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March 24, 2019
Ovechkin Conference Call
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
DAVID KEON: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm David Keon with the National Hockey League's public relations department and I'd like to welcome you to our call. With us we have Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin. Thanks to Alex for taking the time today to answer your questions and thanks to Nate Ewell of the Caps' public relations department for arranging the call.
In Washington's 10-2 victory over Boston last night, Alex reached the 50-goal mark for the second time in his three National Hockey League seasons. It was the Capitals 67th game, making Alex the fastest player to reach 50 goals since 1995/'96 when Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux both did it in 59 games, and Alex Mogilny did it in 63. Alex is currently 10 goals ahead of Ilya Kovalchuk in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy and leads Evgeni Malkin by two points in the Hart Trophy race. Washington trails Carolina by three points in the Southeast Division with one game in hand. They are in Buffalo tomorrow, in Boston on Saturday, and they host the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday in the NBC Game of the Week at 12:30 ET.
Thanks again to Alex for taking the time to answer your questions. We'll open it up now.
Q. Six goals in that first period, you getting a hat trick in that period. Were you pretty shocked, sitting in the locker room saying, Up 6-0 already?
ALEX OVECHKIN: Well, especially I think the key is he knows the guys very well because he was coaching in Hershey, and lots of guys play in Hershey. He knows how he has to use some players. You know, he just changed our mentality, like we are not losers, we are good players, we are a good team, and we can beat anybody we want if we play how we can play. We improve. We beat Ottawa 4 times. Four games we play against Ottawa and we beat them 4-0. We play good against anybody. He tell us it's all about us. Like if you want to do something, you just have to play our system and play how we can and believe in yourself.
ALEX OVECHKIN: I will be happy. Like I have great chance to win the scoring. But, you know, it's nice.
ALEX OVECHKIN: Yeah. Score goals I think for forwards, it's like big goal for you, you know. When I score goals, I'm very happy. When we win the game I'm happy, too.
ALEX OVECHKIN: I just try to pass, just try to assist my partners (laughter).
ALEX OVECHKIN: I look at everything because I think the players who love score goals, whose job is to score goals don't score lots of games, they just try figure out what's going on, maybe luck, maybe something go out. So I just tell myself, I talk to Bruce, I talk to my family, they say, Hey, don't worry about it, just keep going, keep play simple and goals is coming. So a couple games I was nervous a little bit. After, I don't know, probably Tampa game when we won, I just tell myself, Okay, just play how you can, do what you can and, you know, try help team what you can do, like hit the guys, try (indiscernible) shots if you cannot score goals. Do something, but don't just concentrate about goal.
ALEX OVECHKIN: I think it's not for me. It's all players want to score 50 goals or something like that because it's very hard to do. You know, it's NHL, and it's hard. Especially when you score 50 goals, you are happy. I'm actually happy, very happy right now.
ALEX OVECHKIN: Yeah, I keep the puck. I give my trainer guys pucks. So they keep it.
ALEX OVECHKIN: Yeah, in my house, I put it in the wall.
ALEX OVECHKIN: First time, first pucks I have in my wall there, too.
ALEX OVECHKIN: No, you never know. Like yesterday I can't even imagine I score three goals in the first period. You know, sometimes, like I told, everything can go in. Sometimes you have empty net and you miss the empty net. You never know when you score goal.
ALEX OVECHKIN: I saw video. He was one of the greatest Russian players in history. Especially I remember the moment in Olympic Games when he score five goals against Finland. He was great.
ALEX OVECHKIN: No, I just want to be myself. You know, I think everybody have own style. Bure is Bure. Me is me. Semin is Semin. Everybody have their own style.
Q. What are some of your thoughts about chasing 60 goals? How exciting is it? You're chasing playoffs, chasing 60. What is going through your mind?
ALEX OVECHKIN: You know, it's all in my mind right now to help team win because we have situation we can push forward and we can go forward. If I score goal and we win, I will be happy. But, you know, right now it's all about win. You know, it's all about winning. If I score 60 and we go to playoffs, I will be very happy.
ALEX OVECHKIN: Well, personally, of course, you know, when you score lots of goals, when you have lots of points, it's good. But it's not good for the team, you know. Maybe some fans, maybe some people will think, Oh, he's selfish, he just want to score goals, he don't want to win. I don't want to look like selfish, you know.
ALEX OVECHKIN: You know, we have chances, it is up to us.
ALEX OVECHKIN: We have young guys and we have great experience guys, especially Sergei Fedorov. He won everything. He's great experience guy. He's unbelievable player. He's unbelievable guy in locker room, you know. He's 38, but he's still young. He's just great. And Huet like play well. He saved puck. He make unbelievable save. Right now I think we have best goalie in the league. Matt Cooke score very important goals for us last night, first goal. You know, team move forward after his goal. So the team just have great players, new guys, they help us a lot. You know, we just pretty excited about it.
ALEX OVECHKIN: I'll be happy if I score hundred percent. But, you know, I score right now 52 and I'm happy. You know, let's hope I shooting. Sometimes you have to keep on shooting. If you don't shoot, you never score goal.
ALEX OVECHKIN: No, not like from anywhere. If I have a chance, I'm always shooting.
ALEX OVECHKIN: No. If I see my partner's better position, I give my partner.
ALEX OVECHKIN: Actually, we not surprised. We have a great team. We support each other. We play for each other. We know our goal. We just have to continue knowing what to do, you know, don't do some mistakes because when you do mistakes, you take the mistakes and do something good, better, you know.
ALEX OVECHKIN: No, it was the beginning of the year. We knew we have lots of games. It's all in our hands.