Canada.
Thank you very much Alex. All the best.
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