Tatiana Ovechkin: Alex was "always in motion"

Via the Washington
Post’s DC Sports Blog
, via
Sovetsky Sport
, via Russian Machine Never Breaks, we have some
highlights of a very interesting interview with Alex Ovechkin’s mother,
Tatiana. Here are some highlights:

And how did you
come up with your trademark, the number eight which
you have weared your whole career, and under which Sasha plays now?

When I first started with juniors in Dynamo, they began to put me with
the older group. I almost did not play with my age. I immensely liked
one basketball player, Vladimir Zinman. He played under eight.

did you choose hockey for Alexander then?

He is a very athletic guy. In any team sports he would be able to prove
himself. And in the childhood he watched a lot of hockey, ran with a
stick around the apartment. He was always in motion, his eyes on fire.
Since the time he started to walk Sasha was the most ardent fan of the
Moscow Dynamo in any sport.

Did you have in your career just as
hard a time as Sasha had after
the Vancouver Olympics?

Yes, I had. Ten years ago we were in the Final Four of the Euroleague
and failed to win that tournament. We yielded just one point to
Frenchwomen… I had a horrible depression.

My husband and I watched the Vancouver Olympics in Moscow. But after the
loss to Canadians (3:7) we flew to Washington to support Sasha. It’s
between me and my son what I said to him back then. It’s hard to revive
him after that loss.

really is a great interview
, and there’s an incredible picture of
Alex and his mother sitting on a bench with Uljana Semjonova, the 6’11”
center of the USSR basketball team. He even has a pair of Airborne
style rollerblades on in the picture.

She also talks about the
camera incident from Vancouver and how Ovechkin has recovered from his
Olympic disappointment.

I tried to come up with some witty things
to say about Ovechkin here, but I can’t. This is an interview with his
mom — gotta respect that.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.