Vladimir Vorobiev interview in Sport Express
Vladimir Vorobiev, Ak Bars Kazan (Photo: hotshot.ru)
It may not seem like much of a read, but whenever a former Hartford Wolf Pack player has an interview in Sport Express, it's news around here.
Vladimir Vorobiev of Ak Bars Kazan, discussing first-place Ak Bars' upcoming second round playoff series against eighth-place Khimik:
Did you follow the first round series between Khimik and Severstal?
Absolutely, with great interest, as I very much wanted Severstal to win. I am from Cherepovets, so I was hoping to face Severstal in the second round so that I could pay a visit to my parents.
Is the fact that Khimik's first round series went the full five games, while Ak Bars swept their series in three, give an advantage to your team; or, is it the opposite, with this meaning that Khimik will be in better playing shape?
That's not easy to say. Obviously, Khimik used up more of themselves in their first round, so maybe that will give us a small advantage.
Are you concerned about the top line of Khimik (teammates Albert Leschev and Sergei Mozyakin were both in the top 5 in the RSL in scoring), and how your team will match up against them and try to disrupt them?
I don't think that we will focus only on their top players, but instead we will as usual prepare for their team as a whole.
Vorobiev in last year's RSL playoffs against Yaroslavl
A year ago, it was from precisely this point that Ak Bars began to play its best hockey, and went on to become the Russian champions. How do you see your team now as the playoffs go on?
It's too difficult to compare what we did in the first round last year with how we did against Metallurg Novokuznetsk this year. We advanced through the first round this year, 3 games to none, and that's the main thing.
How would you describe your opponent in this round?
Khimik is a very strong, agile team, with a number of good players both on offense and on defense. They have two very good goaltenders. It is a difficult task ahead of us, but we will stick to our resolve.
Vladimir Vorobiev's Wolf Pack career: 113 points in 121 games,
plus 19 points (11g, 8a) in 15 playoff games