Most valuable player of the Tournament, CSKA forward Igor Tyutyunnikov, shares some impressions about the Gazprom Neft Cup, names his idol and hopes to set the record straight in Omsk.
— Tell us about the last game, please.
— In the second period of the final against Dinamo (Minsk) our coach positioned us so we could get back to our zone quickly. Even while we were losing, our defence was still paramount — we could not allow them through and see things deteriorate further. The ice in the large rink is soft, this was our first match there and we were not used to it like the Dinamo boys.
— What did you make of Minsk?
— I really liked the city. When we went on the bus tour police cars always went ahead of us and the traffic lights were always green, so we had plenty of time to look around. Fantastic!
— You don’t score so often but have many assists. How come?
— Goals are not the most important thing for me. The team’s victory comes first, even if I don’t score myself.
— How did you come to take up ice hockey?
— I started playing ice hockey when I was three. My Dad put me on skates, I got the hang of it and there was no stopping me after that.
— Have your parents always followed your progress?
— Look, that’s my Dad in the red jacket over there in the stands. He often gives me advice and tips about my game and was overjoyed when they named me best player.
— You play a lot like Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings ...
— Yes I do, he’s my favourite ice hockey player! But I don’t dare wear the No.13 jersey like him. It’s my dream to play for CSKA in the future, and if I make it to the NHL then it’s Detroit or bust for me.
— How do you see the outcome of the Super Final?
— I used to play for Spartak and we once lost to Ak-Bars 0:4. Now I’m with CSKA, it’s a completely different team, we are stronger now, so we have a duty to go [to the Super Final] and win! What’s more, we will go by air to Omsk, and it was always one of my dreams to fly too! (The organizers have laid on a chartered flight for the winners of West Group to Omsk and back to Moscow. — Author’s note).