Dmitry Chesnokov

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  • Henrik Lundqvist already has a silver medal to his credit this year. Could he add more championship hardware with the New York Rangers this postseason?

    I recently caught up with the goalie to discuss the Rangers’ Stanley Cup chances, comparing his current and former coaches, the Sochi Games and how he relaxes in his down time.

    Enjoy …

    Q. You broke quite a few records for the New York Rangers recently, and the ceremony the team held for you was appreciated by every hockey fan.

    LUNDQVIST: “It was definitely a special moment in my career. Skating over there, I saw my mom standing there crying. It was hard not to get all emotional. It was just very special for me, to have my family on the ice to share that moment with me was so great on so many levels.”

    Would you say this team is the deepest Rangers team in your tenure?

    “It’s so hard to compare year to year, I think. Different years you have different strengths. But I have to agree that we have a lot of talent on this team, especially

    Read More »from Henrik Lundqvist on NY Rangers’ Cup chances, John Tortorella vs. Alain Vigneault (Puck Daddy Interview)
  • Ilya Kovalchuk out of IIHF worlds with knee surgery; suffered injury in Sochi

    Team Russia on Monday named its extended roster – minus NHL players, for now – for the IIHF World Championships that will take place in Minsk in May. Ilya Kovalchuk was one of the names on it. It wasn’t long, though, before Kovalchuk himself ruled himself out, announcing he will have a surgery on his knee in Germany later this week.

    Kovalchuk got injured in Sochi in Team Russia’s final group game against Slovakia. He aggravated the injury in Russia’s next game against Norway.

    At the time doctors knew that the injury was serious. Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport reports that team doctors even contacted his KHL club SKA to obtain permission for him to play against Finland. Kovalchuk himself insisted he should play saying, “Tell the coaching staff that I want to play. I am ready. And my leg is letting me, I can bend it.”

    Kovalchuk scored Russia’s only goal against Finland in a 3-1 loss.

    Kovalchuk played with the injured knee in the first two rounds of the KHL playoffs, which could explain

    Read More »from Ilya Kovalchuk out of IIHF worlds with knee surgery; suffered injury in Sochi
  • Evgeni Malkin denies Sochi Olympics rift with Alex Ovechkin

    Evgeni Malkin made the media standing outside the Penguins locker room wait for him after the Pittsburgh Penguins' Monday night win in Washington against the Capitals. The pain of losing in Sochi is still present on Malkin’s face every time a question is asked about it. And he doesn’t hold back answering. Malkin talked walking to the team bus on Monday night.

    The Washington-Pittsburgh games have lost their luster a little. Don’t you think?

    “I don’t know. I think fans still like them. The playoffs will start and if we play against each other I think everything will come back. The season is long, there are a lot of games. And now every time we play against Washington now the hype is not the same. Maybe because Sid had some injuries in the past the draw of this game was lost.”

    This is the first time after the Olympics you played against Washington. Did you and Alex Ovechkin talk?

    “No. We arrived late last night, and we are leaving right after the game. They are also leaving right away.

    Read More »from Evgeni Malkin denies Sochi Olympics rift with Alex Ovechkin
  • Julia Lipnitskaia's coach blames Russian media for skater's disappointing singles performance

    SOCHI, Russia – Julia Lipnitskaia's coach blamed the Russian media's intense coverage of the teen figure skating star for her subpar performance in the Sochi Olympics figure skating competition.

    Eteri Tutberidze said reporters bugged the locker room at Lipnitskaia's practice rink in Moscow with listening devices after the 15-year-old left the Winter Games to train for the ladies individual competition. The coach also accused the media of stalking Lipnitskaia's family in her hometown of Nizhny Bardym, a village in the Ural Mountains with a population of just 300.

    Tutberidze said the media coverage got so bad that Lipnitskaia had to be evacuated from the practice rink every night to escape reporters. Also, Lipnitskaia had to be booked on numerous flights in order to keep her travel itinerary a secret from the press.

    The coach spoke out against the media circus on Thursday after Lipnitskaia fell twice in her long program and finished in fifth place.

    "We thought we had a chance here to go

    Read More »from Julia Lipnitskaia's coach blames Russian media for skater's disappointing singles performance
  • Adelina Sotnikova's agonizing wait for Olympic figure skating glory

     SOCHI, Russia – Adelina Sotnikova stood before reporters answering questions about her just-completed dream performance – a lifetime-best 149.95 in a long program that put her on the verge of figure skating greatness. Pictured behind her on the interview zone TV monitors was the only person standing between her and a gold medal, defending champion Yuna Kim of South Korea.

    "The Olympic dream was born in 2010 during the qualifications to Vancouver," a somewhat distracted Sotnikova replied in Russian to the host nation's media horde. "And when I was watching those Olympics from the sidelines, I felt that I wanted to have my Games. I understood that it wouldn't be easy to make them, especially now that in Russia there are a lot of strong girls."

    Sotnikova stopped talking as Kim finished her free skate. She could not bear to watch anymore as Kim picked up a teddy bear and skated to the bench to await the result.

    [PHOTOS: Olympic Crush - Adelina Sotnikova]

    "Was it clean?" Sotnikova asked to

    Read More »from Adelina Sotnikova's agonizing wait for Olympic figure skating glory
  • Russian reaction to hockey elimination? Stunned silence, shaken pride

    SOCHI, Russia – What is the reaction in Russia to the elimination of the host nation from the Sochi Olympic hockey tournament?

    The reaction is that there is no reaction.

    The fans are quiet, outside of their reaction at the end of the loss to Finland on Wednesday. As the Russian team was gathered in the center circle of Bolshoy Ice Dome by their captain Pavel Datsyuk for a tribute to their supporters, all the team could hear was loud whistling – the European version of booing. It was the only way the 12,000 representatives of their nation could send their message.

    [Watch: Alex Ovechkin reacts to Russia's quarter-final loss to Finland]

    As they were walking away from the Bolshoy their flags were not flying high, but were dragged along a wet pavement. Their eyes were red and their faces were pale. They were too shocked to comprehend what happened to them, too stunned to even express their emotion. When the Russians lost to the United States there was anger, there was passion, there was

    Read More »from Russian reaction to hockey elimination? Stunned silence, shaken pride
  • Russian coach calls out Alex Ovechkin after Olympic elimination

    Alex Ovechkin loses his balance on a breakaway against Norway.

    SOCHI, Russia – It sure wasn’t long before the shots were fired against Alex Ovechkin after Russia crashed out of the Sochi Olympics, losing in the quarterfinals against Finland, 3-1.

    ”Tough to explain the loss, of course, why scored so little. Players who score so many goals for their clubs, like Alex Ovechkin who scored 40 goals for his club [didn’t score]… Right now I cannot explain that.”

    Slow clap. These words came from no other than Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, the Russian head coach, someone who has known Alex Ovechkin since he was still wearing a full mask playing for Dynamo.

    [Photos: Russia eliminated in quarterfinal game against Finland]

    If the Russian team has lived up to its stereotypes, the “Blame Ovechkin” stereotype began before the Zambonis started circling around the ice of the Bolshoy Ice Dome ahead of the next quarterfinal game in Sochi. But I don’t think anyone expected it would come from the reserved Russian head coach.

    The obsession with blaming Ovechkin seems to have

    Read More »from Russian coach calls out Alex Ovechkin after Olympic elimination
  • Finland faces tough test versus Canada, and tough question: who starts in goal?

    SOCHI - This is not your typical Team Finland that is playing hockey in Sochi.

    Still methodical in the execution, but with more spice. Still conservative in defense, but tend to give up chances.

    Yet the biggest question for this Finnish team with the game against Canada coming up is who will start in goal. With Tuukka Rask’s somewhat shaky performance against Austria, it was Kari Lehtonen’s turn in goal against Norway on Friday, two days ahead of the big showdown against Canada.

    The game was over in the first period, with the Finns scoring three times on thirteen shots. Lehtonen was bored in net, having faced just six. It was certainly not a good game for the goaltender to really showcase his abilities to win the starter role for Saturday.

    Through two games in Sochi, Finland has already scored more goals than they did in the entire Vancouver Olympics four years ago.

    “It helps a lot when the game is 5-0 after 25-30 minutes.” Lehtonen said after the game. “The game is over at that

    Read More »from Finland faces tough test versus Canada, and tough question: who starts in goal?
  • Evgeni Malkin’s mom ran the Olympic torch and it was adorable

    Getty ImagesThe Sochi Olympic torch relay was historic not only because the route itself at 39,000 miles was the longest in history of the games, but also because it reached places like the North Pole, was taken into space by Russian cosmonauts, reached the peak of Europe’s highest mountain and took a dive into the world’s deepest lake.

    The Olympic torch was lit by Alex Ovechkin, and the relay ended with Vladislav Tretiak, together with figure skater Irina Rodnina, lighting the Olympic cauldron.  It started and ended with hockey.

    But, as the viral P&G ad says where would we be without moms?

    Evgeni Malkin thought his mom deserved to be one of the torch bearers. “Last year when we were in Pittsburgh, Zhenya (Geno) asked me ‘Would you be a torch bearer?’ I replied ‘Easily!’” Natalia Malkin told R-Sport.

    “When I came back from Pittsburgh in the summer I started going to the gym, getting fit.  Although I couldn’t last for a long time, approximately a month.  I thought the distance is not that long, I

    Read More »from Evgeni Malkin’s mom ran the Olympic torch and it was adorable
  • Alex Ovechkin on Pavel Datsyuk’s Olympic future, pressure for gold

    Getty ImagesAfter Sunday's 6-5 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals was asked about the status of countryman Pavel Datsyuk, whose status for the Olympics is unknown.

    He said that players are beginning to wonder whether the Russian captain will be ready to go. Team Russia has already made two changes to the Olympic roster due to injuries.

    "Of course it’s concerning.” Ovechkin told me on Sunday. “You worry that one of the best players in the world is injured. But I think he will do everything possible to represent his country. He is our captain.”

    Ovechkin himself missed a few games recently because of injury, but will not try to be any easier on himself. “You shouldn’t save yourself playing hockey. Because, I think, if you try to save yourself, injuries will catch up with you.”

    “The conditioning will be there.” Ovechkin continued. “Because you are in game shape already. And of course these three days that we are going to have before the Olympics will only

    Read More »from Alex Ovechkin on Pavel Datsyuk’s Olympic future, pressure for gold

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