Pavel Lysenkov talked to former Ovechkin's fitness trainer Dmitri Kapitonov. Here's an excerpt...
Everyone knows that in the summer hockey players work out to build a foundation for their entire season. In those years when Ovechkin broke the records and collected personal awards he worked in the offseason with former marathoner Dmitri Kapitonov. Maybe it's a bold statement, but Kapitonov is one of those people who made Alexander the Great.
In this pre-season Ovechkin was working with Dmitry's brother Alexander who is also a strength and conditioning coach. And the training was somewhere between July 20th to August 20th. Ovi used to train till September and then leave to America.
"I think Sasha did not have enough time to prepare," says Dmitry Kapitonov. "My brother worked with him for about a month and then Ovechkin trained by himself. We used to start training on July 15. We'd train from the ground up, get into it..."
Lysenkov: I've seen before Ovechkin almost cried during your workouts.
Kapitonov: Something like that.
Did the training change with your brother?
It has become more interesting. There was an interval work on the ice, in mixed mode. I don't see that Ovechkin has any problems with the fitness. I watched the games and Sasha looked in a top shape. I was particularly pleased with his goal against Ottawa, when he skated around half of their players and scored.
There was a discussion this summer that Ovechkin appeared fat.
Fat? It's all fraud as the rumors of doping. This is ridiculous. First, he didn't fail a single test. Second, what doping gives? Extra strength and aggression. Ovechkin doesn't need it. When he is hitting everybody is flying.
As a marathoner you set Ovechkin's endurance. How good is it now?
My brother said it was not bad. Sasha left to America in a good shape.
Why then his playing time was cut?
Washington changed the system. When Ovechkin is on the power play he stays on the ice about 30 seconds and gets replaced. And before that he'd spent on the ice all 2 minutes. A double penalty, he'd play 4 minutes. That's why his total ice time is low.
I believe that the Capitals should go back to their attacking style. Washington used to lead the league, win the regular season. Now they are not in the playoffs. Let Ovechkin, Backstrom and Semin play together more.
If Ovechkin will get 23-25 minutes again instead of 16, his stats will be back, and Washington would win more games.
Two things, first Ovechkin said that he started training this pre-season two weeks earlier than usual. This is not what Kapitonov said. Second, no one questions Kapitonov as a fitness trainer, but he seems to know less about hockey, "attacking style"? Who wins playoff or major tournaments with attacking style?
And still, what happened between the two? Why he is no longer available to Ovi? Yes, he is now with SKA in St. Petersburg, but so is his brother Alexander. This is what Pavel should've ask Dmitri.