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by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/24/11 at 10:31 PM ET
Red Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk answers to SovSport readers’ questions
By: Roman Piontkovsky Updated March 23, 2011 05:38 AM EST 1442 views
Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk is known not only for his smart and skilled game, but also for his incredible sense of humor. Recently the Russian forward met SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov to answer the readers’ questions.
Sovetsky Sport: Would you like to live in the USA after your career will be over?
Pavel Datsyuk: I don’t know, haven’t decided yet.
SS: Can you call yourself a patriot?
PD: Yes, for 100%. Certainly I will come over to motherland, will live in Russia. But it’s up to what iI will do after my playing career. I hope this moment won’t arrive soon. Man proposes, but God disposes…
SS: How do you define yourself a patroit?
PD: It’s tough to tell about it. You need to feel it. It’s our orthodox religion, laws and priorities. It’s the education given to you by parents. If you have a Russian passport, that doesn’t mean that you became a patriot at once. Alternatively, if you got an American passport it doesn’t mean you stopped loving Russia. The fact that I lived in Russia for the first 20 years of my life helps me a lot. I’m proud to be Russian.
SS: Will you go to IIHF WC if Detroit will lose in the first rounds of playoff?
PD: Detroit is a contender team and I hope we won’t lose. But if it will happen and injuries won’t disturb me, I’ll be glad to play for Team Russia.
SS: What can you say to Andrei Nazarov (Team Russia scout) who attended your game against the Coyotes?
PD: Actually I didn’t talk to him. But I haven’t won anything for Russia, so I’ll try to help as much as I can.
SS: Is it tough to play in the NHL for undersized players?
PD: Now it’s much easier than before the lockout. The rules changed. It became easier to play for small and agile players. Now they give more freedom to you and will rarely hook. It’s very important to have good skating skills. Anyway, no one has an easy life in the NHL.
SS: How did your recent hand injury affect the shooting accuracy? They say if violinist would break his hand, he loses sensibility.
PD: I can’t say that I was an exceptionally sharp shooter. And I can still feel the injury. I have asked the guys who has similar fractures and they say that a hand can ache even for a month after such an injury. I’m still feeling some woodiness, but it’s with a reason.
SS: Tell about your wonder stick.
PD: Earlier I played with a stick with oval holes. For this reason it was lighter. But now I reffered it back for finalization.
SS: What are your requirements for a hockey stick?
PD: Simple. It has to score goals, assist, win the draws and never break.
SS: How many sticks you usually break during the season?
PD: At least 160. I take 2 sticks for every game.
SS: What’s your opinion on players like Matt Cooke, who sometimes goes over the edge?
PD: Cooke’s goals are to throw his opponents off balance. I don’t think he intentionally injures other players, but he always plays hard. So you always need to be focused and be ready for such moments.
SS: Why do you wear number 13? It’s the devil’s dozen, isn’t it?
PD: I don’t khow how a number can be unlucky. In the childhood I got to hockey by the 13th bus, I met my wife at 13th day of the month. Do you see how many lucky coincindences?
SS: Andrei Markov with his teammate P.K.Subban made a bet on the WJC final. As a result, Subban wore Team Russia jersey in the Montreal locker room. Did you ever do some similar bet?
PD: I would like to see Subban in Russian jersey, I’m already coming to Youtube… Of course, we also make little bets, but at that day I was injured and thus I didn’t make the trip with the team. I watched the WJC final at home with my friends. Here in Detroit we love joking. For instance, Niklas Kronwall has tiny foot size. And someone put the basketball shoes of 48 size near his locker. Everybody was laughing aloud.
SS: Usually teams celebrate Helloween and dress up this day.
PD: Well, it’s obviously.
SS: And what did you wear?
PD: Let’s pass this question. I just say I dressed up as one oh the heroes of movie “The Hangover”.
SS: How do you judge Flyers’ rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky?
PD: I watched some highlights and I have to say that Bobrovsky played very well. It’s his first season, so he’ll be only better in the future.
SS: What goal did you have as a child?
PD: I wanted to reach out the toys on the upper shelf and I did it.
SS: When Kovalchuk was 4 years old in his sports diary appeared first record - “Our goal is the Olympics”.
PD: I couldn’t write or read when I was 4. I was a very humble boy and hadn’t any goals. Appetite came with eating, when I made Avtomobilist’s senior roster.
SS: Some children wanted to become austronauts, other wanted to be the truck drivers. Who did you want to be?
PD: I just wanted to help my parents.
SS: I know next question is a pain in the neck. But still, what did it happen in Vancouver?
PD: This question is a pain in the heart. We wouldn’t to repeat our mistakes in Sochi.
SS: What would be a revenge for you - to beat Canada 5 times at the world championship or only win in Sochi?
PD: I think only the gold medal at the Olympics. It’s the most remarkable tournament for me.
SS: What are your toughts on Nabokov situation? Were the Islanders right when they put a claim on him?
PD: We lost a good stable goalie, that could really help us. The islanders’ decision? Many people are going with this as with business. I think Islanders will retain the rights on Nabokov for another season. Now they can use it in his favor. For example, they can trade Nabokov to another team for player they need. This situation is tough, time will adjust everything. I’m concerned about Evgeny, he’s not 18 anymore. Time goes on. We call each other sometimes. I hope he will end up in Detroit.
SS: Gordie Howe often attends Detroit’s games. What advices he gives to you?
PD: Yes, he attends our games, but he appears in locker-room very rarely. But during the regular season Ted Lindsay often goes in. He even comes to our practices. I wonder how in his 85 he can visit the gym three times a week. Though I was advised by another Red Wings legend Mickey Redmond. He said to me:“Pavs, shoot the puck near goaltender’s ears”. I’m afraid of shooting in such way at the practice, but there are no friends during a game. So I would say to other teams’ goalies - mind your ears!
SS: Ilya Kovalchuk said Jacques Lemaire is the best coach he ever played for. Would you say the same about Mike Babcock?
PD: I’m thakful to every coach that helped me to develop. Starting with my first coach Valeri Goloukhov and Vladimir Krikunov, who made me a professional hockey player. In my rookie season I didn’t talk to Bowman much. I don’t argue, he’s a great coach. But Babcock made me the player I am now.
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