There certainly isn't any drought right now of Russian-language interviews with players. No sooner had I published the Semin interview below when I notice a tweet from our good buddy Dmitry Chesnokov which alerts me to this interview between Pavel Lysenkov and Alexander Semin which just came out in today's issue of Sovetsky Sport.
In the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Alexander Semin was first in the NHL in shots-on-goal with 44. But it was as if the pucks were cursed -- he wasn't able put even one of those shots in the net. But in the game against Kazakhstan the drought ended-two assists and a long-awaited goal! It's odd that with stats like that the game organizers named Kovalchuk, not Semin, as the best player of the game.
"I wouldn't say that it was an easy match" said Alexander. "At the World Championship there isn't any such thing as a run-of-the-mill game."
You made a beautiful pass to Ovechkin through center ice...
"That's just the way it turned out. Sasha was open, and the best thing to do at that moment was to make a pass to him."
After the game against Slovakia there was talk that Team Russia was having trouble scoring with the man advantage. Your special team also didn't score.
"You can't compare one game to another. This time we played better with the extra man. You have to add a little something to each game, and everything will be okay. But generally no team is guaranteed that they can always score on the power play. It's a matter of chance."
Washington was first place in power play goals in the NHL regular season.
"But we're talking about the national team now."
But you can still draw a parallel between the clubs, where you play with Ovechkin. For example, in Washington you had a surprising goal scoring drought.
"I don't even know how to explain it. Terrible luck! I scored in the last game of the regular season against Boston, and that was my 40th goal of the season. And then was I ever cut off!"
Have you ever had a crisis like this before?
"I've had it where I hadn't scored in seven games..How do you deal with something like that? You can't! But there's no need to fixate on it. Go out and play. Seize the moments, and eventually the puck will go into the net."
Now you are once again on the same line with Sergei Fedorov, just like a year ago in Washington. Fedorov even said that when you flew into Moscow you immediately phoned him and said "Seryoga, I only want to play with you!
"That happened" smiled Semin. "We have a really good understanding of each other. We know where each other is going to. You can make a pass without even looking. I'd go so far as to say that Sergei is the best center forward (I've played with) in my career. I really enjoy playing with him."
Are you keeping up with the Stanley Cup?
"Yes, I know the results of the games."
After Washington, Montreal is going to knock Pittsburgh out of the playoffs...
"It's a little premature. The Penguins still have a game seven, and at home. But basically I'm not surprised that the Canadiens are having such a good showing. They are a good team; they play from the defense and the counterattack."
Have you had a chance to walk around Cologne and see the city?
"Not yet. I'm still getting over my jetlag. But I already feel better than I did in Moscow. Plus I have to rest after the games and practices."
Your parents came to root for you in Vancouver. Are they here now?
"My mom and dad are back in the states."
25 Czech players declined to travel to Germany. Jaromir Jager was encouraged to take an example from the Russians..
"That's none of my business, that's the Czechs'. Let them decide for themselves if they go to the national team or not."
But a lot of stars are ignoring this World Championship. Why did you come here?
"It's elementary. We want to play for Russia. If we have a chance we won't let it pass us by."
Washington General Manager George McPhee said that he didn't understand why Semin and Ovechkin went to the World Championship, since "they won't become better players because of this".
"For me, the national team is everything! If I have time and opportunity, I'll absolutely come. Of course, Russians and Americans simply have different mindsets, and that is why we look at this situation differently."