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11-10-2012, 07:01 PM
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CSKA1974
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Bryzgalov's Interview to Sport-Express.ru on 11/9/2012

I posted the preview for this interview in Bryzgalov's thread.

Below is a full interview, please enjoy:

Iliya Bryzgalov, who went back to the USA while the Russian national team is on Eurotour, gave a phone interview to Sport- Express. ru

Q: Iliya have your parents and your wife changed their attitude toward you giving interviews? (As you remenber, Bryz declined an interview earlier this month stating that his wife and his parents had forbidden him to do so)

IB: Well, I hope you realize it was just a joke, a “chip”, if you will. And I hope that people with a sense of humor took it for what it was.

Q: It was quite witty. But, it is really necessary to communicate with press, despite our, or sometimes your, complexes.

IB: Absolutely agree. I am always ready to talk hockey. Truthfully, in North America, the press is spiteful, but they write mostly about hockey, and they come to you with stats and numbers (although they analyze them from a certain angle).
Unfortunately, it seems to me, that some of our Russian journalists are not even interested in hockey. Some of them live in their own, removed from the sport world. They write their non-hockey related articles, and they invent some plots and theories. In other words, it’s some unclear stream of conscious. And this stream, in my opinion, does not work for our game or our hockey. I am sorry, but that’s reality. That’s why I have decided that these people in their strange world will have to do without me and my comments.
What’s most insulting is that their writing does not help us to represent Russian hockey. Russia has an excellent league- KHL. The last time I played here before the lockout was 2000; it was different hockey here back then. Now the level is the highest! And, frankly, in the beginning I was not even ready to such level of competition- I would let 4 goals in. My game has improved by November.

Q: That’s a critical self assessment…

IB: That’s the only way. If one considers himself a professional, he has to look for limitations in his game in order to continue moving forward.

Q: Well, the Russian National team coaching staff did find limitations in your game. Vladimir Myshkin, the goal keeper coach, said that you are not at the level of the national team yet. The head coach, Bilyaletdinov, echoed Myshkin, although you were considered to be the main candidate for the Olympic team just about a year ago. Were you upset with change in coaches’ inclinations?

IB: (Laughs) I do not even know what to say. I am not a 20 year old anymore to get upset about a few lines in papers. As for the coaches, one must always respect their opinion. I will work my hardest to prove my worth to both the National team and the CSKA. And then we will see.

Q: It seems that your personality suits the previous National coach better, but nevertheless you have been a very active support of the coach Bilyaletdinov.
IB: It’s not right to compare coaches in the interview. I stay with my opinion that Bilyaletdinov is an excellent fit for the job. And the last world cup proved it.


Q: Let’s switch gears from the national team to the club. How do you feel in the CSKA?

IB: Very comfortable. We have an excellent club, where everything has been working well- from locker room to the front office. I am very happy with the team! Not sure, they are happy with me though (laughs).

Q: The head coach gave you chances to start your KHL endeavor against best teams- “Traktor” and “SKA”. They scored 4 goals a piece on you. Looks like you were thrown under the bus…

IB: So what? I do not see anything fishy here. My job is simple- get an indication from the coach and then block and catch pucks. It does not matter who we play- world team or a peewee league team.

Q: Anyway, your adaptation to the KHL was not easy…

IB: First, hockey on a bigger rink differs greatly from the NHL hockey. Secondly, there are fewer shots in Russia than in the NHL. Mostly pass play here to get the shooter in front of the net. That’s why I have to change my technique here. But the adaptation will end soon. I hope I will be able to help the club after the Eurotour break.

Q: What else was surprising to you in the KHL?

IB: When I played for Lada about 10 years ago, there were 5-6 teams that contended for the cup. The story is much different now – even the last team is capable of contending. In this regards, KHL is reminding me of the NHL, where there is almost parity among 30 teams.

Q: Another team mate from the NHL Michael Grabovsky is evidently happy with you. He confessed that you had sent him to the Moscow planetarium….

IB: (Laughs) Michael is confused. I advised him to go to the center where cosmonauts have been training for the flights. The cosmonauts get into really good shape in a very limited time there. That’s why I had suggested that he go there. He, as well as other NHL players, did not have a pre season. By the way, I should have gone there as well. I would, probably, have adapted faster to the Russian hockey.

Q: Have you noticed that both North American and Russian press like your statements about space, flights, and planetariums?

IB: (Laughs) I feel like journalists are bored at times, so I have to entertain them. But seriously, I do not see any sense to be locked up in the hockey shell. I am very interested in many things- philosophy, history, and space exploration. I am trying to connect journalists to these things.

Q: The NHL and NHLPA have been in constant negotiations lately. Do you feel that a resolution is near?

IB: No, I do not feel that way yet. The union has been informing us about negotiations. There were no indications yet, so I will concentrate on the CSKA for now.

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