In a few hours, the Russian national team will come out on the ice in the final match of the youth world hockey championship. Opponent is a team of Canada, which won two playoff matches with a score of 11: 1, and now wants to take revenge on ours for a crushing defeat in the group stage (0: 6) and take the gold. Sport24 talked with hockey experts about how Valery Bragin and his hockey players stop an opponent who is angry and unstoppable in cup games.
Kirill Kornilov, a famous commentator:
“After the defeat in the group, Canadians did not notice their rivals. Today a much more motivated and united team will come out against us; it certainly won’t be easy. It is not clear whether Hayton will play. The head coach did not reveal any secrets. If he does not play, then this will be a loss for Canadians, this is one of the key players in the game in the majority. Hayton – the player who scored points in all games except the match with Russia, is a leader and captain. However, the depth of the composition allows them to find a replacement.
I think the coaching staff made out the Canadians playoffs. I expect that Canadians will start this meeting in much the same way as against the Finns. I have not seen such a starting assault from Canadians for a long time. The last time, probably in the final of 2015 in Toronto against Russia, then they scored two goals in two minutes. Perhaps the key moment for Russia is to try to restrain this starting onslaught. Everything must be done so as not to miss, then exhaust the Canadians and then level the game. If Canadians run, then competing with them in speed will be incredibly difficult. Yesterday they had a good practice at the Finns, the game was not the most energy-intensive, unlike the match of the Russian team. Freshness can play a role. Plus, do not forget about emotions. I repeat that Canadians will come out incredibly motivated, at least it will not be easy. After the defeat from us, they started up, none of the rivals could oppose anything to them. ”
Alexey Badyukov, Two-time winner of the Gagarin Cup:
“I think the defeat at the group stage will make the Canadians more fun, because after that defeat they did not yield to anyone else. As they themselves say, after that match they changed the game in defense, and the attackers began to more strictly help the defenders. That is, this defeat of the Canadians mobilized.
Lafrenier returned to the squad after damage, but captain Hayton, most likely, will not play. This is a serious loss, the center forward of the first link. If you look at the first minutes of their semifinal match with Finland, it is clear what we need to expect from Canadians. Nevertheless, we should play in the same aggressive manner, as both Russians and Canadians are favorites. The teams already know each other, they want to meet again. If we do not play our own hockey, then we ourselves will be upset that we did not use our best qualities.
Most importantly, for the guys to have enough emotions, they will play the second day in a row. It immediately recalls the match against the United States. The players themselves said that they would otherwise prepare for the match on the second day. It is nice that they took into account the mistakes of the group stage. You need to recover well and prepare for the match in your head.
As for the majority, if you treat their majority with the same caution, as if they were playing against the Swedes now, then it’s better. Most Canadians should not be underestimated. It could have been better with the Swedes, but they themselves got rid of it. Of course, Sweden is more interesting in the majority than Canada, but here it is also dangerous. They often vary the throws of the defenders and shots on substitution through the central striker on the nickle. Ours do about the same. It is important that with the Swedes we showed a good game in equal compositions. ”
Andrey Zyuzin, former coach of Salavat Yulaev and ex-player of NHL clubs:
“Canadians on the eve defeated the Finns in the semifinals, but let’s not forget that they lost 6-0 to us in the group stage. Of course, a crushing score gives a slight weakness, given that the guys are still young. However, a good game should turn out, there are worthy rivals who have something to prove to each other. There will be no relaxation, this is the final, the coaches will try to focus the guys to the utmost. I think, from the first shift will begin to kill!
It can be seen that Canadians gained momentum during the tournament. The start of the championship and the final game are completely different things. We need to show the same hockey as in the match with Canada in the group. It was an indicative game in all respects: the goalkeeper line, defense, attack. We played tight with good shots on goal, finishing, rebounds. You need to adhere to the same tactics: fast hockey and as many shots on goal from any position. Canadians have a very strong goalkeeper, they need constant traffic and a good game on finishing moves.
Hopefully there will be a turning point today. We were waiting for victory at the MFM. Today is a historic match, we just need to take the gold. We have great players, a long time ago such a powerful team was not. I wish them good luck! ”
Sergey Fedotov, CEO of GSA, commentator on NHL matches:
“It is clear that today there will be a different Canada. In one tournament, it is hard to beat two strong opponents. The finale is generally a completely separate thing. Those 0: 6 are unlikely to matter, unless it becomes an additional motivation for Canadians, there will be revengeful sentiments. But this is far from a fact. Our team has repeatedly found itself in very difficult situations during this tournament, but got out of them. The match against Canada will not have any continuation with either a semi-final or a rout in the group stage. The finals are the teams that are objectively the strongest in this MFM. In this particular match, in my opinion, the result by 60% will depend not on tactical schemes, but on psychology. You need the ability of the player individually and team to forget that this is the final, and make the right decisions in a second, react to the actions of the opponent. In general, team psychology is an unexplored area that influences much more than individual skill and some tactical schemes.
We must not forget about the game of goalkeepers. After 0: 6, Canada scored 22: 4 in the following matches. Now Hofer is one of the main contenders for the title of the best goalkeeper of the tournament. The goalkeeper factor in the finals is of great importance. There is nothing to think about the quick start of Canadians, because both sides know everything. But this knowledge in no way can affect what will happen on ice from the first seconds. Therefore, the key components of success: luck, nuances and character.
Despite the fact that we have never beaten Canada twice in one tournament, it is this convocation, in my opinion, that is ready to do what no one has managed before, and to beat the Canadian national team in the final. We also had a few extra hours to recover, although at a youth level this is not so important. However, we had more time to restore and bring our own feelings and emotions in order.
As for Hayton’s damage, Canadian domestic sites write that he’s more likely to hit the ice. This is generally in the spirit of Canadian players, as in the proverb about the Stanley Cup playoffs: “Only the dead do not go out!” I am almost sure that the captain of the Canadian team, who became the hero of the scandal after the match with Russia, will appear on the ice. I’m pretty sure of that. Everything is clear with our goalkeeper line: there are no other options besides Miftakhov. This is a logical decision, any coach would go for it. If you put Askarov to the finals, then this is a game with fire. So the choice is objective. ”