|Author: Maxim Gubernatorov (Gazeta.ru)|
Translated By: Eugene Belashchenko
|Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins): They Decided I Have Enough Strength Left In Me!|
|2006 U20 World Junior Championships|
One of the best Russian national team players during the squad's opening
game victory against the Swedes at the ROSNO EuroTour cup was Metallurg's
forward Evgeny Malkin. After the game the young forward answered a few questions
from Gazeta.ru correspondent. Even though Malkin did not earn any points in the
game against the Swedes, he was on the ice at the time when the team's captain
Sushinsky opened the scoring. And overall, the forward, who last season was selected
2nd overall by Pittsburgh Penguins right after friend Alexander Ovechkin in the
NHL Entry Draft, was always active and constantly kept the Swedish defense busy.
Evgeny Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins) (right) and Grigori Shafigullin (Nashville Predators) (left) at the U20 WJC (Photo: RussianProspects.com Exclusive)
What is more important for you at the ROSNO Cup: to win the tournament
or to showcase your game to the Russian National Team coaches in order to make
the Olympic team?
Of course Vladimir Vasilyevich is seeing here what I am capable of. I am sure
that the main core of the team in Turin will consist of NHL players. He might
pick five or so players from the Super League, so I try to show myself in the
best light and to make this list. That is why, the most important thing is to
win the ROSNO Cup, and if we win here, then maybe more players who are competing
here will make that national team.
Last season you suffered a quite disappointing loss to the Canadians
(1:6) in the U20 WJC finals. With what feelings are you approaching this upcoming
tournament? (It will take place in Vancouver, Kamploops and Kelowna -
E. Malkin:I haven't been to Canada yet, and have mainly got a chance to
visit the US, specifically New York. This is my last U20 WJC and I have, unfortunately,
have not been able to win the gold medals thus far. So, I would really like
to fill in this gap. Right now I don't have time to think about it. In
any case, it's always very honorable to play at such tournaments. We have
an impressive lineup and that is why we have good chances of becoming the champions.
Still, do you sometimes recount that loss?
E. Malkin:Our team arrived at that deciding game against the Canadians very tired.
We gave it everything we had. The outcome, actually, wasn't all that terrible.
Simply, the took advantage of all their chancecs, scoring on the power play.
Also, at the beginning of the game, our goalie (Anton Khudobin - Gazeta.ru)
did not rescue us. But we made the right conclusions from the loss and will
come to this U20 WJC and play as we did at the previous one. Only now, I believe
we will have the fortune on our side and the meeting will end in our favor.
But you weren't planning on attending the U20 WJC and wanted
to concentrate on the Olympics in Turin. What changed?
E. Malkin:I am not the one deciding these things, but the Russian Hockey Federation
(FHR). I was not told right away that I would be going. They told me that I
would be allowed to go if I still have any strength left. But then they remembered
that we have a very good chance of winning and that I could really contribute
on the U20 squad, so they allowed me to go anyways. It is quite honorable to
win at the World Championships, and we definitely must achieve this result.
Is it probably better to play at the World Championships in Canada
than with Metallurg at the Shpengler Cup in Switzerland?
E. Malkin:I would, of course, like to play at the U20 WJC. I will say it again
that this is my last junior tournament, and I may have a chance to play at the
Shpengler Cup next season.
Do you follow the misfortunes of the Penguins? (this week the legendary
club's owner Mario Lemieux announced that the club will not likely remain
in Pittsburgh after the expiration of the contract in 2007. He even named the
new city - Kansas City. - Gazeta.ru)
E. Malkin:Yes, I follow things regarding the club in the press. To be honest,
however, I don't get a chance to watch any games. They take place too
late in our time. It is quite unfortunate that my team keeps losing (Pittsburgh
is currently second to last in the Eastern conference - Gazeta.ru), but
I think that club currently fields many young and talented players, and in a
year or two they can help the team to rise higher in the rankings.
Magnitagorsk Metallurg's head coach Dave King announced in a
recent interview to one of the North American media outlets that currently you
are the best player in the Russian Super League. What do you think about that?
E. Malkin:I simply do what I can and I am very pleased that Dave says such things
about me. I will do my best to continue fulfilling this pronouncement with my
By the way, do you root for anyone in the race for the Calder Trophy
in the NHL? Do you root for Sidney, who players for your Pittsburgh, or for
your countryman Alexander Ovechkin in Washington?
E. Malkin:I think that is a funny question. I root, of course, for our guy Sasha.
I am very good friends with him and worry for him.
By the way, you are often being compared to one, and then the other...
E. Malkin:I can't really comment on that. I played against Ovechkin
in the Super League, but I practically know nothing about Crosby. I only know
what I read in the media.
Written By: Maxim Gubernatorov (Gazeta.ru)
Translated By: Eugene Belashchenko (RussianProspects.com)
Related Player Profiles: . E.Malkin
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