Harijs Vitolins: "Defence is the most important aspect"


Before taking on Canada in the 2016 World Cup semi-final, Russian national team coach Harijs Vitolins shared his thoughts with the press:

Harijs Vitolins, Russian national team coach:

- The main thing for us is defence. Knowing how Canada begin matches with huge pressing, this factor will be key. If we defend well, we have the quality players in attack to finish our chances. 

- How is Pavel Datsyuk?

- Pavel feels better, everyone is preparing for the game but you will find out the line-up before the match. We are lookng at all options depending on whether Pavel can compete or not.

- There is lots of pressure playing against Canada?

- Yes, it comes with a lot of responsibility. Everyone, including the Canadians, understands how important this game is. We all want to show our best ice hockey.

- Looking at your roster, the Russian powerplay should be excellent, but it hasn't worked out that way. Why?

- We have analysed this component and have come to a mutual conclusion. We know the reasons behind this and will try to put it right today. 

Russian Ice Hockey Federation 

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