Asked about Ilya Mikheyev’s English, Evgeny Kuznetsov compared him to a dog


  • Learning a new language at age 25 is never easy, but that’s what Russian forward Ilya Mikheyev decided when he left the KHL to pursue a career in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
  • With 10 points (4 goals and 6 assists) in 13 games with the Leafs, the right-winger has exceeded expectations early on so far in his adjustment to the North American game.
  • Off the ice, Mikheyev is still learning the ins and outs of North American culture, such as why people don’t like to eat soup more.
  • With the Washington Capitals in town to face the Leafs on Tuesday night, fellow Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov made sure to check in on how Mikheyev is adjusting to the culture shock of living in a new country and learning English.
  • Kuznetsov, who’s become one of the most quotable hockey players in the game, offered up another classic line.

“Right now, he’s like a dog. He understands, but he can not speak.”

  • What a comparison.
  • As per Mark Masters, Mikheyev didn’t conduct any English interviews in training camp, but is still getting in front of the cameras to improve his communication.
  • To help grasp the language quicker, he’s been consuming Friends on Netflix.

“As much as you speak English, you don’t speak English on the ice when it’s going 100-miles-an-hour and people are yelling out things and trying to show you things,” Babcock said, “and, so, what we’ve learned already as a coaching staff is when we think we taught it good, we haven’t taught it good enough so teach it better.”

Sources & Credit: Lance Hornby, Bardown
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