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Ovechkin, Semin score as Russia rolls


(Martin Meissner/AP)


I know many have said that you don't care about the world championships because it's the NIT of hockey tournaments.

And, for the most part, you're right.

But as long as four of the Capitals' best players (not to mention about a third of the team's payroll) are participating in Germany, we're going post brief updates for those who are interested. (Once I hit the road for the Eastern Conference finals, Lindsay will take over.)

So, for those in the latter group of Caps Insider readers, Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin each scored to lead Russia to a dominant 4-1 win over Kazakhstan. Russia is now 2-0 as it defends the country's back-to-back world titles.

Ovechkin is enjoying being reunited Sergei Fedorov, who was his teammate in Washington and also at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.
"Alex (Semin) and I played with him in Washington and he is like a father to us," a relaxed sounding Ovechkin said after the game.

Read the entire gamer here.

Ovechkin's power-play tally was his second goal of the tournament. Semin added a pair of assists; the winger's goal was his first since the Caps' regular-season final against Boston. Goalie Semyon Varlamov, meantime, actually suited up but watched from the bench as the backup.

Brooks Laich, by the way, has not recorded a point in two games but is a plus-1 for Canada, which has racked up 11 goals in wins over Italy and Latvia.


Martin Rose/Getty Images)

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 11, 2010; 3:24 PM ET
 
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Comments

I don't know why,I guess it should't,but it irritates me. After the effort some of these guys put out in the Play Offs. Not Ovie. But...oh,forget it.

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 11, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Semin scored, really?

Posted by: matthewrayman | May 11, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the positive post! please keep posting the news on our players, as there are some of us who very much want to hear how things are going in the worlds. :)

Posted by: 33spinner | May 11, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I've changed my mind about these guys playing over there. Good for them.

This tourney's a huge deal back home - much bigger btw, than some minor-league tournament [tell me again, why John Carlson is playing in that?] and they needed to feel good about playing hockey again, from reading the comments from OV, Fedorov and others.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 11, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"...because it's the NIT of hockey tournaments."


That's disparaging to the NIT. This is more like the CBI...

Posted by: 4-12 | May 11, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

It might be a lame tournament, but it is watched by millions in Russia, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. How many people watch Stanley Cup? Not even close.

Posted by: CodePoetry | May 11, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

What an ignorant statement, comparing this to the NIT - this tournament is a huge deal in Europe, Scandinavia and Russia, and there is a tremendous amount of talent playing in it. The level of hockey is very high - and anyone not seeing that [or not acknowledging that] just doesn't know very much about hockey.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 11, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

That's why Ovechkin was recognized in some God forgotten place in Siberia. They all watch it, probably 90% of entire Russian population.

Posted by: CodePoetry | May 11, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tarik,
I'll take the news about our guys. Good for them. I was hoping that Varly would get that start.

Posted by: _Mark | May 11, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

And not only it is a tremendously popular tournament in all those countries, but the level of hockey is tremendous - very little room for slowpokes [that's Canadian for "muckers and grinders"] who are continually a step [or two] behind the play.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 11, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

WC = NIT? naaaah, more like the stanley cup walk of shame.

I don't blame you Tarik, WAPO has web ads to sell - i'm sure there's a general order to the sports team to squeeze ovie and sasha for all they're worth!

Posted by: r4e11 | May 11, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, I think you have a typo in this post... I could have sworn I read "Semin scored". Maybe I am just imagining things again?

Posted by: Firepelosi | May 11, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

For anyone upset at these guys playing [and risking injury] in the Worlds - what on earth is the justification for John Carlson playing in Hershey right now?

What does he have to prove at that level? Other than, being a target for some goon from Saskatoon to take a run at, so he can make a name for himself? Hell, JC was our best d-man down the stretch and in the playoffs [ok, maybe #2 after Poti, but it's close]. Other than, I suppose, to make GMGM look good by adding a meaningless title with a team stacked with guys unlikely to ever play meaningful hockey in the NHL?

And Carlson has already played a ton of hockey in the last year - actually, going back two years, with very little off-season this summer.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 11, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Semin is signed for one more year at $6M.

If any of the name players on the Caps gets traded to pick up blueline support or another center behind Backstrom, Semin is the likely candidate.

I would actually be surprised if the Caps kept Semin and then allowed him to walk as a free agent in 2011-2012.

Posted by: leopard09 | May 11, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Learning to win and playing under pressure doe not begin at the NHL level but in the minors. The playoffs in the various minor leagues are followed, in Candada, as much as the SC playoffs, none so much as the fight for the Calder Cup. So, Carlson and others can benifit in playing for and winning this one. Some of you bitter enders, should contemplate a former Redskin's (name escapes me) comment of the Super Bowl--"If this one is such a big deal, why are they having one next year?"

Posted by: adhardwick | May 11, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Semin should stay in Russia, he was useless in the palyoffs and that is what counts, Ovie should be here in the US looking watching some of the other teams , players giving it all to win, He would learn something, I am a die hard caps fan, but really think its BS that he is playing in these games, Semin is worthless and should stay, Ovie needs to be a leader or lose the "C" - as much as I hate to say it - he needs to be more like the baby Crosby on the ice - a LEADER... or our CAPS team will be just anohter could have been....

Posted by: tpatton2 | May 11, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

YAWN!!

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

How about this: Pittsburgh loses to Montreal, Crosby heads over to the tournament for Canada, meets Russia in the finals, and Ovechkin runs wild. Crosby cries in the fetal position. If that happens, I won't ask for anything for Christmas this year...

Posted by: crashinghero | May 11, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

looks like Team Russia is facing some stiff competition.

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

@adhardwich - I could care less about Canada's opinion of John Carlson. I don't want him to get hurt playing at a level he's already far surpassed. And I do realize the AHL is followed closely in Canada - that's all well and good, but success in the A has relatively little correlation to success in the NHL; it's not like baseball.

@tpatton2 - Malkin's been the best player for the Pens the last two playoffs; Gonchar right after him.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 11, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans should get over the Crosby thing. kinda beat.

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Learning to win and playing under pressure doe not begin at the NHL level but in the minors.

Posted by: adhardwick | May 11, 2010 4:44 PM

Really? Hmm - what do Peter Forsberg, Slava Fetisov, Mario Lemieux, Larionov, Evgeni Malkin, Messier, Gretzky, Fedorov, Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Gonchar and Bobby Orr, all have in common? I'm pretty sure almost not a single one of them ever played a game in the minors.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 11, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

And all of course, won multiple Cups, I should have added. And enjoyed tremendous success playing for their national teams in international tournaments.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 11, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

These guys demand large sums to play for NHL teams, but will play for their countries for free. Kovalchuk doesn't even have a contract next year, yet didn't hesitate to play for Russia. Yeah, I'm sure this tournament means nothing to them.

And if the level of competition is so much greater in the Stanley Cup playoffs, why is Brooks Laich (Caps 2LW) a 4th line center on the Canadian team?

Posted by: ablake70 | May 11, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk is a overated moron. good luck getting the deal Atlanta offered, bonehead. i love Brooksie, but lets face it, him as a second line winger is a stretch even for the Caps. these interantional team are nothing more than all-star teams. team canada v. team usa in the olympics was pretty good hockey, but be serious, by and large they don't hold a match to SC playoff (international ratings for world cup be damned).

all these european guys are great, but they wouldn't be jack without the NHL.

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Timbo, I agree that all of these players were / are great, you are missing one key point, They all won multiple cups, What has Semin or Ovie won, last time I checked it was an early June tee time.. If they are winners - let them play in all the extra world cups they want, until that point, pratice and get healthy. I pay to much money each year for Ovie to get hurt and we bust for next year.

Posted by: tpatton2 | May 11, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70 - Why do you think they are playing for free? They may not get paid as much but there's probably some money on the table for them.

Posted by: ComradeT | May 11, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I wish that Semin and Ovie were more excited about playing for the Stanley Cup rather than playing with Federov..

Posted by: kickass10101 | May 11, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

tpatton - I do see what you're saying, and I do think it was unfair of the RHF to "ask" these guys to play given the very long season they've just played, including a very intense and draining Olympics, let's not even speak about the playoffs.

Re: the injury risk, I'm totally with you there - but the WC is usually pretty clean, fast hockey. Knock on wood.

I'm actually much more worried about Carlson in the AHL playoffs, where he's got a huge target on his back and there's 18 guys desperate to make a name for themselves, any way they know how, most of whom will never play in the NHL, and know it. And he's not the most popular guy in Canada to start with, given the WJC.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 11, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"I know many have said that you don't care about the world championships because it's the NIT of hockey tournaments.

And, for the most part, you're right."

Oh, boy, some people love to show what great morons they are, and Tarik loves to lead them.

Yes Virginia, there is a world out there and they seem to know more than you!

Posted by: nimes1 | May 11, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

just waiting for the "bring back Fecesrov to be a mentor for the alexs" chat starts to appear

Posted by: dshowler | May 11, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

ti=mbo...the Calder cup teaches the skills needed to win the stanley cup...check out the montreal line up and guess where they learned intensity....yes ov and semin were never in the minors and maybe thats why they couldn't perform in round 1

Posted by: dshowler | May 11, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The Alexes are NOT 19-year old rookies, they're NHL veterans in their mid-twenties.

they don't need mentors, they need better coaching... if they wanna bring in someone, how about bringing in Scotty Bowman as a consultant for a short period??

Posted by: joek443 | May 11, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

dshowler - to reiterate: What do Peter Forsberg, Slava Fetisov, Mario Lemieux, Larionov, Evgeni Malkin, Messier, Gretzky, Fedorov, Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Gonchar and Bobby Orr, all have in common? I'm pretty sure not a single one of them ever played a game in the minors. And they all have Cups - and national team titles - to their names.

There's a whole hockey world out there, and it ain't just Canada anymore.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 11, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Why not Fedorov? He learned from Scotty Bowman which resulted in multiple championships. He could pass along that knowledge in a coaching role (assuming he would want to).

Posted by: sgm3 | May 11, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

sure if Feds wants to be a coach and serve in BB's staff... I'm not sure what anyone means by a "mentor".

doesn't Feds still have a year or years left on his KHL contract? he has not yet retired as a player over there, has he? so how could they bring him as a mentor or asst. coach for that matter?

Posted by: joek443 | May 11, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

timbo...so what is your point? the minors dont count? no real nhler needs to learn in the minors? Check out the number of bears that played in hershey or where the habs played....and the coaches

Posted by: wendel2 | May 11, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Keep the good news coming, Tarik. A successful tournament might be just the tonic to put the Alexes in the right frame of mind for next season.

Posted by: Terptwin | May 11, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

For all the disappointments the Alexes endured this year (Olympics and playoff defeat and the accompanying criticism by the press), it's probably mentally therapeutic for them to be playing in the World Games. Sure, they don't have anything to prove but it's a way to keep busy and get some emotional support from teammates in Russia.

Next year will be better.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 11, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

For all the disappointments the Alexes endured this year (Olympics and playoff defeat and the accompanying criticism by the press), it's probably mentally therapeutic for them to be playing in the World Games. Sure, they don't have anything to prove but it's a way to keep busy and get some emotional support from teammates in Russia.

Next year will be better.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 11, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

*****


...and if they win it will become rather ho-hum for them - they will need a new challenge.

...and Russia will have to learn to win a 4th straight next year without them. That should actually make it more interesting (can they win it without the 2 Alexes?)

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 11, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"I know many have said that you don't care about the world championships because it's the NIT of hockey tournaments. "

-TEB

_____________________________________

Hell yeah Tarik. I'm stoked you read my post. Not sure if others made the NIT comparison but I definitely did. Good looking out.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 11, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Yes,the World Championships are like the NITs. So much so that an American squad full of NHL players couldn't beat Germany or Denmark.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 11, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

I have no idea if Fedorov would want to come over and do that, but I am positive he could reitre from the KHL to come over to coach if he wanted to. The KHL contract only prevents him from coming over and playing as a player.

The simple question would be if Fedorov would want to do it. He may not, he may still want to play. But I was just throwing the idea out there.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 11, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

The author says right in the article this is for the people that care. I do. So if you don't, don't read about it. Both Ovi and Semin played hard for the caps, they just lost. (Because of Mike Green) but I won't get into that.

Is there any way to watch this on t.v?

Posted by: jrednoring | May 11, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Semin:"Fedorov is the best center in my carrier" (in interview to "Sovetsky Sport")

Posted by: alsin7 | May 12, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Nylander got one point too.

Posted by: Hookey | May 12, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

@Timbo..... as an AHL fan living near Hershey, I am offended by your attitude towards the AHL. It's not a goon league. These guys have as much respect for the game of hockey as anyone else. Carlson spent 75% of his season here and will finish because he is a hockey player and loves to play the game. Guys who take runs at people aren't going to get a shot just because they run at guys.

Posted by: CentralPACapsFan | May 12, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

the rooskies are showing their true colors -- they're only playing in the usa for the money -- their hearts and minds are reserved for their homeland

Posted by: bestmick1 | May 12, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

@timbo - gotta agree with CentralPA, saw some Hershey games for the first time this year and it was a lot of fun and good hockey. It is a positive experience for players and fans. Also, even though the players you mentioned didn't play in the AHL they did play there way up in the leagues of their countries which is pretty much the same thing. They didn't just pop out of high school and into the NHL as you imply.

Posted by: ds_kelly | May 12, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for the update. I very much want to keep hearing about what happens there. Don't mind the knuckleheads who can't move past something that happened 2 weeks ago. There are plenty of us who do care how our boys are doing. Good for the Alexes. I'm happy for them.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | May 12, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

So Pens or Montreal tonight?

After Caps lost, I didn't know who I wanted to win so instead I decided who I definitely don't want to see win the Cup: Detroit (check), Pens and Montreal.

But I would much rather see Montreal win tonight and move on for the following reasons:
1. As a Caps fan, you never ever cheer for Pens or Crosby.
2. Pens are our rival, unlike Montreal.

Agree?

Posted by: RusCap | May 12, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I was a little harsh on the A, but I was replying to mainly two things:
1) many great players never played a single minute in the AHL - so you obviously don't need to play there to have NHL success, as many here have implied; and
2) there are many other good leagues in the world, and I would argue at least 3 (if not 4) of them provide better fundamentals, competition and training for playing elite level hockey.

But my main problem was with Carlson playing there now, when he's already proven himself as - at least - one of the Caps top 3 d-men, and he's just going to have a huge target on his back. Hershey's good already, especially back on D, I don't see how he's even needed there.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 12, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"Really? Hmm - what do Peter Forsberg, Slava Fetisov, Mario Lemieux, Larionov, Evgeni Malkin, Messier, Gretzky, Fedorov, Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Gonchar and Bobby Orr, all have in common? I'm pretty sure almost not a single one of them ever played a game in the minors."

All of these players played in leagues that are just like the minors.

Forsberg- 5 years in the Swedish Elite League

Fetisov- 12 years Russian Super League

Lemiuex- 3 years in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Larionov- 11 years Russian Super League

Malkin- 3 years Russian Super League

Messier- 3 years in juniors, 2 years in the WHA, 1 year in the CHL

Gretzky- 2 years in juniors, 2 years in the WHA

Fedorov- 4 years in Russian Super League

Lidstrom- 3 years Swedish Elite League

Datsyuk- 5 years Russian Super League

Gonchar- 3 years Russian Super League, very little time in the minors

Orr- 3 years juniors

Although the WHA was supposed to rival the NHL it's league was made up of young talent and aging veterans with big names (Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull).

The Russian Super League (now KHL) and the Swedish Elite League are similar to our minor leagues, but with more finesse. That's why some of the Swedes and Russians have to acclimate to the North American Style in the minors now. Length of regular season schedule is also less demanding in those leagues.

The OHL (OHA years back, WHL, and QMJHL have long since been considered elite leagues that prepare players for the NHL. Most of the young North American stars have done well in those Junior leagues and have come right into the NHL. Others choose to use those leagues as a springboard for college scholarships. The average age for US College hockey freshman is just under 20 years old because a lot of talented North Americans will play in the juniors in hopes of landing a scholarship.

So, in response to the list of players that did not spend time in the minors the SEL, RSL, OHL, QMJHL, and now the WHL are considered stiff enough competition and thus minor leagues. Another example, Backstrom never played in the minor leagues here in North America but chose to stay in the SEL to refine his game to be ready for the NHL.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 12, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I agree, RusCap, though I much prefer the entire hockey stadium they're playing in to swallow up both teams through a fissure that suddenly appears. I wouldn't necessarily want the NHL to call up the two teams that lost to Montreal or Pittsburgh but just close out that bracket and move on with the remaining teams still playing for the Cup. =P

I'll take the good with the bad, but man, if only that Semin goal was during our games against Montreal. =(

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 12, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@fan "leagues that are just like the minors."

No, they're really not - all of those leagues - particularly the Swedish Elite and certainly the Russian Super - are superior to the AHL, faster and produce more top-end talent. Don Cherry may not agree - which I am definitely fine with.

Again, the original statements were that, you had to play in the A to achieve NHL success. That is simply not the case.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 12, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Russian Super League was not so bad as you are trying to make it look. In 1981 the Russian team defeated Canada 8:1 in Canada Cup's final in Montreal with Fetisov, Kasatonov and Larionov not playing for nhl club. It's a debatable question which league was better that time!

Posted by: alsin7 | May 12, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@timbo_1:

"Goon from Saskatoon"...HAHAHAHAHAHA! I LIKE it!!!

So if the Caps acquire Colby Armstrong or Derek Boogaard or Wade Belak, then that could be the acquired player's Caps nickname!

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 12, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

So Pens or Montreal tonight?

After Caps lost, I didn't know who I wanted to win so instead I decided who I definitely don't want to see win the Cup:
Detroit (check), Pens and Montreal.

But I would much rather see Montreal win tonight and move on for the following reasons:
1. As a Caps fan, you never ever cheer for Pens or Crosby.
2. Pens are our rival, unlike Montreal.

Agree?

Posted by: RusCap | May 12, 2010 9:52 AM

-------@ RusCap:

Yes, I mostly agree. The Habs fans can get a bit annoying because they're like the NHL's equivlent of the New York Yankees, with all that this implies. That said, the Penguins are, after all, the "Great Satan"...So the question of whom Caps fans should root for is a no-brainer. Of course, we may salvage a little pride for ourselves if MTL does win the Cup: we did lose, but it was to the eventual champions.

I would have liked to see a team that had never before won the Cup emerge victorious--esp. Vancouver--but they got emlimiated last night so I guess in that regard I'm stuck with the Sharks.

In any event, I think this short phrase says it all:

Aujourd'hui, nous sommes tous les Québécois

TRANSLATION: "Today, we are all K-Beckers"

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 12, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

@RusCap:

Yes, I MOSTLY agree.

I think this statement says it all:

Aujourd'hui, nous sommes tous les Québécois


TRANSLATION: "Today, we are ALL Kay-Beckers"

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 12, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

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