Ovechkin opens up about Flyers, "weight gain" and Varlamov

By Stu Krantz

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin recently chatted with Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov before his annual charity game in Russia he hosts with Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk benefiting blind and deaf kids in Russia.

He had this to say about the Flyers, perennial challengers of the Caps for 1st in the East:

“Yes, [the Flyers having Bryzgalov] is not very nice. It is going to be more difficult to score against the Flyers now.

“But I was shocked when the Flyers traded Jeff Carter and captain Mike Richards. And then Bryz came over. He came to a good team that plays a tough defensive hockey.”

The subject of his alleged weight gain, of course, came up:

 “I don’t have a gut, do I?!” [Ovechkin said pointing to his body.] “Everyone started calling me yelling on the phone: ‘What did you do to yourself? Watch the video!’ I went online and gasped: ‘I am in trouble!’

“I don’t even understand myself how this was filmed this way. My hands were swollen [in the video] as if I was after a weeklong hangover. My gut, my face…”

[W]hen you’re sitting, slouching, your gut would still stick out.

“But it is all over the Internet now.”

When asked about his feelings over his friend Semyon Varlamov being traded to Colorado, he had this to say:

“[T]here was no communication. But what can you say here? A person left. But we are friends. A change of team will not affect our relationship in any way. Quite the opposite, Varlamov got a chance to become the number one in Colorado. His career can only go on the rise.

“And Washington didn’t do bad either. For Varlamov we got two first-round draft picks. [Ed. Note: Well, just one actually, but who’s counting?] And we signed Tomas Vokoun(notes). Our GM George McPhee did everything right.

“And I don’t understand the critics. You have to be an idiot to say that Varlamov is a weak goalie. Semyon often saved us, played well. Last season wasn’t that good [for him] due to injuries. But he is a high quality goaltender. He won’t be lost in the NHL.”

Neither will Ovi, I imagine.

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