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The Interview That Keeps Giving

Another must read from our ace guest blogger, Slava Malamud of Sport Express:

Well, there were several things to learn from last night's festivities at the Igloo. I mean, of course, the complicated relationships between the four stars of the Caps and the Penguins, three of whom happen to hail from the same country where things learn you.

And here is what we could learn about the assorted feuds of the Alexes, the Kid and Malkin. You can believe me when I say that Russian journalists would much rather write about goals and wins, but since this story is apparently a gift that keeps on giving, we deemed appropriate to get further into it.

For one, Alex Ovechkin apparently speaks to Sidney Crosby. Loud and clear at that, to the point where all the teammates of both players and a couple of officials would like to gather around and partake in the exchange. And here is another thing: Alexander Semin also speaks to Crosby. At least, according to Evgeni Malkin, and that is a bit of a surprise, to say the least. And here is the third thing: Ovechkin and Malkin - nope, still not talking to each other, presumably, because both are so busy talking to Crosby.

Anyway, here are some quotes from the locker rooms following the Wednesday game.
Semin, who was quite reluctant to be interviewed ("I know what you are going to ask me about and I don't really want to discuss this"), eventually changed his mind and offered the following side of the story:

"It came about because of reporters who have created some kind of an intrigue. If I were really to say these exact things that they have written, I would have confirmed it by now: yes, I have said it... [But] I did not say them, not in that form. I should not be held responsible for the way it was translated."

When pressed to offer his version of those words, Alex said: "I would have never said that Crosby is a bad player. I just meant to say that some people like Crosby's style and I happen to like Kane's style more. That is it, nothing else. Really, let's just forget this whole story."

Semin also said that he had enjoyed the booing because, "It only gets me fired up. They are all yelling, the saliva is flying and it is amusing to watch."

I was also able to have a short chat with Crosby as he was leaving the arena.

"Everyone can say what they want," said Sidney about the Semin quotes. "If I had a problem with a guy, I would have probably just said it to him on the ice, to his face. I certainly don't think there is any need to share it through the media."

When asked about his altercation with Ovechkin before the start of the third, Crosby said: "In the second period he hit me near the boards and I just wanted to tell him it was a cheap shot, sticking his leg in behind mine."

As for Ovechkin, he acknowledged his third-period attempt to line Malkin up for a big hit. Alex went out of his way in the neutral zone, cutting towards Malkin, but Evgeny was able to circle around him.

"Yes, I wasn't quite lucky there. I went in a slightly wrong direction," Ovechkin said. "But it is good that he is following [my movements] now. Because, if he puts his head down [again], I am not going to forgive him."

Malkin, after emerging from the home team locker room, was also quite forthcoming, actually offering praise for Ovechkin's actions.

"We were going to get a two-on-two situation and he tried to meet me [in the neutral zone]," Malkin said. "I was able to get out of the way, but as it happened he actually made a good play. I lost my speed and the result was offside."

When asked about Ovechkin's continuing grudge against him because of the alleged agent-punch-up affair, Malkin said: "So, it turns out that I am to blame now? What, I should be afraid to tell the truth? If a man does something wrong, he should make sure he doesn't do it again, right? Besides, everyone knows about [the agent incident] anyway, even if I didn't say anything. The whole world knows."

Malkin said that his last actual conversation with Ovechkin occurred about two years ago. Ovechkin, if you remember, said that they had talked at the NHL Awards last summer. Malkin insists it was nothing more than a curt "hello" on each side. He did, however, sound optimistic, saying that "maybe we will make up before the Olympics."

Interestingly enough, though, according to Malkin, Semin had actually called Crosby to explain him how he was misquoted and what he had actually meant. When asked to tell where he knows this from, Evgeny answered: "Sidney has said [this]... Well, and other people too."

Editor's note: For the record, Puck Daddy, the Yahoo! Sports blog that carried the original Semin story, stands behind the interview 100-percent.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 15, 2009; 11:39 AM ET
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Next: Fleischmann's On A Roll


Ovechkin turned Crosby into a pin-up doll last night...End of story.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 15, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the LeBrun's speculations on Semin's trade:

Semin is an exceptional talent. As you may recall, Oct-Nov he basically carried the team until Ovi got back on track. I have no doubt that he can develop into a player similar to Datsyuk within the next couple of years provided he's chaperoned accordingly... which brings another question: Feds's going to be a UFA this summer, he's approaching 40, and his current salary is $4M. Is GMGM going to keep him for another season or two? Feds is a real blessing for Semin and probably other guys. Sure, he's more and more injury prone but still the skills and passion are there.

Posted by: fnralch | January 15, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Just a few comments, not really related to the game.

Semin should be a RFA (not UFA) after next season, which helps his value even more.

Erskine, who I have issues with in the past, has looked pretty good the last two games. He has his limitations (as BB said), but when he throws his body around and manages to stay (mostly) in position he's decent. Still don't understand the total value of his new contract, but so be it.

Speaking of contrats -- how about the deal that GMGM got Flash to sign last season? Even if he doesn't continue to improve (and it seems like his confidence is increasing nearly every game) he's a steal at under 750k for both this season and next season.

Nice game last night -- let's hope the team that dominated the 3rd last night will show up for 60 minutes on Saturday night.

Posted by: Jeff_ | January 15, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I think I would kill a small village to see these two teams meet in the conference finals.

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 15, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Not that the Pens have a chance of making it that far, before everyone goes crazy.

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 15, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

So Crosby actually got the correct translation of Semin's comments and STILL is pouting? AND is complaining about OV's hits after Malkin elbowed Ovechkin in the face? God, I hate him even MORE now, if that's even possible.

Oh, and "saliva flying"? AMAZING. Semin needs to give interviews more.

Posted by: jec4p | January 15, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"But it is good that he is following [my movements] now. Because, if he puts his head down [again], I am not going to forgive him."

This is some real good stuff right here...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 15, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Did Semin give those quotes to you after the game through an interpreter or in english?

Posted by: vt901 | January 15, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

For those that missed, this was posted by the poet Slava. TEB did not get this (again, not a knock on Tarik) but he did forward it to us.

Sid: "Ovie, why would you hit me hard in a hockey game, that's just CHEAP! " (tears start to stream down his face, making his mascara run)

Posted by: Leeguru | January 15, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

From last thread:

Trading Laich and Fehr (and a prospect) for Bowmeester is ridiculous. Sounds like what Pittsburg did last year and look at them. Just gut the team of youthful grit why don't you.

Nylander is not enough and I don't think we would do more for a rental. GMGM is not going to go for the one year shot. This is a long term, multiple CUPS kind of plan. Anything less is crazy. We are so close (to several cup runs). Don't blow it now.

Feds could be signed again. But I don't think it would be at $4m. If he takes less we can use the savings for younger players. We might be able to have VERY cheap goaltending for a couple of years once Varlamov comes up and JT is gone which will allow us to spend on others.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | January 15, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

From the last thread:

To be quite honest I am not sure why any Caps fan think Bouwmeester is someone we need. We already have two proven puck moving defensemen in Poti and Green, and Alzner is not at a stay at home guy either. Green has more goals than him even though he has played significantly less games, and has a much better +/-. When I think of something we need on the blue line for the playoffs I think more on the lines of a stay at home, clear the crease defenseman. We have the flashy ones we need, just need someone on the ice and bench to keep them in check. Bouwmeester is not the answer we're looking for because if his stats are right on wikipedia he went to the AHL playoffs with the Chicago Wolves when he was 21, played in 18 games, had zero points, and 14 PIMs. I know he was young, but maybe he's not a playoff performer, that's the knock on Kozlov right, no playoff goals? On the other hand, our young puck moving defenseman, Mike Green has performed just as well in the playoffs as the regular season in the AHL and NHL. I think the need for Bouwmeester discussions can go away.

I am in no way saying that Bouwmeester is not a good player, he's a great talent. Just not what WE need. We certainly don't want to disrupt our forward lines by giving up players like Laich in the process.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 15, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

A question for Crosby: If Ovie's hit was a cheapshot, then what would you call punching a guy in the groin while he's being held down by someone else? Or going after a guy on a face off and throwing his head into the ice while his jersey is over his head? Then again, maybe you're right and it was a cheap shot. After all, if anyone knows what a cheap shot is, it would be you....

Posted by: jonsnoek | January 15, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to feel like the players do about this. People say stuff all the time; context is removed or rearranged and voila! instant issue. I was more impressed that Semin talked than that he was trash talking Crosby.
So is a Mike Green hat trick now a goal, a turnover and someone coming out of the game with an ill-taken slapshot?
_stevo, I heard Erskine's name during the highlights last night on NHL OtF and thought of you. I believe their words were "No. 4, Erskine, he's a big rig." I kept waiting for something about getting walked or a bad penalty and *nothing*! It's like a parallel universe.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 15, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse


joe b and locker had some funny comments about erskine.

Posted by: _stevo | January 15, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

_stevo, They must have made them during the first two periods when I was in class. Remember any of them and care to share?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 15, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

They were talking about how Erskine looks like a bad dude and how a look from him is all it takes for guys to stay away.

I find that somewhat amusing as when he fights he typically loses. He IS a tough guy, but he's not in Brash's league, that's for sure.

Posted by: Jeff_ | January 15, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse


ahh, i forget what they exactly were, but something like "just look at his face and you can tell he is someone you don't want to mess with". good stuff

Posted by: _stevo | January 15, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Semin's comments on Crosby can basically be summed up like this...

"Yeah he's a good skater, and a good passer but why is he promoted so heavily when there are plenty of other good players who might be more exciting like Patrick Kane".

the "dead wood" comment is probably a rough translation, but I am guessing that Semin just said Crosby's style is boring. I have to admit, I've never found secondary assists to be that exciting.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 15, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Play of the game for me was Alzner playing the 2-1 beautifully then poking the puck at the last second to deflect the shot.

Bouwmeester who?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 15, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

yawn, arent there other things to talk about???

Posted by: doughless | January 15, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

_stevo & Jeff_, Thanks! I'll admit, he is intimidating to look at. He's certainly no Schultz-goof.
I opened up the Caps site and Johnny greeted me. Starting to feel like the stretch run from last season with good old Brooks asking me to buy tickets.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 15, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

have to admit that some of the photo shop pics on the pens blog were pretty funny. I wonder how they'd like jmu's pom pom picture?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 15, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

And I didn't think it could get any better after a Yakov Smirnov reference in the opening paragrah.

Thanks, Slava!

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 15, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The only person who thinks that OV's hit on Crosby was dirty was Cindy! Bottom line is that he got caught with clean check and can't believe anyone would dare do that. Crosby is the biggest pansy in the game. What a whiner! I think he better grow a pair real soon or someone who is really dirty is going to destroy the china doll.

Posted by: psugolf | January 15, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R, They'd hate it. XD The creativity behind their pics was good, but their execution wasn't awesome. I was slightly disappointed. Especially after the gold that was the Gary Bettman contest on Puck Daddy.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 15, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse


I didn't take the deadwood comment to be particularly about Crosby, more about how he prefers skill players to those that get garbage goals in front of the net.

I think its more a criticism of the NHL style of play vs. European.

That being said, the caps could really use a front of the net garbage goal guy right now.

Posted by: stormblue | January 15, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: _newt_ | January 15, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

There's no way we can resign Fedorov at 4 mil, he would need to take a major paycut. Especially if Pothier doesn't have any setbacks and is cleared to play in the offseason.

Posted by: koalatek | January 15, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Yawn. Let's talk hockey, not soap opera gossip. Apparently the media are the only ones who care. Let's talk the Bruins on Saturday night. That's going to be a considerably tougher game, and we're going to have to play like that for 60 minutes if we want to win.

And I don't know about you, but I consider this game to be big.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 15, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse


that was in the first right? excellent play by alzner.

highlight reel for me is the artwork between 14-91-28

Posted by: richmondphil | January 15, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else worried we are going to look past Boston to the big MLK Day showdown vs. the Islanders?

Posted by: SA-Town | January 15, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town: Uh? Not me. I couldn't personally give less of a crap about the Islanders. All I care about is keeping the third period of last night and taking that into the Boston game, and taking two points away from Boston. That's a four-point game for us as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 15, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse


I think that was in the first. Joe B and Laughlin missed the poke by Alzner and thought Theo saved it...from the replay it looked like the puck never got to Theo from 2 feet away. Alzner is already something special and is going to be a great one for years to come!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 15, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a huge stretch to imagine Semin being Datsyuk in the future. I like Semin a lot and he's got fantastic skills but I also think Datsyuk is highly underrated. In fact, aside from AO, I'd take Datsyuk over any other forward in the league.

Posted by: saintex | January 15, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Now for the good! Did anyone else notice that about mid second period all our passes started hitting the tape. We played really solid and we exposed Pittsburgh as an incomplete team that is nearly one-dimensional. We played very well and as a team. OV makes everyone around him better. Crosby and Maulkin do not. OV instead worrying about making the big hit proved why he is the best on the planet. Yeah he made some big hits but he played a complete game. OV was +2 - Cindy even with 2 assists -1
I love that second line: Flash, Feds, Sasha
and give it up for JT60. He made the saves he needed to keep us in the game. a couple more notes:
* the referees must have wanted to get out Pittsburgh alive. Maulkin would have never scored if they had called the interference against the Pens during the 5 on 3 when we took it down to thier end.
* Melrose on ESPN this morning picked the Caps to win the east and said that OV's hit on Crosby was text book and legal!

Boston is next. We need to be sharp - Go Caps!

Posted by: psugolf | January 15, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Hit on Crosby was legal - no penalty called - yet Cindy is still crying about it. Go change your Diaper!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 15, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz - THANK you! Yes, please. Hockey, anyone?

We're playing the Bruins on Saturday night. Yay for a couple of days' rest time, and YAY for a team that seems to have gone "CLICK" in a big major gnarly way in the second half of the game last night.

A win Saturday would put us at 61 points (!!!) after 46 games played. I'm not sure where the fastest team broke 60 points, but I'm sure if we win we'll be right up there. The Red Wings have crept ahead again, with 66 points, the Bruins with 68, and the Sharks with 69, but those point totals are within reach.

But in order to beat the Bruins, the Caps going to have to bring what we brought to the Penguins in the last 30 minutes the whole game. They cannot slack off for an instant. I'm sure BB knows this well; hopefully the team does too.

RTR's keys to the game remain the same:

1) Play the system, and don't slack off on a lead.
2) Stay out of the sin bin, especially for stupid penalties.
3) Any goal counts; you don't have to make it "highlight-reel perfect."

BB and the team have two full days and most of Saturday before the game; let's hope they're concentrating on bringin' it to the Bruins! I'd like to see us close the gap on the Wings again... and surpass them. And I know we can. :)

Posted by: irockthered | January 15, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Sidney finishes all his checks...on his butt!
fanohock, I agree with you about why Caps don't need Boumeester. But Alzner's pretty dang s@h in my book--even when he -goes- way up ice, he quite rarely gets caught there. Outgoing only in a neighborhood watch kind of way, that's our Mr. Kleen.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 15, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Why does everyone want to trade Nylander? He may not be scoring but does anyone see the way he can control the puck, killing time while a line change is made. He is a very valuable center to have.

Posted by: wgoodm01 | January 15, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

$4million again for a ruskie babysitter?
let the Russians hire federov to organize their kgb reunion tours.The caps are wasting money if they resign him next year.He will probably want a Sundin or Shanahan deal to play the last half or third of the year. He is 40 let him get a job working in Washington as a translater.

Posted by: wendel2 | January 15, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Kessel has mono - will be out for a while!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 15, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse


I will still take a 40 year old Feds over our crappy captain.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 15, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblue - And I love that Alzner's only gotten ONE NHL penalty all year, and that was for chipping the puck over the glass and delaying the game! He's going to win the Lady Byng one year, because he's very much the gentleman on the ice. :-) And he's very polite, by all accounts I've seen, off the ice as well.

Posted by: irockthered | January 15, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Fedorov's babysitting costs a lot and I'd hate for GMGM to spend another $4M on it. Then again, Semin's been a LOT more responsible and productive since 91 got here, and it's not just 28 listening when a 3-Cup Selke winning HOF utility man talks.
I'm sure the kgb reference is hilarious--even funnier if one recalls the risks Fedorov took to escape Soviet Russia and play here.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 15, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"You can believe me when I say that Russian journalists would much rather write about goals and wins"

Actually, we can't believe you, since you won't stop writing about it. If you want to write about goals and wins then write about goals and wins, otherwise at least act with a little bit of decency and admit that you like writing a gossip column. I'm getting so tired of journalists and bloggers feigning outrage about "non-stories" and how much they hate them, then turning around and giving the tabloid garbage more column space than the actual "real story".

Posted by: spacecadetkid | January 15, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

irock, Karl Alzner's cooler than the other side of the pillow. I've decided to have a daughter, just so her would-be boyfriends can fail my Alzner Test (consistent, discreet, highly-skilled, polite, respectful...wealthy!)

Posted by: redlineblue | January 15, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh has had prima donnas on their team for so long, they've forgotten that they're playing north American hockey. I've never heard a team complain so much about being hit. Iginla doesn't complain, forsberg never complained, Shanny, yzerman, Doan, Hunter... It's hockey. If you have the puck while Ovie is on the ice, he's coming for you, just like he's supposed to. Malkin and Crosby are the only two in the NHL who cry about being hit by Ovechkin. They don't think anyone should be allowed to touch them. The penguin entitlement campaign confuses me.

Posted by: oo7 | January 15, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I agree regarding Alzner, he's the real deal. He was definitely humble at Six Flags during the meet the team event. My wife said that he looked just like (which he does) her 16 year nephew, and he responded with, I do, thanks. The cool thing is that everything we have with his autograph has #47 next to it, and of course he switched to #27.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 15, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Semin (1.41) is second to only Malkin (1.49) in points per game. Ovechkin is 3rd (1.33) and Crosby is 4th (1.31).

You also have to factor in that Semin is Ovechkin's buddy.

Bouwmeester would be a fine addition but not for Semin.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 15, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Bog post about Ovie from this mornings optional skate.

Posted by: _newt_ | January 15, 2009 1:05 PM


What's with the hat? Did you lose a bet?

Posted by: Section117 | January 15, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - from several posts ago.

I assume your comments about people who haven't played full contact hockey, and who throw out penalty stats and rules to support arguments were directed at me, but since you didn't address them to me, I'm not 100% sure on that.

You are absolutely correct: I have never in my life played full contact hockey. They don't let people of my gender do that, and I can't ice skate to save my hide.

That said: I resent rather strongly that you are assuming that I'm just "googling the rules" and parroting back what I see. I am not. I post questions regularly on the NHL Officials' Association BBS, and I ask them for clarification - without being specific as to what incident I'm referring to. The referees who post there have indicated my questions are good ones.

The fact that I do not now, nor have I ever played full contact hockey does not affect my mind, or my ability to think, ask questions, analyze the answers I receive, and make my own analysis of what I am seeing happen on the ice to support my hypothesis that Ovechkin is a clean player.


Posted by: irockthered | January 15, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil continued...

In the case of Ovechkin's recent charging penalty, if you recall, I agreed that it was a legitimate, well-called penalty, NOT because Ovechkin left his feet (which he didn't), but because he was actively skating when he hit his target. Both feet were moving forward, and he hit the guy.

A different official might have called him for "boarding" rather than "charging," because he hit his target into the boards (and technically, the rules state that when the boards are involved, the charge should be boarding; otherwise, charging). However, either way, a two-minute minor was in order.

Your remarks, however, indicated that Ovechkin always comes at other players from the side. Where else would you recommend he come at them from to check? Surely not from behind them; THAT'S firmly against the rules. And I rarely see a face-to-face check, either - they're too easy to evade. What are the other options?

You also believe that Ovechkin leaves his feet, but I have watched his replays, and what I see - IF the angle I see it from supports a view of his feet - is that he comes in with his shoulders hunched over and stands up - *without* jumping - into the player he's checking. This is not questionable; it's perfectly allowed within the rules. And so, apparently, is leaving your feet to jump one of your own players after scoring a goal. :-p

Posted by: irockthered | January 15, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - Conclusion...

Since you don't like the way Ovechkin hits, I would like to know who in the NHL you DO believe hits clean. What player who checks other players hits the way you would like to see Ovechkin hit? If possible, I would like to see replays supporting your examples. YouTube is acceptable, if the NHL does not have them somewhere in a highlight reel.

I look forward to seeing your reply supporting your hypothesis that Ovechkin makes questionable hits, with examples of someone who in your opinion does not do the same thing.

Posted by: irockthered | January 15, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@007 --

You are forgetting about Richards' comment about OV's cheap shots. The Flyers have a few winers as well.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | January 15, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

oops -- whiners

Posted by: waitingsince75 | January 15, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Thank God GMGM does not think like, or listen to, the posters on this blog. Maybe the Washington Post should start a fantasy blog to separate fantasy from real hockey talk. Until them, I just read and be amused, with an occasional commentary.

Posted by: opita | January 15, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused by the whole "speaks to" phrase. Semin speaks to Crosby on the phone to clear things up. Ovechkin speaks to Crosby on the ice and othe rpeople get interested. I think Slava is trying to say Ovechkin and Crosby talk trash. Is that how everyone else reads it?

Posted by: makplan20002 | January 15, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

crosby lied by saying, "If I had a problem with a guy, I would have probably just said it to him on the ice, to his face." when crosby has a problem with a player, he says it to the back of that player's head or when he isn't look, anything but to his face.

Posted by: am_jim | January 15, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@ Sombrero:

"the "dead wood" comment is probably a rough translation"

"Derevjannij" means deadwood, so, the translation is 100% accurate, as well as the translation of the entire interview.

Posted by: CAPS_FAN_2008 | January 15, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Actually, if > is the word he used, that translates as "wooden," not "dead wood," in multiple dictionaries...

Posted by: irockthered | January 15, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

That would be деревянного

Posted by: irockthered | January 15, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@ irockthered

Bless you!

Posted by: washcapsfan | January 15, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow, lots of juicy stuff.

One thing I'd say as someone who's fluent in Russian is that while Semin's interview may have been distorted when it was originally printed in Russian the translation into English was accurate. I read both versions.

Crosby should write Bettman a letter lobbying for a new rule which stipulates that any hit on him or Malkin is considered dirty and requires an automatic 5-minute major.

Posted by: ranndino | January 15, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Noticed the bit about the word "derevyannyi". In this case it's Russian sports slang and in both soccer and hockey it's used to describe a player who has a bad first touch. In both sports you'd call a player "derevhannyi" if they have trouble receiving a pass (the ball or the puck bounces away most of the time). It's also extended to basically mean "someone without skills", kind of a hack. For example, in today's pro soccer there are a lot of players who are great athletes. They run very fast, jump very high and are very strong. But they also often lack the silky smooth ball skills and try to compensate by sheer force.

Posted by: ranndino | January 15, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

It's Evgeni. Not Evgeny. Since you are a journalist and all.

Posted by: beanerMD | January 15, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

just wow. crap-it-alls fan just get worse every season. and using barry freaking melrose to justify your shared stupidity might be the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back". cripes. and i actually used to like ovech-chicken (not as "clever" or "classy" as the cindy cry-sby trash, but pretty darn close). not any more. what a total, classless, all-world dueche-bag. sean avery with skill. just a gutless tool with absolutely NO respect for the game at all. kinda like capitals "fans". you freaks deserve each other.

Posted by: megawheel | January 15, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

This whole interview situation is retarded. I thought the initial transcript was pretty clear for a reader of english.

1. He says he does not understand the big deal about crosby and compares him to a player he thinks is more exciting to watch. Much in the same way half of the hockey world wonders why Sid the Kid is promoted over Ovie. no big deal.

2. He goes on a critique of the North American game, saying a player who is a grinder that scores a bunch of ugly goals is a star. Compared to Russia where people like "Beautiful" hockey. Not controversial at all, as it is a fact. European leagues are more about the passing and finesse game and are measurably less physical(What we call a hard check is a game suspension in some cases).

The only thing controversial is that he says both of these thoughts in one go, but I mean its pretty clear he is just going off on a tangent instead of hating on crosby. At least from the transcript we received.

Maybe the media and hockey fans should go back and take a critical reading class or something. I for one am sick of this rivalry between pitt because it feels so artificial and forced.

Posted by: trunkenmath | January 16, 2009 4:36 AM | Report abuse

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