Youth takes over. #Kaprizov brings the win. #HCSalavat vs HCSpartak Moscow. January 10, 2017

Оригинал взят у seliasai в Youth takes over. #Kaprizov brings the win. #HCSalavat vs HCSpartak Moscow. January 10, 2017
'We were damn good!', Kirill Kaprizov says at a flash interview after the game. We'll agree with that, but not completely. One step at a time.
Ufa fans were happy to see Kirill Kaprizov and Vorobyov finally back in the roster. They have just got back from #WorldJuniors in Montreal and Toronto, where the guys got the bronze medals. Kirill was announced as the best forward and sniper of the tournament, scoring 9 goals, which is a record for World Juniors. Vorobyov also set a record, having 8 assists without scoring goals. Salavat without these guys wasn't so confident in scoring goals. Generally, the team wasn't good during their absence. The head coach, Igor Zakharkin, says that these young players are the leaders of the team, despite they're 19 years old. His approach to the young players should be taken into account, this is unusual here in KHL.Giving much responsibility to young players is the thing that helps them to gain confidence, to feel the trust of a coach in you. NHL coaches have been doing it for several years already. Now look at Connor McDavid (19 y.o.) - captain of Edmonton Oilers, probably the best player in the league, Andre Burakovsky (21 y.o) - the guy who plays with Alex Ovechkin in one line, Auston Matthews (19 y.o.) - the best rookie, who scored 4 goals in his first game for Toronto Maple Leafs. So, Zakharkin's approach is pretty modern, he always does the progressive stuff in hockey.
The main question before the game was whether Kaprizov and Vorobyov are the real leaders of the team. Are they so special for the team? The answer is obvious - yes.

The roster of HCSalavat was completely changed for this game. Kaprizov went to the 1st line to Omark and Mertl, while Hartikainen is injured for unknown time. Khripunov (19 y.o) became a right wing of the 2nd line. In advance I'll say that he was really good in interaction with Enver Lisin and Evgeny Bodrov. Again, Zakharkin gives plenty of gametime to young players. Mikhail Vorobyov was a centre of the 3rd line. Igor Grigorenko and Aleksandr Nesterov helped him from the wings. Parshin - Korotkov - Lazarev were a stopping line this time. Niklas Svedberg was again in the net. Zakharkin now doesn't refuse to say that he has to make Svedberg the 1st goalkeeper for the play-offs. 'No matter how Niklas plays, I have to make him the 1st to let the team know what he does to gain confidence back. There is no place for experiments.' So, fair enough, coach.
Salavat Yulaev as always starts the game very bad. As always the team concedes 2 goals right at the beginning. Ryan Stoa scored at the 27th second of the game, Dmitry Kalinin makes it 0:2 for Spartak on 9th minute. Nothing new for a Salavat fan.
Score is 0:2, and that's when Salavat usually wakes up. Tomas Mertl scores his 2nd for Salavat in powerplay. Good start of the 2nd period. Sure, in 4 minutes Kirill Kaprizov starts his killing spree. A beautiful putback by young player makes it 2:2, assisted by Omark of course.

In 10 minutes Linus makes another assist to Kaprizov. That's probably his most beautiful goal tonight. It's not over for him yet, now he makes an assist to Aleksander Loginov to make it 4:2. 4 goals in a period, that's huge for Salavat in recent times. Last time when the team scored 4 goals in a game December 27, against Lada, but then they conceded 6. In the 3rd period Salavat starts keepaway game. We all know that Salavat Yulaev cannot lead keepaway game. They just can't. Spartak knows that too and Aleksey Kirillov makes it 4:3 and gets on nerves of Ufa fans. Anyway, Denis Kulyash scores an empty-net goal to make the final score 5:3. Kirill Kaprizov scoring 4 points becomes the man of the game. Probably he'll be the 1st of the week in KHL, we'll see.

It seems that Salavat brought back the ability to score as many as they want. The team has always been characterized by this feature. We'll see whether it's true in a game against Torpedo, which is a good team with strong defense. So, that's good to check the offensing game of Salavat Yulaev.

HCSalavat Gets Back in the Series. Salavat Yulaev - Ak Bars 4:3. February 26, 2017

Today the 3rd game of the Green Derby series has been played and it was crucial for Salavat to win it. 2:0 after the two games in Kazan made it catastrophically necessary to reconsider the team's play. Salavat Yulaev completely lost first two games physically, the players seemed much slower. Ak Bars sweeped all before themselves. It was really interesting to see what Salavat was going to do with that.
Ufa has met the first game of this season's play-offs brilliantly. The city has waited for this the whole year and for some time the fans had doubts regarding hitting the play-offs. But now, 26 February, the first home game of the Gagarin Cup, the Green Derby. What can be better? Only the win over Ak Bars.
The most unexpected, surprising, illogical, shocking thing about the roster of Salavat Yulaev was announced 2 hours before the game. Andrei Gavrilov substitutes Niklas Svedberg in the net, he will start the game.
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Ak Bars Doubles the Lead over HCSalavat. February 25, 2017.

The Green Derby continues in the Gagarin Cup play-off series between Salavat Yulaev Ufa and Ak Bars Kazan. The first game ended with 2:1 in favour of Kazan and a massive scandal due to doubtfully legal goal scored by Atte Ohtamaa. You can see the details in my previous post.
In the first game Ak Bars seemed much better in the 1st and the 3rd periods, their head coach said that they have made conclusions regarding the 2nd period which was won by Salavat completely. The game showed that Ak Bars have really made conclusions, they've bettered.
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Scandalous 'Last-second' Goal from Atte Ohtamaa. February 23, 2017

Yesterday's first game of the Green Derby Series between HCSalavat and Ak Bars ended with a massive scandal. The games between these teams are always hot and it's a brilliant news headliner. So, yesterday, the teams exchanged punches in the first period and got back to deep defense for the rest of the game. Still, Ak Bars was the one in the third period who didn't want overtime. 5 seconds left, they started an attack and Atte Ohtamaa scored a heartbreaking goal on the last second.

Igor Zakharkin immediately took a coach's challenge to check if there was goaltender interference, because Andrei Popov made contact with Svedberg's leg pad when he was making the first shot. The refs defined that there wasn't anything. Ak Bars started to celebrate the victory for the second time. Then something happened, the referees watched the goal again. They checked if it was scored before the final buzzer. Again, the goal was good. Tatneft-Arena bursted into hysteria for the third time. That was it for Salavat Yulaev that night. But here we have a video of the goal with a timer on the left corner. What do you see? Is that legal? Can Ak Bars score goals after the time is off?

KHL says yes, the goal was scored when it was 0,04 seconds left. But we don't know that, we see what we see on this video. Why can't KHL show what really happened there? We won't get answers for these questions. We just have to pull ourselves tomorrow and beat them in a fair game, although they don't play it.

Ak Bars Takes the Lead in the Green Derby. February 22, 2017.

HCSalavat the second year in a row faces Ak Bars Kazan in the first round of the Gagarin Cup. This year the series starts in Kazan as Ak Bars came higher in the regular season. But they say it doesn't matter in play-offs.
Ak Bars has come to the play-offs in full squad. Vladimir Tkachyov, Albert Yarullin and Damir Musin have finally got back from a rest after the national team games. On the contrary Salavat Yulaev, which had problems with the roster during all the season couldn't count on everybody. Although Linus Omark, Denis Bodrov, Andrei Gavrilov and Evgeny Bodrov were finally ready, Teemu Hartikainen, Sergei Soin, Aleksandr Nesterov and Igor Makarov stayed in Ufa. These four players are a big loss for the team. Two of them are centreforwards.
So, as for the roster, Igor Grigorenko - Dmitry Makarov - Denis Parshin made the first line, backed up with Sami Lepisto and Aleksander Loginov. Enver Lisin - Tomas Mertl - Maksim Mayorov now were the second line. As in the previous game Kirill Kaprizov played with Evgeny Korotkov and Anton Lazarev. Linus Omark and Evgeny Bodrov were the drivers of the fourth line, they substituted young Stepan Khripunov and Mikhail Kotlyarevsky.

So, the rosters are set, the Tatneft-Arena is ready, the fans are pumped, let the Green Derby begin!
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HCSalavat Open Practice before the Play-Offs. February 20, 2017.

HCSalavat has started the preparement for the KHL Gagarin Cup 2017. This year Salavat Yulaev in the 1st round plays against Ak Bars Kazan again. So the entire League is pumped about the Green Derby. While the team is in Ufa, it has carried out an open practice today. I've provided you with the translations of interviews given by the head coach Igor Zakharkin and Linus Omark.

Igor Zakharkin: We are ready by all the components

- You said that you had been tapering for the penultimate game of the regular season vs Ak Bars, does it mean that you are ready for the 1st games of the play-offs?
- Can't agree with that. I've watched the last games of Ak Bars and seen significant changes in tactical pattern of the opponent. Today we've tried to prepare for that. In general we played many times against Ak Bars in the previous, in this seasons. The boys know the abilities of each other. State of health, mind, mentality and physical condition are very important right now. I think, we are ready by all the components.
- When shall we see Linus Omark play?
- The most important thing is that his injury allows him train and practice. Tomorrow he will take practice one more time. And then the doctor, Linus himself and I will determine his strategy of playing in play-offs.
- Why haven't we seen Anton Lazarev and Maksim Goncharov on ice today?
- They feel bad.
- When shall we see Teemu Hartikainen and Sergei Soin play?
- It's the question for the doctor. I don't know.
- Is Stepan Khripunov okay?
- Yes, Stepan is alright, I'm glad with that. We count on everybody. Stepan gives us a complete line, bench depth.
- As for the goalies, who's going to start the series?
- We will have a separate briefing about the goalkeepers. We have a plan.

Source: https://vk.com/hcsalavat?w=wall-45995544_264326

Linus Omark: We are going to win Ak Bars

- Linus, how's your injury?
- We're in play-offs. I won't talk about the injury. Today I've been on ice for the 1st time. I'm happy with that.
- How did you spend time in your homeland?
- I spent much time with my family, it was pleasure. I rode a bicycle, tried to keep fit, which is rather hard when you have a lower body injury. But today I'm already on ice, so everything's good.
- Did you watch Salavat Yulaev games? What can you say about the last two games?
- Yes, I watched on TV. It was an excellent victory over Ak Bars, we needed that in order to make it to play-offs. Although ahead of the last game we guaranteed a place in play-offs, it's still important to go there with two wins in a row. We're glad that we will play Kazan. It's always interesting games, good atmosphere.
- Recently Salavat Yulaev has advantage over Ak Bars in the sense of wins quantity. Is it a comfortable opponent in play-offs?
- No, it doesn't matter what happened in the regular season, play-offs is new games. I think it will be tight series, probably there will be seven games. But our team is better, we are going to win them.
- When will you play by your own feel?
- You never know that, I feel rather good. We'll see what happens tomorrow. Maybe I'll play in the 1st game, maybe in the 3rd, maybe in the 2nd. The doctors and coaches will decide that. But I feel I'm on the right way.

Source: https://vk.com/hcsalavat?w=wall-45995544_264338

All the photos are taken from  HCSalavat's official VK Public page: https://vk.com/hcsalavat

The Last Game of the Regular Season. HCSalavat - HC Lada Togliatti 4:2. February 18, 2017.

In one of my previous posts I wrote that Salavat Yulaev risked not make it to play-offs. I wrote that the team must have won both of the rest games. One over Ak Bars was enough, though, because the opponents, Kunlun Red Star, Admiral Vladivostok and Sibir Novosibirsk simulateaously lost their games. Thus, today's game vs Lada Togliatti determined only our first round opponent. If we win, we get the Green Derby as in last year. Do we want that? Of course we do.
Everybody was sure that HCSalavat wanted Kazan in play-offs, so the win was obvious. HC Lada doesn't already pursue any aims, so it was just a game of honour for them, everybody thought. Nobody expected that Togliatti would play at top speed. We have to thank Lada that they didn't give up the game and showed a top class hockey. It's good both for Salavat Yulaev ahead of play-offs and the fans to watch a spectacular game.Collapse )

Big Interview with Igor Grigorenko. February 15, 2017.

Igor Grigorenko, the current captain of Salavat Yulaev, gave a big interview to a KHL journalist Vladimir Bakulin. The interview was given on February 14 just before the game, so something may not be up-to-date, because HCSalavat has already won the Green Derby (3:1). Grigorenko gives interviews very rarely, and this one is big, so we must appreciate Igor's openness in such a hard situation. I've provided you with the translation of the whole interview.

Igor Grigorenko: Salavat is on thin ice. Everything's in our hands.

The captain of Salavat Yulaev in an interview for KHL - about Salavat's hardest situation, about a meeting with Ufa fans at the airport, about the 500th game in KHL, about time with Aleksander Radulov, about off-hockey live and all the rest.

"Well we're not a boy and a girl with Radulov to miss each other"

- The game against CSKA became your 500th in KHL, did you know?
- Frankly speaking, I didn't. Our press-attache told me about that before the game. Of course it's a bright spot for me, I played so many games.
- Did you follow your statistics until this moment?
- No, I never follow stats.
- Which season do you consider the most successful for yourself?
- Of course, I remember that season in Ufa, when we won the Gagarin Cup. This is the most memorable event. Probably it's about everybody: if you win something, then it's the best year.
- What about the time in CSKA?
- I have pleasant memories of that time. The results were good. Positive time.
- Right in CSKA two years ago you had the most successful season in the sense of goal production.
- Again I'll tell that it was excellent time for me. We played with Aleksander Radulov then, we got it right. In the sense of mutual understanding: both in Ufa and in CSKA. We spent a lot of time with him. That season was really memorable. Especially the play-offs, when we led 3:0 over SKA, and then we lost that series...
- Do you miss the line with Aleksander Radulov?
- Well, do I miss? Well we're not a boy and a girl with Radulov to miss each other. (Laughs). We played - yes, we did great. Unfortunately, now is the time when I play in one team, he does in another. So goes the sports life.
- Is Radulov the best playmaker you've ever played with?
- I don't want to single out players - who's better, who's worse. I'll say that Sasha (Radulov) is a strong player, everybody knows that.
- Was it easy to get on with him as a person? He's got nasty temper after all...
- For me it was always easy with him. Starting with the time when he joined Ufa. (Smiles).
- How did you take Radulov's decision to try himself in NHL again? Do you keep in contact?
- Of course, we call each other. Regarding Sasha's move - that's what he wanted. He wanted - he got it. He went to NHL to try himself again. I follow his perfomance in Montreal. As far as I know he's recently even scored a goal. Good job! Let him do his best, I wish him to win the Stanley Cup! Let's be happy for him.
- Just recently KHL All Star Game has taken place in Ufa. Did you go there?
- Yes, I did. Everything was organized seriously. We met with the guys who took part in it, everybody liked it,  everything was great. Probably it was the best All Star Game that's been ever held.
- The next season is the 10th for KHL. Has the League developed during this time?
- The League has been developing every year, there are some changes in rules and in other stuff. It seems everything started just now, but so many things were made. Good job!

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Charitable action "I help the children" at the Green Derby. February 15, 2017.

Salavat Yulaev as a big club in the League makes much not only in the hockey sense but it also carries out many social programs. Since recently it has started to realize many charitable events. Yesterday's Green Derby wasn't an exception. As it was Saint Valentine's Day, everybody who came to the game could buy and write a valentine to his most favourite player of HCSalavat. The point was that you buy a tear-off card with the player's photo on it, you write words of encouragement on the tear-off part and you keep the other part.

A valentine card costed only 100 rub. All the earnings of this "I help the children" charity action were to be transferred to "Liniya Serdtsa" ("Heart Line") program of Markhamat (Mercy) foundation. The program's task is to make targeted aid to severely ill children. The idea of such a wonderful action was given by Svetlana Mirsayeva, Markhamat's fundraising manager. At the conclusion of the charity action the club passes the valentines to the players, counts all of them and names the most popular player. The most wonderful thing about it was that you not only help the children, but you also support the team in these hard times. Green Hearts help each other!

Svedberg brings the win for HCSalavat in Green Derby. February 14, 2017.

Salavat Yulaev for the first time in last 12 years risks not to make it to play-offs. The team has come to the final games of the regular season with 82 points. The main competitors are Admiral Vladivostok, Kunlun Red Star and Sibir Novosibirsk. 9 losses in a row with 41 goals conceded, the injuries of Linus Omark, Teemu Hartikainen, Sergei Soin and the coming opponent Ak Bars Kazan left a vistage of doubt regarding making it to play-offs. But the stricken beast is the most dangerous, right? Maybe the most bitter rival is the thing you need the most in this kind of situation. Maybe Ak Bars is the right motivator to make the players play bigger than they think they can, they may rise to the occasion. The win over Ak Bars would make HCSalavat rise again from the ashes, break this lengthy skid of 9 losses. This would be a beautiful story. Can it come true?
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