Ovechkin, Gonchar, Kovalchuk, Volchenkov talk about Czech Republic, hit on Jagr (Photo © Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
After the 4-2 victory against Czech Republic many players agreed that the Ovechkin hit on Jagr turned the momentum in Russia‘s favor. Team Russia players felt that this was the key event of the game and it helped their team getting the edge over Czech Republic.
RussianHockeyFans.com offers you a translation of short quotes taken right after the game from Sergei Gonchar, Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeny Nabokov, Alexander Ovechkin and Anton Volchenkov.
“Ovechkin has a very good physical play, that’s why he always tries to pressure the opponents”, Sergei Gonchar told Sport-Express. “Successful actions are always reflected to the team’s morale. This was the case of today’s game. I think the first line played very well.”
Ilya Kovalchuk agrees with him: “It was good when Ovechkin hit Jagr”, Kovalchuk said to Sovietskiy Sport. “He played hard, we got the puck and quickly scored the 3-1 goal. That helped us a lot. Hopefully Zinoviev will be allright. We will play for him too.”
Also Evgeny Nabokov felt that Ovechkin’s hit changed the flow of the game. “The hit on Jagr by Ovechkin was one of the most important moments of the game. Ovechkin is Ovechkin. In any situation he shows who he is and why he’s different from any other player”, he told Sovietskiy Sport. “These games are never easy. It was a very important game for us. We wanted to get the first seed in the Group B and get a bye for the quarterfinals. The game was very intense. It had plenty of shots on goal and battles in the slot. On the powerplays, the Czechs put two players in front of me so to cover my vision. A couple of times they managed to do so that I lost the puck from my field of vision, but the defensemen manage to clear it. The hardest moment was when we were up 3-2 as in such situations usually the opponents give you a good pressure.”
But Alexander Ovechkin himself played down the event a little bit, stating through Sovietskiy Sport that “every shift is important as it’s part of the game. When you want to help your team and play harder, and you are successful in that, you can wake up your team. I wasn’t the only one to play hard, all my team mates fought hard and did everything they could.”
Also Anton Volchenkov wanted to share his opinion, published at Sovietskiy Sport: “The most important part of the game was Kozlov’s goal. We finished the second period ahead. And in the third period Ovechkin had a great hit on Jagr. I know what hits are. That was an outstanding hit and after it we even scored. This too was a really important moment of the game.”
Translation by RussianHockeyFans.com