Nikita Filatov: I took the right decision (Photo © Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
“Yeah, he’s simply great” – exclaimed CSKA’s goalie Konstantin Barulin looking at how many journalists were trying to get an interview with the day’s star Nikita Filatov. His return was a very good thing for CSKA and after the match he talked with allhockey.ru correspondent Olesya Usova.
Are you happy about your return and about today?
Yes, of course I am happy. The first thing I am happy for is my team’s victory.
And three points on your first match…
Yeah, I picked up three. But I never get to a match planning how many points collect, if score or not…The first thing is that my team wins. Especially now that CSKA had a long losing streak it’s a good thing that we interrupted it. We played an excellent game and I think that we deserved to win.
You got the player of the game honors. Are you happy to be named the best?
Of course, it’s always pleasant. I scored and successfully played my first game – I’m very happy.
Was it important for you to play well your debut match?
I didn’t even thought about that. It’s a game. Now it’s finished and I’m ready to get the next one. I set to any game equally.
Describe your first goal.
[CSKA’s forward Dmitry] Monya gave me an excellent pass. I got it, worked the puck. No one checked me and thus I shot. Good that it hit the net.
What did help your team to beat Traktor?
First of all our playing like a team. Everyone wanted to win, there was a big drive. We did feel the match. Even on the bench we were supporting each other for the whole match. We worked to win the match. Traktor is a very aggressive and tough team. That and the fact that they scored first complicated things for us. I liked Traktor and it was truly a not easy game for us.
How did you like playing with your new partners, Albert Leschev and Dmitry Monya?
Super. It was simply a pleasure to play with him. Albert Leschev is twice as old as me and I remember that when I was a child I used to go seeing him playing. He’s a master, playing with him is easy and pleasant. I trained with him for half a hour yesterday and now we played a good match. The guy does know hockey.
Which feelings you had today, wearing CSKA jersey and getting to the game with it?
I had unique feelings. I spent my life when I was 6 to 17 here and I haven’t changed my mother club. This is my second house, thirteen years of my life have been dedicated to CSKA. This is something special and I felt extraordinary feelings playing with CSKA.
Did you want to return in Russia only playing for CSKA?
Yes. I didn’t even think about moving to another team. This was for me the best option. First, it’s Moscow, it’s my home town, and secondly it’s CSKA, my mother club and I knew it would have been easy to get into the team. I was sure to be successful since the start and that my team mates would help me in that.
How did your team mates receive you?
All was great. I knew already many guys for some years, and I also trained with the second team this summer. All this helped me, I knew the guys, talked with them. And it was simply great how they received me.
You’re back to the KHL. Which changes you noticed since you first left overseas?
I’ve already noticed many changes. For example this brand new arena in Chelyabinsk, with a super ice and full tribunes. I am impressed. Playing like that is more pleasant and more interesting. I saw changes and it’s great, although it’s hard for me to judge as I played in the RSL of old only five matches. But during this time I watched matches and I can say that the level has became a lot higher. And there are also better import players.
So you don’t regret your return to Russia?
I’ve never thought about regrets. I was sure that all would be good. I took the right decision.
Any regrets for your play in Columbus?
I didn’t even think about it. I will follow the guys and their matches. There is a good team there too. I had no such intentions as to prove something to them. Not now and never before…
How can you judge the part of the season you spent there?
I never thought about any individual aim. The match is played, I already forgot it, now I think about the next one. But I want to win all the matches!