[Thanks, as always, to Dmitry Chesnokov for passing along this excerpt (not the entire interview) that will be published in SovSport tomorrow of Pavel Lysenkov's interview last night with Alex Ovechkin. Links added.]
Alex, you are underrating your creation. What are you talking about ‘Top 10?’ This [goal] is number two, no less! Right after The Goal that you scored against Phoenix on your back. Do you agree?
Only with the fact that the goal turned out to be very good. But I wouldn’t place it at number two. I like the goal I scored against Buffalo more.
What happened there?
I broke away, deked, shot as I was falling, and I scored.
And what about your goal against Canada in the quarter finals of the Turin Olympics?
Are we not talking about the NHL? If you consider my entire career, then that goal against Canada is my number one. Definitely.
Have you ever scored sliding on your butt?
This is the first for me.
Are the Canadiens a strong irritant for you?
It is something different. The game was broadcast in the entire North America. I very much wanted to show that Washington is a good team, and that we beat Montreal not by accident despite what other people think.
Guy Carbonneau made that statement about a lucky win.
Exactly. We even have a printout with his words in our locker room before our last game in Montreal. We actually won that game too.
Almost a year ago you scored four goals at home against Montreal, even though you had your nose broken in the beginning of the game. Was there a chance for a repeat of this feat?
Thank God my nose is in one piece. But actually there was a chance. I created a lot of chances tonight. And almost all of them I wasted. But it’s OK. It’s not that four goals are scored every day.
You almost got your foot injured.
This is hockey. Injuries happen to everyone.
Why did you block the shot? You’re not a defenseman to block shots. Your style of play is different.
This is an instinct! I didn’t even think about anything. Just laid [myself] on the ice and that’s it.
You could have broken down until the end of the season.
But I didn’t break down. At first there was a shock. But I sat down for a little bit on the bench, came out on the ice during a [commercial] break, skated around. It’s wasn’t that painful. And I continued with the game. After the game a doctor looked at me and he said that everything was fine.
During the first period you almost scored against Carey Price. When the Montreal goaltender made the save you skated up to him and whispered something.
Semin gave me a great pass. I should have scored. But it didn’t happen for me. I told Price ‘Nice save.’ Overall he played really well.
And I thought that you told Price, just like you told Tomas Vokoun, that you were going to score a couple against him. Bruce Boudreau joked that you probably say it to every goaltender.
He exaggerated little bit. I am not a fool to show off in front of every NHL goaltender.
Have you noticed that Alexei Kovalev was missing?
Of course. Without Alexei Montreal is not the same. There is less danger in attack. Kovalev is a players [with skills from] God. He is a forward with golden hands. I don’t know what’s happening within their team. Maybe they just want to trade Kovalev.
You don’t want to talk about this topic?
First of all, I just don’t know [the details]. And second of all, this is not our team. We in Washington are sailing in a different boat. I don’t want to climb over to the other boat and dig in other people’s problems. But I am supporting Alexei. I think he is very anxious…
If you were Mike Green, would you give your stick that was used to establish a new record to the Hockey Hall of Fame?
No. I was actually asked to give up my stick last year when I scored my 63rd goal to equal the record for left wingers. But I didn’t give it up. What for? The entire world would see it. Let them look at a different one. The stick I used to score my 65th goal was taken away from me. And they also took my gloves and my helmet… If you give everything away then you might be left without any equipment. Moreover, I have my own museum at home. It needs exhibits too.