“SHOWING YOU WILL NOT MAKE ANYBODY HERE” – Do we understand that you remained in America for the period of quarantine?
– Exactly so – stayed here. I take care of my family, children and try to train as much as possible. – In Russia, quite strict measures of self-isolation were introduced. What about this in Arizona? Are there any restrictions?
– By movement? No, no special restrictions. They just asked everyone to sit at home. But this is not necessary, but at your discretion. In principle, we are doing this – we are sitting at home, we don’t particularly go anywhere, only I’m leaving for training, plus a store. And so in Arizona, all the people walk. But there are not so many cases. therefore, I think it’s normal when people go to the park for a walk. They just try not to contact each other and that's it. I myself several times went fishing with my children – there is a lake near the house. That's all our entertainment. – What was caught?
– Bass, catfish. – Big?
– Yes, big. My son recently caught a huge bass – a kilogram and a half to two. I think I set a record. Even mine surpassed. – Now everyone is switching to communication in the zoom, on Instagram, in different chats. How are you doing with this?
– It happens that we all call up together. Plus, I see the guys, as we work together – we go to Michael Grabner, he has a good room in his house. We are there for two or three people and train. Only I won’t give my last name – all of a sudden they don’t want anyone to find out about this … “I DO NOT GO TO RETURN TO KHL” – This season is already the second in the league for you. Have you fully mastered it?
– I got used to it last year. This season wasn’t much new for me. I think I spent it better than the first. What’s next? Next, I’m waiting for the contract. – Are you going to stay in the NHL?
– I would like to not come back yet. Yes, rumors of interest from Lokomotiv flashed in the press, but it makes sense to talk about this, since I want to continue playing here? – Have you had any conversations with the management? And for how long do you want a contract?
– I would not want to be very long. – for two, maximum three years. As for the leadership, we have mutual understanding, but so far there have been no concrete negotiations. The time is not the most suitable. There are still a lot of issues with the salary ceiling … In general, we will wait. – This season there were times when you did not fall into the main team. Head coach Rick Tokket explained why?
– In principle, no one here says why you didn’t play. I just went about my business – trained, worked on myself. That’s all I could do in this situation. You know how it happens – right on the morning roll-out before the game you will find out that you are not in the lineup, although you thought you would go out on the ice. Of course, this is difficult psychologically. But you must be strong in spirit and be ready for anything. Getting ready for the game, in the morning you come, see that you are not in the line-up – that’s all. No one will explain anything. Start preparing for the next match. – What is Rick Tokket in terms of work? Suggests something?
– We talked a lot with him this season, we talked. He helps me a lot to progress both in the team and in the league. We discuss a lot of things after training, in training. He tells me how I can improve my game, where I need to add, in which components. Shows exercises that help you become better. We sometimes deal with him even before training – he generally arrives very early, the very first goes on the ice. I think that without his help I would not have made such progress. “EVERYONE IN THE TEAM KNOWS RUSSIAN SPEAKERS” – Western Conference, McDavid, Dreisightle … Is it hard to stop these guys?
– We study all of them thoroughly. We watch a lot of videos. But by the way, they are good that they act non-standard. You can play, you can stop anyone. ”This season we managed to prevent them from scoring a single goal into our goal, although before that we lost 3: 7 …. These guys are really fast, but to be honest, it’s difficult in the NHL against any team “It’s not working out very well against Boston. I won’t say it’s hard, but it’s just that the game isn’t sticking. It’s a very difficult team, it is constantly pressing. as part of the Coyotes?
– I go to dinner more often with Finns, Swedes. Somehow it happened. Such a Russian-Fin Sko-Swedish diaspora, – Ilya laughs. – And so I communicate with everyone normally. Kessel, Hall are very friendly guys. Recently, we have been constantly having dinner with Anti Raanta. – When did you move to America, what was the most difficult?
– The language barrier is for sure. I had a set of words in my head, but they were not enough to communicate normally. I had a teacher here, an American, but very knowledgeable in Russian. He prompted a lot. Because what you learn at school does not work – here, anyway, they all speak differently. More slang. It seems that you know this phrase, but you don’t understand what they are telling you … Now I won’t say that I learned English perfectly. Anyway, problems arise. But I can already communicate more or less, understand the essence of the conversation. And most importantly – everyone in the team knows Russian words. Well, you know which ones, Ilya laughs. – Who is the most groovy in the locker room of the players?
– Jason Demers. Constantly, he comes up with something – it’s always fun with him, you won’t be bored. “IN JULY HERE IS 46 DEGREES. VERY HOT! ” – How do you think about hockey in Arizona? – It is very far from Phoenix. People are uncomfortable to travel, so not many people are going to. If they made the stadium closer, I think there would be a full stadium every time. And so, since hockey happens more often than football, not everyone can afford drive a car for one and a half to two hours, stand in traffic jams to get to the game, but all the same, fans have increased this year. In principle, they like sports. – Did you go to basketball?
– Here you go I didn’t go basketball. I went to American football once with the team. Interesting, but for a very long time. If everything was shorter …. Well, here is their own. They like it. – Is the family used to the new place? Is the climate suitable? Children like it ?
– In the summer it becomes unbearably hot in the afternoon. So before that, everything We’ve got used to it because it’s constantly warm – there was a good, mild climate. But now the summer months are May, June, July, August. The heat itself is worth it. In July it will be under 46! Now 41, it’s hard in the sun. It is already impossible to stand for a long time. You can go out, stand for 30 seconds and then you feel that it is getting a little bad. Therefore, we try to spend more time by the pool and in the shade. They haven’t purchased housing yet – the contract does not allow it, ”Ilya laughs. – And the family likes everything. – They say that in Arizona there are different terrible animals – spiders, beetles, snakes crawl …
– There is one. We have most of the players living in northern Scottsdale and there is a real desert – scorpions, spiders and snakes. But I live in the central part, around one city and there isn’t much of it here. Selected specifically to make the family comfortable. So take into account all the features. My wife is already accustomed, goes to hockey, communicates with other girls. – Now quite a lot of guys are leaving for America. Many say that it’s too early to go to 20 years of age if you have not yet shown yourself in the KHL. Do you agree?
– I will say this: when you consider it necessary, when you want, then you need to go. And all this talk about "must mature first" or "grow as a player in the KHL" … Who needs it, who doesn’t need it. Everyone has their own life, their own destiny, their own strengths. Here it is more necessary to build on oneself. If you consider it necessary to go, I packed up my things and drove off. I made a decision and realized – it's time. I decided all the questions and discussed with the agent. Each has its own situation. But it’s better to try than not to do it and then think about it all my life. “DENISENKO WILL GET EVERYTHING IN THE NHL” – Another Lokomotiv player is moving to the NHL this season – I’m talking about Grigory Denisenko. Do you think he will succeed in Florida?
– Grigory is a good player. once I arrived, I need to prove that I’m worthy. But I don’t doubt Denisenko. – You play with Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the first pair of defenders. Are there any features here?
– I I’m already used to it, I understand it well. But at first it was hard. He thinks very extraordinary on the field – a player of the highest class, and his hockey thinking is on a completely different level. It was difficult to adapt to his game. And now there are absolutely no problems with this. Plus, he often tells you how to play better – this is also important. – "Arizona" is considered be a team more closed in terms of defense. Is this a toquette system?
– No. It turns out that in defense we play quite well. But sometimes it doesn’t work out a lot. Although there were matches when they won with a big score. There are games when we lose with a big score. Once in a while. – In Russia it happens that a team has played several matches in a row – and that’s all, everyone’s tragedy, the players are shut down in training … In the NHL, in this regard, how?
– It's easier here. Anyway, there are difficult situations when a team loses and cannot get out of this situation – of course, in this case no one will behave completely indifferently. Everyone is also worried and worried about the result. But when you have 82 matches, you should try to switch as quickly as possible. If you go in cycles in defeats – everything, is gone. You need to get out faster and move on. – They say about you that you are a defender, gravitating to the game on the defensive. "Homebody".
– This is present, of course. Even when I’m talking with the coach, he requires me to show myself in the attack too. Constantly asks to connect to attacks. I’m trying, though I won’t say that everything works out. But the coach is constantly discussing this issue with me. And this is important when you are trusted.