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05-10-2011, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Alessandro Seren Rosso View Post
Yakushev72, great posts, as usual. I only don't agree on Zinoviev. He's a very talented player (as you said admitted) and he's an integral part of the ZZM line, the best by far of our team.

But I agree on your thoughts about our NT, which saddenly it's just the shadow of its former self. I also think that NHL players shouldn't be considered as key players, it's great to have all these enthusiastic players saying Yes whenever they are called, but still, we should focus on being a team, like we always have been. And we do need more youth, I frankly wouldn't have call Ovechkin and kept Tarasenko in. We also need to re-install some limitation to foreign goaltending in the KHL. I loved the first year's rule about 65% of time, there was a period in which we started producing good goalies (Barulin, Kasutin, Koshechkin, ...), now without limitations foreigners play most of the games and we don't produce good keepers. And Barulin lacks experience on the international stage. However, I liked the "second national team" project, hopefully it will go on next year.
Thank you for the kind words, Alessandro. And when you put it in terms of the ZZM line, you are right about the importance of Zinoviev. He is a great skater and a really talented puckhandler, but I wish his style was more like that of his linemates, particularly Zaripov. I really like the way Zaripov plays. He is such a great skater and puckhandler, and he uses his balance and instant acceleration to drive hard to the net before the defense can get set. I think this team is being too easily confined to the perimeter, away from the net, and if they are to survive on Thursday, they will need to venture into the slot area to put pressure on the Canadian goal.

I absolutely agree that too many foreign players, especially goaltenders, will ****** the development of the KHL, and more importantly, Russian hockey. Part of the purpose for the KHL has to be to improve the quality of Russian national teams. This is true in football (soccer), and I know Russian fans are intensely interesed in the success of Russian national teams in international hockey matches. They want the Russian flag hoisted, and the national anthem played, at the end of world matches. If Czech, Swedish, Canadian players, etc., improve the caliber of play and make the league more intense and competitive, that will help the KHL develop and benefit the development of Russian players in the short term, but the goal should be to arrive at the point where foreign players are no longer necessary to elevate the quality of play, and only the best players (e.g., Crosby, Henrik Sedin) are sought after to join the league. That may be a long way off, but I believe that should be the goal.

I also strongly believe that the KHL should be the primary source of talent for senior and U20 national teams, for the following reasons: (1) the number of Russians playing in the NHL continues to dwindle year after year, with only 28 Russians playing this past season, in comparison to 79 in the 2000-2001 season, and (2) players who choose to play in North America at the CHL and AHL levels are not developing adequately, and often drop out of hockey altogether after years in those leagues. In my opinion, the distinctive Russian style of hockey is much more dissimilar to the North American hitting and grinding, small rink style of hockey than the style that other Europeans play. Very talented Russian players are relegated to minor leagues because they dont hit, fight and play a tough-guy style of hockey. They are either a great talent, like Ovechkin and Malkin, or they are labeled as finesse players who can't check or play defense. In other words, they are destined for oblivion.

The KHL offers two things: (1) the opportunity to play Russian-style hockey on a big rink, and (2) to gather players together during breaks in the season to practice as a national team. Obviously, North America is too far away to permit the Ovechkins and Datsyuks to train with a national team to the degree necessary to become part of a cohesive team. That is what they will need on Thursday against Canada. Sorry for the long-winded post!

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