At the time of leaving Montreal, the attacker Ilya Kovalchuk could not imagine that Canada would be part of a table playoff to 24 teams. While looking ahead, the veteran of Washington Capitals was amused briefly of the situation.
“I’m happy with the time I spend in Washington and I hope to find Montreal in the final of association,” has launched Kovalchuk, sketching a smile.
In a video conference posted on the web site of the Capitals, the Russian admits to having kept in contact with some players of the Canadian since the transaction in February, and during the suspension of activities in the national hockey League. He repeats, however, that it should currently be more concerned about what is happening in Washington.
“I’m really focused and I’m glad to be in Washington, has assured Kovalchuk, who remains eligible to the status of unrestricted free agency at the end of the next series. We have a good team and we have good chances. It is necessary to work hard as a team and prepare in the best possible way.”
Objective: a first Stanley cup
Before thinking about a possible return to Montreal, Kovalchuk would like to obviously help the Capitals to win the Stanley cup, who has never lifted the precious trophy.
“I think the guys are shown to be in good shape physically and mentally”, he said, with optimism.
Rather than participate in the step qualifying, the Capitals will participate in a round-robin tournament with the Boston Bruins, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers. It will also be used to determine the positioning of these teams. The first match of Kovalchuk and his teammates Capitals is scheduled for Monday, August 3, against the Lightning.
Recall that the Canadian will face the Pittsburgh Penguins, in a series of 3 to 5, during the qualification round. In theory, a series of the first round between Montreal and Washington remains well possible; this scenario will be realized if the Capitals win the round robin tournament and the Habs eliminate the Penguins.