We know a lot about Alex Ovechkin. He’s a demon on skates, he loves club music and he drives a pretty sweet car. But the guy with the 8 on his back is pretty reserved when it comes to revealing much else about himself.

I got a chance to chat one on one with Ovi earlier this season and I learned a few things that surprised me — his opinion on Russian vs. American hockey, for instance. As a nod to the number on his sweater, this edition of The Ten will be The Eight.

Here’s a little more about Ovechkin, in his words:

1. I spent all the time [as a kid] with my friends playing soccer, basketball, tennis. Running around.

2. My favorite food is Russian food, of course. I also like steak and spaghetti.

3. I can’t cook. I’m kind of a restaurant guy.

4. I was a kid who always did nice things. I never got into trouble. (Note: I told him that the fans wouldn’t believe him. He insisted that they would.)

5. I’ve been pretty much everywhere, but I’d like to go to Japan to see all the kind of stuff because the technology is unbelievable. My friend go there all the time and he tell me, like, crazy things. So I  want to go there.

6. I can stick my tongue in my nose, too.

7. If could only keep one item of clothing, it would be my underwear.

8. Hockey is better here than in Russia. The atmosphere, I think.