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Harijs Vitolins and Evgeny Kuznetsov speak before playing Sweden

18.09.2016

Harijs Vitolins, Russian national team head coach:

- There was a mist today inside the arena, the quality of the ice was poor. We couldn't do three of our planned training drills. At this tournament, the main thing will be to play good defence and not let the opponents dominate in your own zone. We have enough quality forwards to score the goals.

We feel the pressure, we understand that we are expected to be one of the best teams. One game will decide a lot.

- Can you point out any of Sweden's players?

- Any one who has three crowns on their chest will be dangerous.

- Which two players will miss the game?

- No, we will make that decision before the match.

- Will you watch today's two World Cup of Hockey matches?

- Yes, we will leave for the stadium straight after training.

- How important is this tournament for you as a coach?

- I can't compare it to anything else, it's something new.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Russian national team forward:

- Before matches, I try to be relaxed. Tomorrow morning, I will be more serious. If you think about the game for too long, you can be almost too pumped up and lose your focus. We know what to do, we have to go out and play ice hockey.

- Your opinion on the Swedes?

- The have a new coach who likes playing in the North American style. They make passes and skate well. I know that they don't like to play without the puck, and we will have chances if we keep possession.

- Does their goalkeeper have weak spots?

- Yes, Henrik Lundqvist makes mistakes like any other player. He is a good goaltender and we need to crash his net. In this match, I think that special teams will be key. 

Russian Ice Hockey Federation 

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