From Europe to Russia with Stanley Cup Love

The Keeper traveled with the Stanley Cup through Sweden and Germany before a few days with fans in Russia this past week. Click the highlighted links for the full story and pictures of the Stanley Cup Journey! Continue reading “From Europe to Russia with Stanley Cup Love”

The Orlov Stanley Cup Party

The Stanley Cup made it to Siberia on Friday and there Dmitry Orlov celebrated his long-awaited championship win with family, fans, and neighbors in Novokuznetsk. It was quite the homecoming for him.

Initially he set aside time from 1 to 4 but the Keeper of the Cup’s arrival was delayed from Moscow because of a mixup about the ultimate destination. Talk about fanfare- the Cup actually arrived by helicopter after they found where it was! It all worked out and eventually Dmitry carried his best buddy onto the stage, in the outskirts of town.

He was introduced to the stage by TV personality and friend, Stanislav Yarushin at Gagarin City Park after a nearly six hour delay. Dima and his wife have profusely apologized many many times, although it was out of their control.

He took a bunch of photos with the fans who waited and waited. One even waited NINE hours for his photo with Dima and Lord Stanley. Another waited eight hours for the three minutes they had to take posed photos. They stayed well into the night to make sure everyone had their moment. As always, we love the one with the next generation of hockey greats!

And the … it was party-time Orlov-Style. Fireworks and all!!!

Including dancing in the pool to a tune all too familiar to us now!

Without a doubt- he had one of the best days of his life shared with some of the most important people in his life.

The Orlov’s even put together a video that captures the best moments.

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Дорогие друзья! Огромное спасибо, что разделили с нами наш праздник! Для нас это значимое и большое событие! Ещё раз приносим искренние извинения за задержку с кубком! И спасибо за понимание, мы старались сделать все максимально быстро! Спасибо за тёплый приём! Нашим родным, друзьям, тренерам, отдельная благодарность! Вы сделали наш праздник, наш день! Мы никогда не забудем этот праздник! P.S. Лена @govor_elena , тебе и твоим родным, отдельная благодарность, если бы не ваша помощь, то не известно когда бы кубок был в Новокузнецке!

A post shared by Dmitry Orlov (@orlov_09) on

Stanley Cup Party- it all starts with a little dance

We love the Caps Russian players.

Ovi’s big toothy grim.

Kuzy’s hysterical laugh.

Dima’s boyish smirk.

And now we love their dance moves!!!!

Saturday night in true Ovechkin party style, Alex hosted a party for Lord Stanley in a karaoke bar. It was also the night Dima and Kuzy invented the Bird Dance and Ovi joined in for the Cup Lift Dance!!

Watch for yourself:

What can we say?? These guys are great!!!!

They even like watching themselves.

Video and Photos from Mrs. Ovechkina and Mrs. Orlova Instagram

read more about Ovi’s day with the Cup here.

Stanley, Ovi, and a Few Friends and Family

We wish we could have been there first hand to see Alex Ovechkin share the Stanley Cup with the people of Russia. Thankfully there is social media we have gathered up our favorite shots of Ovi celebrating, as shared by the media and his friends.

Alex took the Cup to the the FIFA Fanfest – a perfect venue for tons of fans to have their photo taken with their favorite hockey player!

Thanks to Tom Gulitti for some of the best photos of the day- starting with the fan conveyor belt and Team Dynomo visit. Check out the little kids who he has inspired!

More from various sources:

More with the kids!

And with a friend’s picture…

Of all the moments Ovi shared today- nothing touched us more than seeing him pass the Cup to Papa O!!!

Proud MaMa looking on:

The day ended in perfect Ovi fashion– a BiG party with his friends.

And the ever beautiful mother to be as well! What a couple!!

Sleep tight Ovi for tomorrow your little friend continues his journey without you!

Stanley is Heading to Moscow in July

The Stanley Cup will be making a world tour this summer as The Championship Washington Capitals each have a special day with it. We don’t have full details about its planned journey, but some players are sharing about their big day via social media. That includes Captain Alex Ovechkin who is home making his own rounds in Russia.

Ovi posted this to Instagram on Monday:

We know the Orlov’s will have a front row seat!

It doesn’t look like there will be a game opening coin toss by Ovechkin like the opening pitch at the Washington Nationals game.

But have no doubt, if Ovi and his Russian hockey buddies are there – fun will be had!!!!!

photos from Instagram

Washington Capitals US-Russia Connection, (and then some)…Part 2

Part two of Luis Felipe Rodrigues’ series on former Soviet/Russian players for the Washington Capitals. Read Part One here.

We were reminded that in 1974, the first year of the Washington Capitals, the Cold War, a dispute between the United States and the Soviet Union, still loomed.  The dispute had and impact on hockey as many of the players were born in the old rival power of the USA did and today continue making history in the NHL.

The Capitals have a long history of bringing in players for former Soviet-bloc countries, as well as Russia. In part one we looked at former Capital’s players from those areas. Today we look at current players from Russia and the Czech Republic. Perhaps none have had more of an impact than the Capital’s current captain.

Alexander Ovechkin was born in Moscow, Soviet Russia. His father Mikhail was a soccer player. His mother, Tatyana, a legend of Soviet basketball, won two Olympic gold medals in 1976 (Montreal) and 1980 (Moscow). Ovechkin has loved the sport since childhood and has always stood out. He arrived at the Caps in a troubled times for the NHL and the Capitals.

The Caps had traded Peter Bondra and a few other players as a way to cut costs. The team had finished the 2003-04 season in as the last place of the then Southeast Division and penultimate placed East Conference with 59 points and ahead only of its arch rival Pittsburgh Penguins (of the Atlantic Division) with 58 points. At the Western Conference, Washington was ahead of only the Chicago Blackhawks, who also had 59 points, but the Capitals took the best for more victories, which gave the Capitals the penultimate last place in the league. 

The Capitals won the 2004 draft lottery and selected Ovechkin; however, his debut was postponed due to the NHL lockout which canceled the entire 2004-05 season. Ovi has since become a symbol of the Caps franchise, his home country, and sport as one of the greatest scorers playing today. Ovi keeps making history with every passing season. First, he received the Calder Memorial Trophy as the rookie of the league year. He has been selected eight times for the All-Star Game, won the Art Ross Trophy in 2008 (given to the highest scorer in the season) with 112 points,  and six times won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. He became the player with most goals and points in the franchise history, surpassing Peter Bondra.

Ovechkin currently has 558 goals and 477 assists, totaling 1035 points. In addition, he holds the franchise’s record in: most goals in a season (65 in 2007-08), most goals in a season as a rookie (52 in 2005-06), most power-play goals in a season (24 in 2013-14), most power-play goals in a season as a rookie (21 in 2005-06), most power-play career goals (191 so far), most game-winning career goals (86 so far), plus points in a season as a rookie ) He also recorded the most shots on goal in one season (528 in 2008-09). For the league, Ovi is the player who most scored goals in a season by left winger (65 in 2007-08) and the Russian born who scored most goals in the league, surpassing former Capitals Sergei Fedorov. When playing for Russia, he won three IIHF World Championships (2008, 2012 and 2014).

Born in 1992, Evgeny Kuznetsov is the first and only Russian of the team hitherto born in the country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He was picked as the 26th overall by the Capitals in 2010, but he didn’t debut with the team until the 2013-14 season.  On April 27, 2015, he scored the game-winning goal over the New York Islanders in Game seven of Round one, which was externalized in fans memory. In 2016, he played the All-Star Game replacing Ovechkin, who suffered an injury. “Kuzy,” as he is called by the fans, is an indispensable player, renewing his contract recently for eight years and will receive a total of $ 63.4 million. He was with Ovehckin on the team which won the gold medal in the IIHF World Championship in 2012 and 2014.

Dmitry Orlov was born in Novokuznetsk, Soviet Union in 1991, the year in which the dissolution occurred. He is the last player to join the Caps who was been born in Soviet Russia. He was drafted by the Capitals as the 55th overall choice in 2009. He was slow to take to the team, sometimes playing for Capitals, sometimes for Hershey Bears, the Capitals affiliate in the AHL. The defenseman  joined the team in the 2015-16 season. Recently, just like Kuznetsov, he had his contract renewed and will receive 30.6 million over the next six years.

Jakub Vrana was born in 1996 in the Czech Republic. With the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia emerged. Vrana, who was drafted as the 13th choice in 2013, has already proved to show great promise, slowly gaining space but already has great affection from the fans. He stood out last season in the brief time he was called. He is expected to have a bigger role with the Capitals this year,moving up from the Hershey Bears to play in the NHL

There are many more players waiting in the wings that could join the Caps over the next few years. There is no doubt that Russia and the former Soviet-states continue to influence the game of hockey in the United States.

Are You Ready for the Capitals Russian Heritage Night?

Thursday at Verizon Center the Washington Capitals will celebrate the heritage of some of our most colorful players: Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetzov, and Dmitry Orlov. We thought we would share some of our favorite photos of these guys in preparation for the night.

Ovi took Washington by storm when he arrived in 2005 after signing a $124M contract for 13 years. Though he hasn’t brought home the Stanley Cup yet he continues to break records in the NHL and in the Caps franchise. As much as we love his playing, we love all those great smiles and other odd faces we catch at practice and during games. You’ll see that just like Alex, our skill with the camera has grown since we started taking pictures in 2010.

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Dima is the ‘quiet one’ – except we know he is a bit of a prankster too. Just look at that mischievous face of his. Orlov plays defense for the Caps and has been kind of up and down in his stats. We get that he is inconsistent, but when he is good – he’s really good. He told fans last year that he was really working on his english so it will be interesting to see if there is more confidence in how he speaks–and in his game as we head to the playoffs.

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But when it comes to charisma and those goofy looks –  Kuzy tops all the rest. From day one he has been great about meeting the fans. This year has not been as great as we had hoped but we have no doubt that he will bring it in the playoffs. Simply put, we love us some Kuzy.


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And though he may be in Hershey now, we just had to include our old friend Stan Galiev. No matter where he plays he will always be one of the our favorite Russians! watermarked photo 2 (2016-03-16-1148)