Team Russia's general manager at the Olympic Games, Vladislav Tretiak, gave an interview to Vitaliy Slavin of SovSport. Tretiak talked about the canceled practice on Monday, seriousness of Sergei Zinoviev's injury and the players' thoughts on a possible Russia-Canada quarterfinal.
RussianHockeyFans.com offers you a translation.
- Why did you cancel a practice on Monday?
Tretiak: "The coaches decided to give the players time to recover. The ice practice was optional and nobody wanted to skate. Everyone went to the gym and rode bikes. By the way, we are not the only team to cancel a practice. The Americans and Swedes also did it."
- But Team Canada practiced. And what an intense practice it was - 10 exercises for 40 minutes!
Tretiak: "Well, Canada lost to the USA one day before, so they had to bring negative emotions down."
- How is Sergei Zinoviev doing? Earlier there was information that the season was over for him.
Tretiak: "Yes, at first the doctors thought that the injury was that serious. However, after another examination the injury was found to be not very serious. On Tuesday he will try to practice with a special corset and then the coaches will decide if he'll play in the quarterfinal. But Sergei himself is eager to hit the ice."
- What did you think when you learned that Russia could face Canada in the quarterfinal?
Tretiak: "I thought that the world would see a battle of giants. That this is our fate, face Canada not in the final, as everyone hoped, but in the quarterfinal. Life is testing us and we have no choice. If we want to win the gold we have to defeat any opponent in the quarterfinal."
- How did the players react?
Tretiak: "With no worry, just like me. It's our fate."
- Have Russia started preparing for the game against Canada already?
Tretiak: "Yes, soon Nabokov and I will study highlights from the Canada-USA game. By the way, Nabokov has already watched the game once again closely."
- So Nabokov will start in the quarterfinal game?