A very interesting interview with Ilya Bryzgalov, who could've become a Caps goalie a few years ago. And who knows, it might cost Caps a chance to at least play in the Stanley Cup finals. The interview is very long, so only some parts of it were translated.
By Yuri Golyshak and Alexander Kruzhkov, Sport-Express.ru, Aug. 13, 2010:
If someone would offer you to travel anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
I'd rush home to LA. Even if those damned peatlands wouldn't burn, I'd still go. It's been probably five years since I started to associate my home with Los Angeles. It is very comfortable for me there. And I am tired of Moscow. For days you wander around the city and traffic jams are killing you. You stand still for three hours on the Moscow Ring freeway, it's a nonsense... it's pressing on my psyche.
Do you plan to live in Los Angeles in any case?
I love Russia. But while my children are young, it will be better for them to live in Los Angeles.
So a house in the Moscow region makes no sense for you, unless you rent it, is it?
You guessed wrong. That's why I am wandering around the city the whole vacation. I am building a house on Novorizhskoe highway. And it became like the last straw. Well, I myself don't have to go to get supplies, but I follow every builders' step. If the architect offers something, I go and see how it will look. You can't trust anyone, because if you trust them once, you're screwed.
Can't envy you.
Definitely will never get involved in building another house. In Los Angeles we didn't buy the house either, we decided to build everything from scratch. But there it was easier. No one was trying to cheat or steal materials. It was no need to watch for it. The construction was controlled by a reputable company, there was a budget and they couldn't get above that. In Russia the builders can come to you and say, "We ran out of money. The house is not finished."
Are you going to invite your parents to live with you? [It's totally common in Russia to live with elderly parents -tj]
They don't want to go anywhere, neither to America nor to Moscow. All their life was in Togliatti, all their friends are there. My mother still works at a textile factory, my father works at AvtoVAZ. He was not laid off and it seems like the plant got back to business. And in this house near Moscow we plan to do family re-unions. My parents, my wife's, my sister with two daughters. And we got a dog.
A huskie. We brought it from America and now the poor fellow suffers in Moscow, just horrible... [Probably referring to smog -tj]
Was it someone's gift?
My kids saw the dog in the store and staged it, Dad's heart melted. Though I knew that to have the dog is harder than the third child. The kids asked for a pony too, but we'll have to wait on that.
Sergei Zinoviev said to us recently, "I socialize with almost no one in the team, I'm bored what hockey players could say.
Do you share it?
One hundred percent. I'm also not too interested to talk to hockey players, among them I have almost no friends.
Is there at least one hockey player with whom you can talk about your favorite books and be understood?
Maybe Pasha Datsyuk. It is always great to socialize with him, but my close friends are the guys I grew up with.
Are you close with any Americans?
Ed Jovanovski. Amazing guy, you can always come to visit him without a call. Both he and his wife Kersten will only be happy. One word - Macedonians.
There are not too many lovers of the literature like you among the hockey players. What are you reading nowadays?
Just finished "Crime and Punishment". When I'll be back in America, I'll start "The Demons". I love Dostoevsky.
Is it a bit hard to read?
Very easy. Dostoevsky is hard when you are forced, stuffed to it at high school. Then you think, what's the haze? The high school kid is unable to understand what Dostoevsky writes about and for me it was all strange. And now I am going through many of the situations referred to by Dostoevsky. I'm old fashioned, can't stand to read on a computer, I have to hold the book in my hands, to feel the paper.
The girls come to Ovechkin from time to time after the game, lift up the shirts and ask him to sign on their breasts.
It is not happening only to Ovechkin, it's happening to me too.
Did it shock you the first time?
No, that's okay. But I don't sign on underwear.
And you were asked for that?
Of course. The girl'd come, ask to sign something and I'd stare, "What's that?" "This is my underwear..." I'd push it away with my hand and no, I won't sign that. Even if they beg behind you.
Have you understood for yourself why the Olympics in Vancouver were lost so soundly?
Of course. I think for the same reasons we lost the world championship.
From the outside it looked like a purely coaching failure.
I think you have answered your own question.
Have you watched the Olympic quarterfinal with Canada again?
What's to watch, how the Canadians came out and annihilated us? One team was prepared, the other was not ready at all. I went back Phoenix and everybody stared at me with round eyes, "What happened?" No one had a logical explanation. Starting from the general manager and ending with the masseur. And I had to tell.
One professional has a feeling about the other professional. Was it clear for you, at the fifth minute of the game with Canada, how it will end?
Exactly. It was evident even from the faceoff that something was wrong. Incidentally, in the seventh game of our series with Detroit, the same thing happened. On the ice it was Detroit only. I don't know what to do in these situations, when the whole team does not skate, does not think, does not fight. And there is a silence in the locker room afterwards.
You told how the team was preparing for the game with Canada, watched 30-second video and it was all. What should have been done in your opinion?
We should've disassemble the opponent's game. Prepare for that in training. Like simple things, think about building the defense in the middle zone, in our zone, how to get away from forechecking. We needed to work on the power play.
And you didn't work on it?
We did, but so so ... The main thing required for that game was to elect at least some tactical plan. Any team is playing by the certain scheme, and Canada had it. When you look how a team scores the goals, it gives you a lot of understanding how a team plays. And we should have worked on those details.
If before the game we could watch and discuss the Canadians, would it be different on the ice?
I think so, yes. Olympics disappointed us in every sense. The organization was terrible. They were not able to provide the cars to athletes. If you had to go somewhere, you wouldn't know what to do. It was impossible to get a cab, everything was blocked a few miles from the Olympic venues. All you could do was to walk.
Added this video after the comment below...