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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Maxim Kondratiev interview

Toe to toe with the Russkies
Alex Ovechkin and Maxim Kondratiev

Maxim Kondratiev, along with fellow Russian defenseman Fedor Tyutin, is one of the highly-regarded young players being given a chance to play full time with the New York Rangers this season (you can check out Maxim's scouting profile on Hockey's Future, as well as on Russian Prospects.com). Tyutin and Kondratiev are on the long list of candidates for the Russian Olympic team, which is to be announced tomorrow (12/23), though it seems unlikely that either of them will make the final roster. Both players also began last season with the Hartford Wolf Pack, playing in a dozen games or so before heading back over to Russia to play once it became apparent that there would be a prolonged NHL lockout.

The following questions and answers were taken from an interview that appeared a couple of days ago in Sport Express; I had a difficult time with parts of the translation, so it may come across as somewhat of a dry interview (as some of the interviews on the Russian sites can be, except for the ones dealing with Brian Burke and either of the Fedorovs). It should have some interest for Rangers and Wolf Pack fans, at least.

How do you explain the success of the Rangers this season?
We have a strong and balanced team, which has made us effective in shutting down the top players on the other team. There is a complete and mutual understanding that prevails in the locker room.

Does Jaromir Jagr react strongly if one of the young players makes a mistake?
Very rarely. More often he encourages them.

What of Darius Kasparaitis, with whom you are often paired with?
He actually does yell (laughs). I'm very grateful to him. Darius gives me a lot of useful advice both on the ice and on the bench.

Now the offense has been given advantages over the defense.
Hockey has undoubtedly become more of an entertainment. It's to make the fans happy.

So far this season, you haven't scored much: one goal and two assists. I know that you are capable to be in on the attack more.
I'm not usually on the ice with the man advantage, only even-strength and on the penalty kill. Plus, Kasparaitis and I are usually on the ice with the third and fourth lines, so it's necessary that we concentrate more on defense.

During the lockout year, you played a little in Hartford, and then went to play with Lada Togliatti. Do you think that was the best decision for you?
Certainly! The hockey in Russia this past season was of high quality, inferior only in small ways to the NHL. I gained a lot from last season.

The Rangers are a team of new players. Which of the young players, in your view, are worth watching the most?
Dominic Moore, first of all. Also, Ryan Hollweg, who isn't a big player, but plays well defensively, plays recklessly and hard, and can bring it all. There are a few players like them who are very important to our team.

Most people expected that once Mike Richter retired, goaltending would become a problem for the Rangers. However, that did not happen.
We actually have a very strong defensive line, and Lundqvist and Weekes are talented. It's true with Lundqvist that this is his debut season in the NHL, but he was already one of the best-known players in his native Sweden. The play of our goalkeepers has been important to the success of our team.

What about another of the young players on the Rangers, and a candidate for the Russian Olympic team, Fedor Tyutin?
In the last few games, unfortunately, they have begun to play him less. He hasn't been on the ice during the man advantage, where Fedor was very effective at the beginning of the season.

What is the situation with another possible candidate to go to Torino, Fedor Fedorov?
It's hard to tell. He was sent to the farm team, and after playing a few games is becoming more of a reserve.

The Rangers have an interesting team, in that the defense is mostly Russian, and the offense is increasingly more Czech.
Actually, on defense we have two Czechs (Michal Rozsival and Marek Malik). On the whole, we have a team of Slavs.

Throw me off the roof my framing hammer, ehThrow me down the stairs my cigarettes, eh
Maxim Kondratiev mixing it up for Lada last season

5 Comments:

Anonymous G12 said...

I dont think it was that dry, he had some good things to say about the way thing are going for him and the team.

12/23/05, 9:04 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the fuck is Mark Richter?

12/23/05, 10:52 AM

 
Anonymous G12 said...

Dear Anonymous
he probabley ment the jackoff Mike Richter who spent 3 years to many living off past glory in net for the Rangers.

12/23/05, 3:06 PM

 
Blogger Brushback said...

G12's right-- I did mean to write "the jackoff Mike Richter".

In the original Russian it was Майк, which literally translates to "Mayk", and in my haste I typed it out as "Mark" instead of "Mike".

It pays to give attention to facts and details, unless you're Jeff Jacobs of course, and then you just make stuff up.

12/23/05, 4:21 PM

 
Blogger Brushback said...

12/31/05

A slightly different translation of this interview was just posted on Hockey Rodent, so you can go over there (www.hockeyrodent.com, or www.petrprucha.com-- don't use www.leaderboard.com/rodent.htm anymore, which leads to errors) to read his version.

12/31/05, 1:12 PM

 

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