Alex Ovechkin gave an exclusive interview to Russian RBK-Sport. For the most part the questions are about IIHF World championships, the new team Russia's coaching staff since Russians really don't care much about Stanley Cup playoffs.
Ekaterina Bruy, Apr.2, 2012, sport.rbc.ru:
Last season was not very successful for you. Why do you think it happened?
The fact that we lost in the playoffs and then after the playoffs the world championship; this is definitely a series of failures and obviously one have to think about it.
Do you think it was a team's failure or because of some individuals? Or what went wrong?
As they say, you win as a team and lose as a team. I don't see any reason to blame anyone and poke a finger at someone. It is a failure of all the players and the entire coaching staff. But there's always the next season where you can start all over again. Of course, a season can be successful, but at the same time the most important games could be lost and end up not very good. That's why it is best when the most successful games are happening at the end rather than early in the season.
Have you changed something in your training to make your season more successful?
No, I haven't changed training in principal. I was just more serious in preparation for the season, and started it as physically fit as I possibly could.
Why do you think the national team failed in the [IIHF] World Cup?
Let's not talk about why it failed and because of what. Now the national team has a new challenge, and there are new people at the management of the team. So let's see what will happen next and stop talking about the past.
How would you assess your performance at the last World Cup?
How can I evaluate the performance where I haven't scored any points and didn't help the team to achieve a goal?
Have you talked to a new team Russia's management?
Yes, of course, I talked to Bilyaletdinov, Kravchuk, Tretiak. I have wonderfull communication with all of them. My phone is always available to them and if they need to talk to me, of course, I will talk and meet with them if needed.
What do you think, can the new coaching staff lead the national team to victory at the next World Championships and Olympic Games in Sochi?
The coaches can tell you how to play, but they can't get out to play for us. It all depends on the team. You have to count in bad luck and some mistakes on the ice, but it's certainly fixable. I think everything will depend on the players, not just coaches.
You were always a mile ahead of your peers. At 17 you've already played for the national team. Are you afraid that such a bright start and such advances can now lead to the fact that you, as they say, will burn before your time?
And what to burn? Makes no sense. If you enjoy your life which you made with hard work, your diligence, why do I have to burn? I don't see the point.
Who are the players you would like to see on your line?
My wishes are not the priority, whatever coach will say, so be it.
What if you had a choice?
There's no choice, so let's close this topic.
What about the coaches, who would you like to work with then?
Well, of course, with the man who would be in charge of the team I'm going to play for. I've already worked with Tikhonov, Yurzinov, Bilyaletdinov. I have a good understanding and good relations with all the coaches .
Would you like to become a coach one day?
This will be possible to discuss when I'll be close to finish my sporting career. Then we can talk about coaching or some other things. I have 10 years left to play for the Washington Capitals, and make plans that far doesn't make sense. Let's see how my destiny will shape up, in what form I will be, and how the family will look at it. There are a lot of nuances. I don't think it is right to talk about my plans for the next 10 years. When time will come, we'll see and think about it.
Do you miss Russia, or have you become accustomed?
I miss home, family, my friends. Of course, you get used to it, the man gets used to anything, to any environment and to any life situations.
You are the Gillette ambassador and star in commercials. Do you feel comfortable acting?
I have started it before Gillette and feel comfortable in front of the camera and journalists, never too shy and not afraid of my moves.
Are you interested in acting?
Yes, of course, it is interesting. This is something new in your life. You should not just be an athlete. If you have the opportunity to shoot, why not? Especially when it does not interfere with your career, I think this is just the opposite, it is only good. You're always in sight and it makes you wonder how you look. In this regard, without Gillette razors I am not going anywhere. If I'm clean-shaven, then I like myself, I am confident in myself and I'm comfortable, and everything turns out well.
What do you think about your wax figure, which is exhibited at the Madame Tussauds museum?
First of all I think it is an honor. Not every Russian man, especially in America, can win the trust of the people who put your figure in the Madame Tussauds museum, especially since you'll be there for life.
You have a lot of achievements, and you acknowledged hockey star. You have been called a legend already. Where do you look for motivation?
I'm looking for motivation in the victories and I think that I have not yet reached the level where I can be called a legend. I am only 26 years old. I have the whole life ahead.
I know you collect hockey sticks. Whose stick could take the central place in your collection?
Your parents are the athletes, you are an athlete, who will be your children, will the dynasty continue?
First of all, you have to have children, and then we will talk about it. Of course, I would like my children to be in the sports. But this will depend on my future wife, on her advices and on the wishes of children themselves. This is a difficult question, let's see how it will go.