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‘Roughly Translated’: Alexey Marchenko chats with Sport-Express

Alexey Marchenko had a conversation with Sport-Express's Igor Eronko recently, and here's a very rough translation thereof (as there's some colloquialism fun going on here):

The former defender of the red and blue [team CSKA], who's broken into Detroit's [lineup], attended the game between CSKA and HC Sochi [on Friday] and shared his impressions of the past and expectations for the next season with the correspondent of Sport-Express.

Alexey Marchenko: "The hockey of Kvartalnov is like playing in the AHL"

Igor Eronko, of LDS CSKA

What brings you to CSKA?

"I just came to see them while in Moscow."

How are you feeling?

"Fine. Moving well, running around, trying, sparring."

You're not training on the ice?

"I have a little skate. Plus in the gym I'm working. In a week I'm leaving for America, where I'll have a personal training camp. I'll work with a fitness coach and work out with a team--the guys who come, we immediately join the rest of the group at the arena."

The number of Russian players in Detroit's camp are a bit more than usual.

"Now, yes, it will be better. It's a good thing that Svechnikov was drafted. I was glad that we will have more, though, and all for one."

It's also necessary to make his way and he's likely to go the same way that you went.

"We'll see. Maybe he'll come out, play the best, score 10 goals in a single game, and earn his right to play on the team. Nobody knows. But he has a chance. You just have to be better than others."

Detroit's now coached by the head coach of the farm team of the Red Wings, Jeff Blashill. Is this a positive thing for you?

"The point's not to coach. If you're ready, you play. If not, if you're playing worse than the others, that's the difference as to who leads the team."

There are also stylistic differences, and you've played for Blashill, and played a lot for him.

"Yes, I played for him for two seasons. A good coach. He had a good relationship with all the guys. But in any case, it depends on me, not on the coach, and he won't play me up [in the NHL] if I'm not ready."

Can you compare Blashill to Mike Babcock, who left for Toronto?

"In principle, they're similar. Their manner of communication, conduct during the game. Besides, they were always in touch, called each other every day, said what they did in Detroit, and did in Grand Rapids, so when they call you up from the farm team, you know the system, know what to do."

The coaches in Detroit rarely change. It turns out that there was a restart?

"The Red Wings are gradually being rebuilt. New players come. Now the young Tatar and Nyquist are taking the leading role, becoming team leaders. Detroit's been in the playoffs for 24 consecutive seasons, and it shows the level: the team was able to survive the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, one of the best defenders in history, and continue to make the top 16 teams. The main thing--to get there, because in the playoffs, anything can happen. Including a victory of a Stanley Cup."

What did you think about Detroit signing a contract with Mike Green?

"Good for the strengthening of the team, a good player. We needed a right-handed quarterback on the power play, and Green was necessary."

At the same time, you get another competitor.

"Yeah, but I repeat, it's not Green, not someone else, but only in yourself. Are you ready to play at this level."

Do you like Green to help the Red Wings' deficiency of right shots. This may help you in your quest to break into the Red Wings?

"I don't know. Maybe, but the odds--half a percentage point at most. If you suddenly get up and choose, you can play. But this isn't the decisive factor."

Has general manager Ken Holland spoken to you about a contract extension? You're in the last year of your contract.

"No, there's been no conversation."

And what do you think?

"It's necessary to play the season, but it's already understandable."

But will you agree on a two-way contract, if it's offered?

"It wouldn't be two-way. But there's nothing to talk about. You just have to play, play well, and then the team wants to keep you."

Thoughts about returning to Russia, sitting behind the competitors you're watching, do they occur? In the same team, CSKA.

"Unavailable. If you've got a contract, you should work to prove that you're better than the others."

And what do you think about the metamorphosis that's taken place with CSKA with Dmitry Kvartalnov as the coach?

"I'd add that it became cool to play actively. They almost managed to win the Gargarin Cup. Lost in the semi-finals, unfortunately, but still managed to win the regular season title.All are fighting, trying, playing great. Hopefully this season they'll take the Cup."

Did you keep track of the playoffs, the series with SKA?

"I watched periodically when it was possible. We lost the series 3-0? Some part out of luck, some part didn't have the experience to win. But life goes on, we're ahead of the new season, and it should all be well."

Last time CSKA won the championship you had just been born.

"I don't know what to say. But it's good that now everything is getting better, that a good part of the team has ambition, wants to win the Gargarin Cup, and obviously it's [going to make its] claim, and I hope that it will turn out."

Do you agree that Kvartalnov employs a North American hockey style?

"Yes, I will agree. It's very similar to AHL hockey, the same active play, although there are differences, but this is due to the width of the ice most."

The NHL has 10 more Russians. Will it be more fun?

"I don't know about other teams--it could be. We have three [on the Red Wings], and not everybody will stay in the lineup."

But you'll meet each other. Will have someone from the restaurant to chat with in Russian."

"There will be, of course, and that's good. But I would like more Russians on our team."

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.