WJC failure: Plyuschev blames Filatov, Filatov blames Plyuschev (Photo © Getty Images)
The debate around team Russia WJC disaster goes on. Right after the team’s return in Russia many stories hit the media, the most interesting regarding Nikita Filatov and Vladimir Plyuschev relations. As we examined earlier in the Top 5 reasons why Russia failed at WJC it looks like there have been a conflict between the coach and the captain.
RussianHockeyFans.com offers you the most interesting quotes from a good sum-it-up article appeared at Bleacher report.
Vladimir Plyuschev words:
The main cause of our performance was my mistake in choosing the captain. A captain should be an example of how to behave on the ice, in the locker room and outside the arena. We trusted Filatov with the captaincy hoping that his experience would help him and his teammates be successful.
Unfortunately, Filatov did not get it. He failed as a leader. After the game with Switzerland, I came to the locker room and apologized in front of the team for my choice of captain. Filatov was not worthy of wearing the C.
When I suggested Filatov as captain I was hoping for a different result, for a different approach to what we hoped to achieve. We didn’t need an exhibition of individual skill on the ice. The number of points that Nikita got in this tournament he should have had in one period against Austria. And he got a lot of ice time
I had a serious talk with Filatov after the exhibition loss to Latvia. He assured me that everything is going to be fine, but then was once again invisible in our first game against Austria. I even told him, ‘If you don’t wanna play, leave the ice.’ A captain has no right to play like that.
I do not accept any responsibility for this result. We did what we could with this squad. Our country should seriously think about youth hockey.
Nikita Filatov words:
During the first intermission of the game against Switzerland Plyushchev said that we completely bombed as a team even though we totally dominated. The Swiss mainly dumped the puck out of their zone and had only five shots on our net, and even those from the blue line. Plyushchev went on to yell at us and personally insulted particular players, including me.
The same thing was happening on the bench during our quarterfinal. In fact, I remember the coach saying anything positive only once or twice during the whole tournament. He mainly just yelled at us.
I understand that a coach can’t teach a team a lot of new things in two weeks, but we were never taught any tactics. Not how to defend in our own zone, not how to break out, not what to do on the power play. All of these things are key to being a successful team. Nothing of the sort happened.
I was very surprised that we never had any video sessions designed to correct our mistakes. Not one. The coach also did not seem to know much about our opponents and made only very general statements about them. I thought this was very strange.
I was late for practice only once, along with three other players. The stories about me always being late are nothing but blatant lies. Plyushchev also talked behind my back to my teammates saying things like, ‘Filatov is impossible to talk with. He has a crown on his head,’ while never making any attempts to discuss any issues with me directly.
For example, during the Austria game he never said to me, ‘If you don’t want to play get off the ice.’ He said that on the bench while I was actually on the ice and I only found out about it the next day from my roommate Vyacheslav Kulemin. I was very distraught by such approach.
I accept responsibility for not playing up to expectations, but I did what I could under the circumstances and really tried hard. I’m very sad at how it all turned out. Plyushchev was unable to create a good atmosphere in our squad.