Photo credit: Richard Wolowicz
On Sunday Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov returned home after Russia lost to Sweden in the 2012 Word Junior Championship gold medal game. Kuznetsov, who was named the MVP of the tournament and to the WJC All-Star team for the second year in a row, did not smile for photos or wear his silver medal after the game.
When he arrived at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, Kuznetsov was greeted by SovSport correspondents and asked his thoughts about winning silver, beating Canada, and his plans for next year. Below the jump, I offer a translation.
SovSport: What’s your thoughts on the World Championships?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: I wanted to come back home with the gold, but was unable to do so. It’s pleasant that we beat Canada in the semifinals. We had a great team that stood up for each other.
SovSport: Did luck play a big role in the final?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: The Swedes outshot us. That’s inarguable. We were able to even the game up a little in the third, but they again attacked more in overtime. Though they were lucky to score.
SovSport: Do you remember that chance you had when you hit the post?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: I didn’t even know it hit the post. I only saw it after the game.
SovSport: What about that chance Nikita Gusev had with 30 seconds to go in the third period?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: I don’t want to comment. Everything happens for a reason. He understands it all and blames himself.
SovSport: The team went without wearing the silver medals…
Evgeny Kuznetsov: I have never seen anybody wearing the silver medal. It’s a huge pity to lose in the final. Especially with the 0-1 score. Everybody said we had bad defense before the tournament and we were not able to score a single goal against the Swedes.
SovSport: Have you seen the Swedish video with the matryoshka?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: It’s nothing special. We didn’t react. It’s some kind of childish antics.
SovSport: You flew to Frankfurt together with the Swedes. Did you talk with them on the flight?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: No, not at all. They won the World Championships and weren’t even drunk. They were like – not even happy. Like it’s the fifth straight title for them. And we didn’t talk – we’re not friends.
SovSport: Have you seen the Canadian media’s comments?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: I don’t speak English. I didn’t understand anything.
SovSport: Have you decided where you’re going to be playing next year?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: This is the wrong time to ask. But I have made my decision.
Kuznetsov’s elusive response to the question about his plans for next season, elicited several strong opinions from some of Russia’s biggest hockey reporters.
Pavel Lysenkov of SovSport
Slava Malamud of Sport-Express