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Thanks to Dmitry Chesnokov for alerting us via his twitters (you are following him, right?) to this piece on the Sovetsky Sport website on the press conference that Alex Ovechkin gave to the Russian press following the crushing defeat by Canada today.
After the game Alexander Ovechkin answered some questions from reporters, and among them was Sovetsky Sport correspondent Pavel Lysenkov
What happened, Alexander?
"We lost the game."
Why did the Canadians turn out to be more powerful?
"Right now I'm not able to answer that question."
Was everything okay as far as mood goes on Team Russia?
"Well what do you think the mood was like on the team?"
But we never seemed to get our game together. Was it nerves?
"There can't be any nerves in a situation like this. We're all adults here, and experienced players. You can't use that as an explanation for our defeat."
What happened to your hand in the third period?
"The puck hit a nerve and pinched it. I couldn't feel my finger so I immediately went to the bench."
The Canadians shut down a lot of our top players, including you. How did that happen?
"They didn't shut us down. We just didn't play our game. At the beginning of the match we got knocked out of our groove when Canada scored a quick goal in the very first attack. It was difficult for us to come up with anything when another team was totally dominating. We took a time-out just to catch our breaths. But we would make one goal and they would make two. It's difficult to play like that."
What did you talk about during the time out?
"Nothing really. We had to calm down. We weren't showing our game. I don't know what was the reason for that. We had to be better in defense, as well as the attack. But we couldn't make anything special happen. And if we made something happen, we needed to score. In games like this in the Olympics, every crucial moment is worth its weight in gold. But the Canadians took advantage of their chances, and we didn't."
"Nabokov and Bryzgalov aren't to be blamed for being scored on. We ourselves-the players on the ice- allowed the Canadians to overwhelm our net."
You don't think that Nabokov was pulled late? His game wasn't there.
"What do you mean, wasn't there? Are you saying that everyone else's game was there?"
Does the final score of 3:7 accurately reflect the parity of the two teams?
"On this day, at this moment, they scored seven, and we scored three. That's it in a nutshell. As far as skill and level of play, I think it doesn't make sense to compare us to the Canadians. It's just that somehow we reconfigured ourselves and got burned out. But maybe it wasn't all like that...it's stupid to try and find a reason right now. We just lost. That's all."
Could you say that the Vancouver Olympics have become the biggest disappointment in your career?
"It's a disappointment for everybody. We wanted to play as the best, but things turned out like they usually do, like a proverb."
What can you say to our fans?
"I know that now a lot of dirt is going to be thrown at us by the press and by people who don't understand anything about hockey. But for those who believe in us and love us, I want to say that we tried and we did everything we could. There weren't any redundant players here. Nobody can say that we had a bad team. We had a great team, and everyone fought. It just turned out that way."