At the end of the Washington Capitals' Development Camp, prospects Dmitri Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov returned to Russia and began training with the Russian U-20 team. 2010 is apparently the "Year of France in Russia," and one of the activities was a three-game friendly with the Team France U-20s. The teams played three games in four days in three cities. Russia easily defeated their guests in all three games. Geno's stats for the three games combined: 1-2-3 and 25 PIM after the bleu blanc et rouge started a scrum he got tossed out of late in game three.
Keeping all this in mind, here's the interview.
Forward Evgeny Kuznetsov speaks of his plans and goals for the coming season, as well as his recent experience playing for Team Russia, his trip to a training camp in Washington and his views on the differences between overseas hockey and Russian hockey, in an interview with Championat.ru:
Are you satisfied with the way your team played against the French?
I cannot say that I was very satisfied. With such a rival, we should play a little differently. We've moved away, and the expense is not such as would like. Russia should do more to score goals and play better against a team at the level of the French team.
In the past you have not played with Dvurechenskikh and Voronin.[ed. new linemates for international competition] How do you find mutual understanding?
They are very good guys. It is pleasant to play with them, each of us have a role in the line. We played well. The first meeting didn't have much success, and then everything went well. We started to score.
You usually play center, but they moved you to wing.
I do not care where the coaches want me to play; at center or on the wing. I can play there and there.
Let's talk about Washington.
I liked it very much - the leadership, and the guys. I want to quickly go there to play, but I understand that it is too early. I should play in Russia for another year or two, and then go to the NHL. Words cannot convey how much I want this.
And your experience at the draft?
I wore a suit almost the first time in my life, sitting there for three hours. And then [GM George] McPhee [went to the podium] and called my name; I was very happy.
Did representatives of the Capitals communicate with you prior to the draft?
No. Other clubs were talking to me, and "Washington" was not being proactive. But representatives of the other teams a lot to me said, are often linked.
What happened after you were chosen?
Many congratulations, saying, "Welcome to the team." I had a call from Ovechkin, who personally congratulated me. Then I talked to the coach; I liked him very much, very nice person.
When you went to training camp, under whose guidance did you work? From the head coach of the Washington [Bruce] Boudreau?
Yes, of course. We had all the coaches of the first team and also the coach of the farm-club "Hershey" [ed. Mark French, FTW]. He is also a lot of talking to me.
What is the difference between exercises in Russia and overseas?
The difference is very big. Differences huge, everything is very fast at high speeds. Everything must be done in a high tempo.
Did you enjoy playing on the Canadian site in the third match against France? [ed. The Russian team played the French team three times in four days, on three different rinks. The third game was played in a Moscow shopping mall, and they used North American rink dimensions.]
I even like playing on the Canadian site. Less running around (laughs).
What are your personal objectives for the season?
The most important thing - to get to the playoffs and move on. If the team wins, and if I play well, then I make a contribution to the victory. With regard to personal plans, I want to score ten goals and collect more than twenty points.
And for Team Russia?
Objective One: I played already at three World Cups and have not yet won. I want to win! The first two world championships, I somehow still thought about the older, but the last junior World Cup when we played last year, failed completely. We were very upset then. Now we want to win the youth world championship. Against the Canadians in the final.