Maxim Kitsyn: “I think I earned a spot for the WJC” (Photo © iihf.com)
2010 NHL Entry Draft Eligible Maxim Kitsyn scored four goals in six matches in the 2009 Subway Superseries. He talked about his performances in this challenge, his impressions of Canada and about his chances in the upcoming WJC in an interview with Sport Novokuznetsk.
RussianHockeyFans.com offers you a translation:
Maxim, could you describe your impressions of your trip to Canada?? Did you have good ice time? With whom did you play?
It was an interesting trip. We didn’t had the time to go out in the cities, but we seen junior teams’ arenas and we even managed to watch two games in Quebec and in Ontario. I played in the first line, but the partners constantly changed. At one moment it was Kirill Petrov, then it was guys who play in Canada. And I’ve spent good time on ice, after all I played on the first line (smiles).
Was it hard to play against Canadians? What can you say about their level of play?
They constantly hold you in tension, there are many fights for the puck. They play pretty well there, facing them is really interesting.
Why team Russia could not win a single match during the Super Series?
You need to finish your chances. If we have managed to score half of them, then the result would have been completely different.
In this tournament, the refereeing was against Team Russia?
My task is to play and not to discuss referees’ conduct. But I’ll say that there were moments in which it was at the same time offensive and laughable. As a matter of fact, the refs punished us, they made up some calls and sometimes they “closed an eye” for the local teams.
What do you remember the most of this trip?
I remember the QMJHL game we seen before the start of the Super Series. It was a match between Drummondville Voltigeurs and Quebec Remparts. Besides, Dmitry Kugryshev plays there. After the first goal scored by the home team, the crowd scattered the ice with toys. And they took some fifteen minutes to be removed.There were many toys. There were still five minutes to play until the end of the period, Quebec’s players even went to the locker room.
What did surprise you more during your trip in Canada, both on and off ice?
On ice almost nothing. Canadians usually play aggressive. Regarding off the ice moments, the locker room in Windsor. It’s possibly three times larger than the one we have at Metallurg Novokuznetsk. I’m not complaining, of course, but in Canada, the attitude towards junior hockey is different than in Russia. I hope that the situation will quickly improve.
What were you doing during your free time?
We weren’t always staying in the city’s centre, there was no special places to go to, only somewhere to sit and eat. During the free time I personally spent almost all my time lying on the bed or watching TV, i didn’t want to go anywhere, haven’t had the forces.
Are you satisfied by your game in the tournament? What did the coaches say to you?
I’d say I played well. It’s really a pity that we couldn’t win even a game. Like when you give out everything, try hard, but it’s not enough anyway. The coach said: “Gear up, there’s not much time”. I think that I showed him enough to be called for the WJC.
What can you say about your stats at the Super Series? Did you finish all your chances?
I was the team’s and even the tournament’s top scorer, but while we played six games, the Canadians just two. I missed some chances, that’s why I was a bit criticized. About this, my coach told me that I need to play more minutes with my KHL club.
Was this roster the best available for Russia?
There were many young players. As I understood, some seven players from this roster should be invited to the next training camp, including two goalkeepers.
Did you talk with Ivan Telegin? What did he say about the OHL?
Of course we talked. We played where his team bases. He likes almost everything in Canada, but he wants to talk only in Russian because he doesn’t know English.
Did these games in Canada give you confidence? Your ice time was much more than that you have in the KHL with Metallurg
It sure did. Playing in the first line or in the fourth it’s completely different. You can play on the powerplays, during the key moments of a game. It’s really important for me, I prefer playing into the opponents’ zone rather than defend.
Are you fully restored after your injury?
The full health doesn’t exist for hockey players, as for sportsmen in general. You heal from a thing and another one strikes back.