Intrusive Interview with Evgeni Nabokov


Mar 7, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20) makes a save against the New York Rangers during the third period of an NHL game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


Coney Island, NY–  Eyesonisles is happy to report that we have both an exclusive interview and first-hand ‘essay’ (if you want to call it that) by none other than Evgeni Nabokov. Below is his piece submitted to EOI, and at his request, absent of all edits and/or amplifications, etc. “Is perfect,” claims the staunch Isles netminder.

Suffice to say that Nabby wrote this on a few cocktail napkins laying around at the poker club in which we both found ourselves on this auspicious night. Wrote it in about 10 minutes, which, frankly, is quite impressive.

Oooh Evgeni angry here. Took Scottie Upshall for tour of Brooklyn in trunk of car after game. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Below this ‘wonderful’ reflective piece by the Isles’s very own in-house professor, is a portion of the transcript to the interview that took place.

I can say that after speaking with Nabokov, I’ve gained a deep-rooted appreciation for fine clothes, good vodka, paying your debts, and the importance of using articles properly in a sentence.

I’m also happy to report that I fared better than Stan Fischler ever did…well, sort of.

Oh, by the way, the pictures were provided by Nabby himself, with his very own captions.


Why Team of Mine is Best in Conference of East 

written of Evgeni Nabokov

Is interesting for to see how choice my boys play the hockey last few weeks. Okay may bee not last three games. Is let down period.

Proud I am of, how say, grit, dah? Proud of grit and strength, much like mother in days of old, much like bear from ney-boring montain village, He named Fyodor,

Any of way, I go off the topic,

My boys are playing the hockey choicely, calm your worry we beat Sid Kid, Why How? Evgeni forced to admit that is all success past and past tommmorrow due to stellar play of me. HAHAHAH, I joke I kid. Is because we are fine team now, NO prima Madonnas, is word, superstars that afraid of being punched in face or pushed in boards. Just tough players on ice. Is time for vodka on ice HAHAHAH I kid again, No. I no kid. I drink later Writing now, Any of way Evgeni go off the topic again,

Is point I making clear? My boys play the hockey tough like bear from neighboring montain village, Guess name? DAAAAH Fyodor, Good, Good,  Paying attention, Is nice of you,

HAHAHA I remember night. Evgeni and Sid Kid play baccarat night before. Overhung. Told Sid to turn off house lights for me. Nice kid. He owe only measly 5k. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Beginning of season all players had head up arse, Kyle is one, But he like bear now, had talk with him, Is clear to him is my way or way of high, He good lisentnerer, But Martee Reasonabler (he owe me money, by way. He lucky we not in Eastern European. Is by miracle of God Evgeni not burn house down and shoot his dog and slash tire. Stay home Martee. Evgeni have eyes evrywere), Mr Coach man, Basiley, Boydses, and pretty much is entire team with head up arse except Johnny Boy. Is good player Johnny. I like him. But he no Federov. Is my opinion, Is Amerika, so how you say, go take short walk off long cliff, sue Evgeni.

Evgeni is honest goalminder too, I let in soft one but no more soft one.  Okay maybe two soft one in Charolinea, but I is strong as Fyodor again, Had headache any-who, Now I feel hungry like Shark–hahahah DAH! I make reference to old team. You see what Evgeni do? Is called “being cleaver.” 

Is end of essay. I now go to interview with idiot editor. Oh. Last word to Isles fan-a-tistikis: You welcomed. {smilin face wit tongugh stickin out}


(I was able to edit some of his remarks, but then again, he wanted me to relay as pure an interview as possible. Interview recorded then transcribed.)

RD: So, I’m here with Evgeni Nabokov, the Professor, and one of the key players to the Islanders success these past several weeks. So, Nabby

EN: No, no, no, no. Cut tape

RD: I don’t have tape. It’s an iPod.

EN: Cut iPod. Is Mr Nabokov. Only boys of team allowed to call me Nabby. Maybe Reasoner when feel like it. Fans, maybe. Not you.

RD: I’m sorry Mr…

<interrupts with bellowing laugh and slaps me on back>

EN: HAHAH I KID YOU. Hahah Is okay. Call me Nabby.

<Waves waitress over. It must be noted that Nabby is impeccably dressed: wearing a black, well-fitted Hugo Boss (?)  suit, bright white Armani (?) shirt, what appear to be sapphire cuff-links, and a skinny black tie. His shoes look like glass they’re so polished.>

RD: Thanks for letting me interview you. I’ve seen your interactions with Stan Fischler and I must say, you’re…

EN: Stan is oh-kay! HAHAHA I break his chips. His beard remind me of old school teacher of mathematics from village. Isimov is name.

RD: That’s nice. Sort of like a mentor from your childhood days, your math teacher?

EN: Nyet! He failed Evgeni because I say Georgian hockey better than Russian. Except for Federov. Isimov from Moscow. Idiot for the math and idiot for the hockey.

RD: So that explains…

ED: Is explaining nothing. I have plans for The Man Stan. Move forward. HAHAH. Stan in for 10 large by way, with Evgeni’s tailor.

RD: Moving on

EN: Dah

RD: Eh, Nabby, how does it feel to be in the postseason after such a long drought?

EN: Stupid question. How is feel go to playoffs? Idiot, it feel terrible. Like kick in groin?!

RD: Ehh..

EN: Ehhh nuting. Ask good question or I go play the poker in back with Ilya

RD: Bryzgalov’s  here?!

<Turn my head to spot the Flyers goaltender, but to no avail. Nabby grabs me by the jaw.  Turns my head to his face. Man, he’s strong>

EN: What you do? Ilya come from back door. Many Ilya in Eastern European. Ask question. Ice melting in drink. And no, other Ilya. What you think, goalies all sleep in same bed?!

RD: Okay, so, yes, how does it feel…


<Bryzgalov does,  in fact, walk in; also well-dressed: traditional black tux, black skinny tie, and equally shinny black shoes. He raises his rock glass to Nabby; Nabby simply nods. They speak intermittently in Russian across the room. Nabby points to the Flyers’s goalie and then to a seat in the back of the club. Bryzgalov meekly goes where instructed, looking like a scolded child there in the corner, only thing missing is the dunce cap.>

RD: Okay…okay. So, when was it you started realizing that this team had a legitimate shot at making the playoffs?

EN: Is all when team got head out of arse. By way, you not see Ilya here.

<Points his finger in my face almost touching my nose–notice a tattoo on his hand of two snakes entwined to make a heart it seems–I nod in agreement>

RD: When was that exactly?

EN: When I used ol’ Georgian trick.

RD: What’s that?

EN: Fear and sharking!  HAHA I did again. I make reference to old team. HAHAHA


EN: Is funny how the hockey players have the crazy habits. Funny how easy Matty [Martin] and Kyle [Okposo] scare off ice. HAHHAHAHA

RD: WHAT?! But…

<SLAMS HAND ON TABLE. Entire club turns their stunned gazes toward me; I feel the heat of their eyes penetrating my face like the midday sun. I look around and see all the waitresses huddled together, looking at me with doe eyes. I’m in trouble, I say to myself. Silence.>


RD: okay

EN: I lost the train of the thought.


EN: SHUT YOU UP! DAH FEAR and sharking. Dah dah. But is the fear most used in situation here.

RD: [whispering] {sharking?}

Here is agent. Teddy. He funny guy. I took picture with iPod5 Igor found in Coney Island. He in for 65K. Evgeni bluff. He fold. Idiot.

EN: I sharking loans to all players and to Dougie Weight too. HAHA. Why you think Dougie wear nice suits to games not Thompson or Cappy? Ha. Let Evgeni tell tale. Haha Johnny Boy is always buying the hockey sticks from supplier I know in Beach Brighton. He not know. He ask Evgeni to buy for him at Modells or on-the-line by computer. He think he boss Evgeni around. I show fake receipt. Buy caca sticks.  Always break. He in for 35 large now. He no care. Why? He care to win. No worry. He win Hart and he will pay. He will continue having Evgeni buy the sticks. I lucky rabbit feet for Johnny Boy. Hahahah See, paahaha! Georgian trick

RD: Anyone else in for “Large?”

EN: HAAHA. Everyone, except Thompson–he have own problems with cousins of Igor. Even Al [Montoya] is owing Evgeni and Igor. Why you think he live in Hammer house in Winnipeg? He broke. AHAHAHA. Matty [Martin], he always buying the hair gel. He has big eggo [ego] like Igor…hahah. I like Matty. HE now have girlfiend. Buying the jewels. He fool in love. HAHAHA. Nabby know women dangerous more dangerous than too much vodka. HAHAA. I like Al too. Reasoner whole other wax of ball. In end, Evgeni say desperation is necessity of invention

RD: Mother of invention.

EN: WHAT YOU SAY?! <Gasps rummage through the club. I hold my breath as he grabs me by my lapels, the smell of Chanel Allure and vodka attacking all of my senses simultaneously>  You say something about my mama?

RD: Nonononono OH nonononono <Bracing for impact. Wincing>

EN:What then <releases me from his iron grip>

RD:Necessity is the mother of invention

EN: How can invention have mother? Invention is word. IDIOT! DON”T INTERRUPT EVGENI!! <Straightens his suit jacket. Mimes that he wants a bottle. Grey Goose delivered. He frowns> Any who, is begin to swell [dwell] to Evgeni that boys need motivation. I call Igor, and friends of friends to help me with boys and motivation. Best motivation is fear. You read Machovello?

RD: Machiavelli?


EN: DO NOT CORRECT EVGENI YOU IDIOT. MACHOVELLO SAY FEAR BETTER THAN LOVE! Evgeni try the loving talk to boys. Make boys feel okay about playing like ca-ca. But after 7-0 defeat to Flyers, I decide to measures take to my hands and I call Igor and friends of friends. Slow process, but working eh?

RD: Mr Nabokov…

EN: Nabby, please, we all friendly here

RD: Mr. Nabokov, sir, friends of friends, as in trainers, family friends of the players? psychologists?

EN: Nyet. HAHAHA P-seecoligee [psychology] is for dogs. Pavlovisky is idiot too.

RD: So who then?

EN: Russian Ma….Russian friends is all <Mutters, looking at Grey Goose bottle, then looking for waitress> Evgeni oh! Slipped the tongue. Oofffff.

RD: Umm..yeah…anyway, so continue

EN: Dah, any who <takes deep swig> Eech this vodka taste like pee of goose. Any who, we do research and Egveni and friends find right motivation for each player.

RD: Example

EN: Example is shut you up.

RD: Sorry

EN: For the example, Kyle. He love the dog. He have picture of dog in smelly locker. Is simple. I tell Kyle, you love dog? He say yeah. I say, okay. Keep idea on burner in the back. [backburner]

RD: Oh my god, what? You’re serious?!

EN: Like cancer. Like attack of heart. SHUT YOU UP. Let Evgeni finish tale.

RD: OH MY GOD…did you…you?

EN: OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. SHUT YOU UP! Listen…I take picture of picture of dog with new iphone 5 Igor found for me in Coney Island. I give phone back to Igor and say Go to Kyle home and take picture of sleeping dog. Then Igor take dog. Then, I go to Staple, have Kelly at Staple print picture from iPhone 5 Igor found for me in Coney Island, send picture of dog to Coliseum to Kyle in post. Kyle open letter. He look at me. I smile. I say, is no joke. And poof, he now play good. See. YALLA! Fear. Goals. Win.

RD: Yalla?

EN: Is Georgian way of saying stupid French word

RD: Voila?


RD: Is the dog okay?

EN: IDIOT. OF COURSE. EVGENI NOT MONSTER. But dog with Igor mama until playoffs over.

[…Several minutes later…after reading me the roster of all those who are in for ‘large’ with Evgeni and his ‘friends of friends’. I now have single-handed proof of why teams like the Avs, the Flyers, the ‘Canes, the Rangers, and others, played so poorly this season. Apparently the lockout was good for business. Didn’t want to know anymore.]

EN: And then Marty Reasoner is only one one who not pay begin the payment plan with Evgeni. He need money when he start playing in club the poker. He have too much time now. He bored. But Marty lost cause. Much like face of yours.

RD: Thank you.

EN: You bet ass thank you. Now take picture with Evgeni. By way, this your mom dog <pulls out picture of my Mom’s Pom, Romeo>

RD: Ummm yeaaah?!

EN: If you mess up article, dog go bye bye. JUST ASK STAN FISHER. HAHAHA <slaps my back again. Entire club erupts in laughter> HEY, IGOR, COME TAKE PICTURE WITH IPHONE 5 FROM CONEY ISLAND. <whispers> Smile idiot.


HAHAHA Look at Evgeni. I remembering days of old. Miss Fyodor. Big roar. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports