Vladimir Yurzinov: I love the playoffs

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Nizhny Novgorod coach Vladimir Yurzinov is in high spirits. A few rounds before the finish line, his team won a smooth championship in the West and is getting ready for the playoffs … Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo in the current Major League is akin to Kazan’s Ak Bars, playing in the division above. On the eve of the decisive games of the season, hockey experts consider the Nizhny Novgorod club to be the main contender for a return to the Super League.

– Playoffs are a slightly different thing than regular season matches. Do you agree?

– Yes, the playoffs are a completely different hockey than what we see in a smooth championship. A completely different game, in which the mood and motivation of the players come to the fore. You can write about it directly. I love to play matches like this. This has gone back to the days of the Finnish championship, in which I worked for ten seasons. Of course, it is impossible to forget the two championship seasons in Yaroslavl, where Lokomotiv won gold in the elimination matches.

– Who will be your main opponent in the decisive matches of the season?

– I will single out four teams. These are “Chemist” from Voskresensk, Almetyevsk and “Avtomobilist”. – Yekaterinburg does not declare its desire to play in the Super League … – But look what their composition is. Yasakov, Sayfullin, Kraev, Maryams – these people know how to play hockey.

– Are you disappointed with the level of hockey in the Major League? You’ve spent the last few seasons in the Super League. And with what is happening in the division below, they practically did not come into contact.

– There is absolutely no disappointment. On the contrary, I am happy that I work here, on the Nizhny Novgorod land. You understand, the one who thinks that we are working only on the solution of one problem is mistaken – the team’s entry into the Super League. No, we are building a team for the future. Which will not need to change its composition after entering the elite. Nizhny Novgorod will not be such that upon returning to the Superleague we will bring twenty new players in the summer. The skeleton is already there, and it has been formed. As for the level of hockey in the major league, many teams have serious masters. Take the same Dmitrov, where there are so many guys who played. Almetyevsk, Voskresensk. In the division, we had a very decent competition.

– Golts, Shafranov, Shalamay, Samokhvalov, Poddyakon – aren’t there too many older players in the team?

– We do not have age players, but experienced ones who have played in good clubs and national teams. I believe in these guys who, I hope, will not let me down either. The one who thinks that we have only adult masters is mistaken, we also have promising young guys, for whom the future belongs. But to be honest, I would not name the names. I think that it is simply not worth highlighting someone personally. We have been in the first place from the very beginning of the championship and, I think, we are showing good modern combination hockey. The best evidence of this is the attention to the team from the fans. They go to hockey in Nizhny Novgorod, and they actively support their team.

You have the best goalkeeping crew in the Major League. Chistov and Tsarev managed to play in serious clubs and in the national team. Which one of them claims to be the main goalkeeper of the team in the playoffs?

– I think that we have two equal goalkeepers, each of whom is capable of showing great hockey. And who of them will go on the ice in the next match, we will, believe me, decide among ourselves.

What would your current team look like if they played in the Super League today?

– I’m sure it’s not bad. During the pre-season preparation, we held several tournaments together with the Super League clubs. And they were by no means in the last roles. In Cherepovets, as you remember, we won, although very serious teams play in the traditional tournament for the prizes of cosmonaut Belyaev. Both the local Severstal and the St. Petersburg SKA, which is far from the weakest line-up and a very decent budget.

– In the Super League at the beginning of the season, all the coaches were crying over the new interpretation of the rules. How is the refereeing in the top league?

– You know, there are no special complaints. The only thing that raises a question for me as a mentor of the team that is leading the tournament table is the abundance of “fish”. Many players do not hesitate to “dive”, begging the referees for two-minute deletions. This behavior of hockey players makes me mad.

– In Nizhny Novgorod, the current arena does not meet the requirements of the Super League …

– It is planned to begin its reconstruction in the near future, and at the same time, construction of a modern sports palace will begin, in which Torpedo will eventually move to play. – In Nizhny Novgorod, hockey is patronized by the governor Valery Pavlinovich Shantsev … – Yes, and you know how much our governor loves hockey. There are no problems with the club leaders – Golyshev and Gorshkov. All work is for the good of the team, the city and the result.

– This season in the Super League, your former club – Novosibirsk Siberia – is making a splash. How can you explain such a surge in the actions of Sergei Kotov’s team?

– You see, I am very pleased with the one and a half years that I happened to work in Novosibirsk. I will probably never meet such fans as in the capital of Siberia anywhere else. As for the success of the current Siberia, Kotov got a good backbone of the team. Andrey Subbotin, Sasha Vyukhin, Miloslav Guren, Sergey Varlamov, Denis Kochetkov, Alexander Karpovtsev – each of them is a serious figure in modern hockey.

– Nevertheless, you left Novosibirsk of your own free will …

– Yes. As I left, I said that I would be the first coach to leave the club of my own free will (grins). But there were some funding problems in Novosibirsk. Therefore, it was difficult to climb above the fourteenth place. I sincerely wish the Novosibirsk club to perform as successfully as possible at the end of the current regular season and make some noise in the playoffs (smiles).

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