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Author: Alexei Shevchenko (Sport Today Publication)
Translated By: Eugene Belashchenko
Date: 08/11/2007
Konstantin Barulin (St. Louis Blues): Your professionalism depends on your upbringing

Konstantin Barulin at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft after being drafted by the St. Louis Blues (Photo Source: RussianProspects exclusive)
Russian national team and HC Khimik goalie Konstantin Barulin (St. Louis Blues) shared his predictions regarding the future of his former club HC Spartak in a conversation with Sport Todayís correspondent.

How does the World Championships bronze medal winner evaluate HC Khimikís preseason preparedness.
K. Barulin:
Everything is fine, thanks. The roster is great, and we are all working with a lot of motivation.

The head coach took over a very important position.
K. Barulin: I think everything is fine. Before I did not work with experts who went through the European school, and my first impressions have been very positive. Besides that, Popikhin, invited a coach who trains the players how to skate. That right away added value.

Why do you need skating lessons?
K. Barulin: Itís not about me, but about the whole team.

Itís known that this season you wanted to return to Spartak. The club also showed a lot of interest in you. Are the negotiations still taking place?
K. Barulin: No, no negotiations could take place, as I have an active contract with Khimk. Yes they wanted me in their team, but..

What do you think about the new Spartak?
K. Barulin: I am sure that Valery Bragin will put together an interesting team, despite all the problems.

How did you regard the 3:11 defeat Spartak suffered at the tournament in Ufa?
K. Barulin: It was a preseason tournament and it doesnít deserve any conclusions. Besides, everything ended up well. They took second place and Pavel Vorobiev (Chicago Blackhawks), who recently joined them from our team became the best sniper of the tournament.

This year Khimik has been quiet on the free agent market. Does that mean that the teamís expectations have been lowered? Will there not be any serious goals placed before the squad?
K. Barulin: What do you mean? Simply the guys were given a chance to get used to each other. There is no noise and thatís good. The mission this season will remain the same as before.

To make it to the finals?
K. Barulin: To be in the top three. But officially no goals were placed before us.

This is the last year that foreign goaltenders play in Russian hockey. Are you getting ready to become irreplaceable next season?
K. Barulin: My team trusts me. Overall, young Russian goalies started to be trusted more than before.

But how will all this end up next season? Right now you feel the competition, but then itíll be empty.
K. Barulin: There are a number of perspective goaltenders. For example, Spartak has Evgeny Lobanov, who is a very good goalie and who simply wasnít given the chance to play in Yaroslavl. Magnitogorsk has Ilya Proskuryakov. They werenít given a chance and foreign goaltenders instead took over the top position even though ours arenít worse.

But they are without experience. If you put the same Proskuryakov in net during the finals, itís not clear what would happen. The goalie might break down.
K. Barulin: Who said he would break down? Was he given a chance to prove himself? Now one checked him out.

Will there be 40 young Russian goalies to fill the Super League?
K. Barulin: Why only young? There are a number of veterans Ė Maxim Sokolov for example. I think that everything will be fine. Anyways, Russia is a big country and there will be enough goalies for everyone.

When there is no competition, even the biggest professional may lower the demans on themselves.
K. Barulin: That depends on the upbringing. The restriction on foreign goalies wonít impact me. I will be working the same as before. And for some even the hottest competition wonít help.

- Alexei Shevchenko (Sport Today) Translated by Eugene Belashchenko

Related Player Profiles: . K.Barulin E.Lobanov I.Proskuryakov M.Sokolov P.Vorobiev
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