Fly on the Wall - Dec. 13, 2008
The international language of winning
Though an interpreter was on hand to translate for Caps goalie Simeon Varlamov following his victorious NHL debut on Saturday night, the smile on his face said it all. As if his big grin wasn’t indication enough that the evening’s game was a special one, the banana cream pie all over his face – courtesy of teammate and fellow countryman Alex Ovechkin – might confirm as much to even a casual observer.
“It was great for me and I was really focused before the game. It was really tough out there, but we won the game and that’s great. I wanted to win tonight 100% because the first time I played in Russia, I won my first game. When I played for Team Russia I won my first game and now I won my first NHL game too and that’s special. Alex got me with the pie because he’s a funny guy.”
Coach Bruce Boudreau’s strategy: take lots of penalties
“You know what happens is, when a team is struggling on the power play like Montreal is, the more power plays they get, if they don’t score, the more they’ll struggle. I was just worried that if they scored early, then all of a sudden the confidence gets going and they get a few more. Once they were 0-for-4 and then 0-for-5, I figured if they got another penalty against us, we might even score a goal because they’re going to be really holding their sticks tight. “
Boudreau also has ESP
“They had the chance with three and a half minutes to go and when they missed all those chances, I said ‘It’s in the books, right now. It’s meant to be that we’re going to get lucky’ and it happened the next shift.”
Ovechkin hearts Montreal
The way Washington superstar Alexander Ovechkin was talking about the Canadiens and its fans, one might get the feeling that the showman is campaigning for one of the starting spots at the upcoming NHL All Star Game – or possibly a new job when his 13-year contract finally expires.
“Montreal has one of the best crowds in the league and a great atmosphere. It's an unbelievable place to play hockey in so for [Varlamov] to come in here against one of the greatest hockey teams in NHL history and win the game is great. He won the game for us.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com