Toronto’s forward Nikolai Kulemin admitted: he doesn’t know opponents’ rosters well. At the same time the player expressed his regret for his former teammate from Magnitogorsk, one of the leaders of Pittsburgh, Evgeny Malkin missing the tournament due to an injury.
-What kind of feelings you have before the Worlds?
-Only positive. We have good team, all the guys came here to fight for medals. I’m happy that I managed to extend the season. In NHL the battle for championship still continues, and so I don’t want to leave on vacation ahead of time.
- You have already acclimatized?
- Yes, I arrived already last Wednesday. I feel much better.
- You managed to get used to the big rink in a week?
- Yes, there are no problems.
- Today you practiced in group with Tarashenko and Gorovikov. Do you think you will play in this combination at the Worlds?
- It’d be better to ask the coaches about that. It’s not important with whom I play.
- Your current season in Toronto was no doubt the most successful...
Yes, many things affected that. The coaches started to trust me more, I happened to get into a good line. That’s why I started to feel more confident.
Nevertheless your team didn’t make the playoffs. Осадок остался? ( I have absolutely no idea what that means, I assume something about leaving bad feelings)
- Thanks to the good ending of the season, осадка не осталось. I hope that next season everything will be much better. We have lots of young guys who will develop.
- Will it be sad at the Worlds without Malkin?
- It’s a shame that Ženja got such a serious injury. I wish him a quick recovery.
- From our „foreign“ players, who would you like to see in the team?
- I wish everyone luck to the playoffs. But in case someone becomes available, we’ll wait them in the team.
- Have you personally someone in Slovakia to support you?
- Which opponents you could highlight?
- I haven’t seen any rosters, it will be seen there, who is strong and who isn’t. I think the level of hockey is growing around the world, so there won’t be „walk-through“ games.
- Russia-Canada would be the ideal option for final?
- Ideal would be to win the gold.
- You visisted the 4th game of the MHL final between Stalnye Lisy (Steel foxes) and Krasnaya Armiya (Red Army). Were you upset about the loss of Magnitogorsk (Stalnye Lisy)?
-No. The guys had already lost first 3 games in the series, so it was quite obvious. But even though they’re young, they played till the end.
- You were offered a visit into the locker room?
Yeah, but I didn’t went. Just stood there for a moment next to it, talked. I have still many friends there.
Russia will start the tournament with game against Germany tomorrow at 16.15 local time.