Ovi has goal of winning Gold medal and Stanley Cup
A very pleasant Alex Ovechkin met with reporters on Tuesday and shared his thoughts on everything from playing for Russia in the 2014 Winter Olympics to playing another season on the right wing and the Caps’ chances of winning the Stanley Cup.
In the second of a three-part series, Ovechkin discusses the pressure of representing his country in the Olympics and his physical condition after suffering a hairline fracture in his left foot in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
On peaking for the Olympics in February, then again for the playoffs in April:
Until February, we have lots of time, four months. You're just gonna play hockey. You're gonna be in shape, it doesn't matter what. Of course, you have to be smart to do something off the ice, but most important thing, you have to be ready mentally for future, because it's gonna be one tournament and you have month and a half to get ready for another one, big one. You have to be just smart and do what the coach asks of you.
On the pressure Russian players will face in Sochi:
Of course there’s going to be pressure on us. Like I say, it’s going to be big pressure and it’s going to be nice pressure because we’re going to play in front of fans, families, kids. I’m sure our president is going to be watching and there is going to be big pressure for us.
On the bigger ice surface being an advantage for the Russians:
Not really, because most of the players are going to be from NHL. It’s going to be the same position as the Canadians, Sweden, everyone.
On Russia grabbing the spotlight as Olympic host:
I was there almost a week in Sochi and they’re building a new city. I hope the construction and all those buildings will be there for years after. I’m pretty sure people who live in Sochi are excited about it because they’re going to have lots of fans going there, places to go out. It’s very nice.
On his training this summer:
I have same trainer as last year. Of course, sometimes it was hard. He flew to Moscow and we do some training but it was hard because of the schedule I had, like commercials and that sort of stuff. I’d work all day straight and then have a break for two days because I have a lot of stuff to do, but it’s OK. I still have almost a month, two or three weeks until the first game.
On how he feels physically:
I feel pretty good, not 100 percent, but every day it gets better and better. Of course, after tomorrow we’re going to have first practice [Thursday] with the coach and the team and it’s going to help me to feel better because I know lots of guys didn’t skate a lot.
On clarifying his health:
Oh, no. I’m healthy, 100 percent. But if you take my physicality [game readiness] it’s probably like 70 percent, 75 percent. The most important thing is to be ready for the first game.
On wearing a boot on his left foot at the start of the summer:
Sometimes I’d be at a tennis tournament [with fiancée Maria Kirilenko] and there’d be 10 minutes break because Maria has a break and I take a tennis racquet and I play with her father and I start running and I realize, ‘Geez, I have a broken foot.’ When I take [the walking boot] off and I start running it was very hard because I didn’t move it most of the time. But right now it’s good.
On whether he would have continued playing in the playoffs on his broken foot:
Probably I would play. I didn’t take X-ray right after I blocked the shot. I thought it was not broken, it was just a bruise. But I come back to go to World Championships, play one game. It’s over so we take X-ray and I have a broken [foot].