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NHL hockey player unexpectedly praised Russia. But in the KHL, all the juice was squeezed out of him

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Six months in Russia gave the Canadian more than a few years in the US.

Recently, foreign hockey players rarely speak positively about the KHL. However, when it comes to comparing the level of our championship with the North American, even Russian experts agree: the NHL is head and shoulders above the domestic league.

However, there are among the overseas players and those who assess the situation differently. Recently, for example, Jake Virtanen made an unexpected and very flattering statement about the KHL. The Canadian striker returned to his homeland – and said that six months in Russia actually saved his career.

Our coaches, it turns out, are no worse than Western ones!

Problems with law? You in the KHL

It is believed that there are not so many high-class legionnaires in the KHL: few people would exchange the opportunity to play in the NHL for a long business trip to Russia. The trends of recent years have completely made the KHL a league for foreign renegades after Brendan Leipsik, who plays for Magnitogorsk, Lokomotiv forward Reed Boucher and Jake Virtanen, who played for Spartak, came to it.

Reed Boucher / Photo: © KHL / Yury Kuzmin

And if Leipsik was accused of misogyny because of insulting the wife of another hockey player, then the latter two were suspected of rape in their homeland. So in overseas hockey they became persona non grata. And if Bush made a deal with the investigation, confessed to the crime and received a suspended sentence, then the second fought for his truth and won. A few weeks ago, 25-year-old Virtanen was found not guilty on charges of sexual assault.

The incident, according to the victim, occurred in 2017, but she reported it to the police only in 2021. Then Virtanen played for Vancouver, who selected him in the first round of the 2014 draft. He was considered a promising striker, but the scandal with the accusations crossed everything out. The Canucks did not want to spoil the reputation, sent Virtanen on vacation, and then bought out the contract, pointing to the door.

The KHL has become a logical continuation of a career for the Canadian. He started the next season with Spartak, where they seriously counted on the former NHL player. But when Virtanen “stalled”, they began to deny it. Jake never finished the season, violating the terms of the agreement in March due to unauthorized absence. In the spring, he returned to Canada, where he prepared for the trial.

KHL made Virtanen better

As a result, the striker was acquitted and even got the opportunity to return to the NHL by signing a two-month trial contract with Edmonton. Now everything depends on the efforts of Virtanen, who is happy even with such a chance. In his first interview since signing, the Canadian expressed his hopes of securing a foothold in the NHL. And he noted that he became better thanks to … his short career in Russia.

“Training in Russia is on a different level,” Virtanen said. — I tried it on myself for 6-7 months, and it gave results. The guys there work really hard.

An unexpected confession from a hockey player with six years of NHL experience. Curiously, Virtanen is not the first legionnaire who has been impressed by training in the KHL. American hockey player Ryan Whitney unvarnished described his short career in Sochi and became famous thanks to scandalous statements about Russian women. But he spoke about Russia and the Continental League not only nasty things. In an essay for the American media a few years ago, he also recalled hard training:

“A typical practice in Sochi was much harder than any day at the NHL training facility,” Whitney wrote a few years ago. — In Russia, they skate. Then they ride again. And further. You are just dying. You’re about to fall. The coach yells. You look at your Russian teammates and ask, “What did he say?” And he said, “This is a warm-up.” Tired? Batons hurt? Forget the pain. You will only be released from training if your leg comes off. When someone manages to leave a training session due to an injury, the rest look at him with great envy.

Individual approach is not for everyone

The difference in approaches to training in the KHL and overseas has long been known:

due to the tight game schedule and long regular season in the NHL during the season, most often do not spend more than one practice per day on the ice, it takes from 20 to 45 minutes. And that is sometimes canceled depending on the calendar. OFP hockey players are engaged in an individual program. Virtanen’s words indicate that this approach is not suitable for all players. At least not progress. And he was expected from Virtanen in the NHL for six seasons!

In the KHL, the calendar allows for much more frequent and intense training: strength practices are added to the mandatory ice classes, albeit to a lesser extent than at pre-season training camps.

But the difference, it turns out, is not only in the system, but also in relation. For example, the OFP coach of Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo Andrew Caxor noted that specialists like him are looked upon “with respect” in Russia:

– Physical fitness coaches in Russia are respected members of the staff. Therefore, Russian hockey players will always follow the coach’s instructions without asking too many questions. In North America, there is such a culture that the OFP coach must captivate the hockey player with training, while in Russia you need to show how important recovery is, he explained.

    Source: Sportbox

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    Hockey

    Shesterkin was removed from the match at the last moment. Here is the confusion

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    Unforeseen circumstances prevented the Russian goalkeeper of the Rangers.

    Rangers fans are used to the fact that Igor Shesterkin is indispensable for the team, even if we are talking about a pre-season game. Therefore, when he held a roll-out before the exhibition meeting with Boston, but in the end did not go on the ice, the fans were really alarmed. It turned out that the Russian suddenly felt uneasy.

    Was – and disappeared

    Pre-season matches are a dress rehearsal before the start of the season, in which teams usually play links and try to get into the rhythm of the game. Of the past four meetings, not counting the match with Boston, Rangers goaltender Shesterkin went on the ice in two and played only partially in both, give other goalkeepers a chance to prove themselves. In a game with New Jersey, he missed three times in two periods, in a match with the Islanders, he left the gate intact in his half hour in the frame.

    It was planned that Shesterkin will hold the penultimate exhibition meeting with Boston at Madison Square Garden in its entirety. He went to the pre-match roll-out, successfully spent it and went with the team to the locker room. But for the starting face-off in the Rangers, another goalkeeper appeared on the ice – Yaroslav Galak, who was not listed in the starting lineup. What happened to Shesterkin?

    “So say: diarrhea”

    It is not surprising that this fact did not go unnoticed by fans and journalists. “What about Shesterkin?” – the media representatives present at the match began to write in social networks. A few minutes later, the club clarified, explaining that Shesterkin had “belly problems”. This, of course, immediately provoked a strong reaction from fans who love toilet humor.

    “I ate too much spicy food”, “What was the pre-match dish?”, “Just say it: diarrhea”, “I can’t believe that I will lose $ 500 just because Shesterkin has diarrhea.”

    A few minutes later, the Russian goalkeeper returned to the bench, but did not go on the ice in the match, which was unsuccessful for the Rangers. After the 4-5 defeat, head coach Gerard Galland gave a more extensive comment about the emergency substitution, saying that Shesterkin had “a hint of stomach flu”. He can play in the final preseason game against the Islanders on October 8 if the goaltending coach sees fit.

    Not the first time

    Despite the piquancy of the reason, toilet problems in professional sports are extremely common, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Just a few days ago, American football player Dekay Metcalf of Seattle gave fans a scare when he left the field in a cart. It turned out that the injury was not the issue – Metcalfe just suddenly wanted to go to the toilet, which was very far from the field.

    Eric Dyer / Photo: © REUTERS / /Lee Smith

    And two years ago, the embarrassment happened to the Tottenham player Eric Dyer, who left his team right during the English League Cup match with Chelsea. He really wanted to go to the toilet and could not help himself. Spurs head coach José Mourinho a few minutes later ran after Dier to the under-tribune room, because Tottenham were very tight without a defender. “Call of nature,” Dyer later explained his behavior. By the way, his team eventually won and advanced to the next round.

    Source: Sportbox

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    Ovechkin scored for the first time in the preseason, Panarin earned a -3 utility indicator

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    The NHL clubs held regular matches in preparation for the new season.

    Washington defeated Detroit 4-2. One of the main characters of the meeting was the captain of the capital club Alexander Ovechkin. The striker scored a goal and an assist. Ovechkin scored for the first time in the current preseason. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored with an assist.

    The Rangers lost to Boston 4-5. The leader of the attacks of the club from New York, Artemy Panarin, earned a utility indicator of “-3”, Vitaly Kravtsov – “-2”. Goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin did not go on the ice in the match.

    Colorado beat Dallas 2-1. The winners’ goalkeeper Alexander Georgiev played the match in full and saved 32 shots out of 33. Forward Valery Nichushkin earned a “-1” rating.

    Source: Sportbox

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    There is no hockey without emotions. Rotenberg – about the penalty for the gesture

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    The head coach of the St. Petersburg SKA Roman Rotenberg spoke about the good physical preparation of the players after the Fonbet KHL Championship match against Spartak, and also said that he was overwhelmed with emotions after the last game with CSKA.

    On Wednesday, SKA won a guest victory over Spartak with a score of 5:1. Earlier, the KHL fined Rotenberg for an offensive gesture shown after a meeting with CSKA. According to Match TV, the amount of the fine was 300 thousand rubles.

    — Are you satisfied with the physical condition of the players? The base was laid in the summer.

    “We can never be satisfied because we always think we can improve. But we have very professional fitness trainers. We constantly keep in shape, and this is a very big job. The kids spend a lot of time in the gym.

    – You were also overwhelmed with emotions, and the KHL fined you.

    — Hockey is a game of emotions, and different gestures can be interpreted in different ways. Somewhere my emotions really overwhelmed me, but we won a very important victory. And once again I would like to express respect to all teams, opponents and judges. And there is no hockey without emotions, ”Match TV quotes Rotenberg as saying.

      Source: Sportbox

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