The forward of Chaika had only ten days without training after the start of the off-season.
19-year-old Ivan Murashov became one of the leaders of Chaika in the 2021/2022 season. Ivan Murashov - Artyom Misnikov - Yegor Vinogradov is the most point producing line of the Nizhny Novgorod team. Murashov was one of the top five scorers of the JHL regular season, he scored 72 (26 + 46) points in 59 games – the best result among all players of his team.
Chaika finished second in the conference and beat Sputnik Almetyevsk in game 5 of the first round. The Nizhny Novgorod team had a great start in the second round with two wins over Irbis, but ended up being eliminated by the Kazan team. In an interview with the JHL website, Ivan Murashov talked about what had happened to the team, how Yegor Vinogradov’s injury had affected their elimination, why the forward had been preparing for the upcoming season for two weeks by then and how he had managed to give up fast food.
“You always try to show off yourself against former teams” – Ivan Murashov talks Loko and Chaika
– How can you evaluate the 2021/2022 season?
– It was a breakthrough season for me, the best one of my career so far. I started getting more ice time compared to the previous season. I managed to improve my statistics: I had many goals and assists. I wish my team performed better, and did not finish the season in the second round of the playoffs, but it is what it is.
– You became the top scorer of Chaika and one of the top five scorers of the JHL regular season. What are your impressions of this achievement?
– I’m glad it happened that way. Our line with Yegor Vinogradov and Artyom Misnikov played at a good level, I am grateful to my partners for the result I managed to reach. I got rewarded for the hard work, so I have only positive emotions. It's nice.
– What do you need to improve?
– Everything: speed, strength, agility. There is always room for perfection, continuous improvement is required. The most important thing is for it to work out well next season, so that we go as far as possible in the playoffs. I also want to make my KHL debut for Torpedo. I have a strong desire to do it, the only thing to be done is to prove myself, it depends on me.
– Have you changed during the season?
– I started playing more – that’s the most important thing. It has become easier for me psychologically. It was an honor to be a leader: I had to prove myself, help the guys. It's nice that I managed to become one of the leaders this year.
– What was the most memorable game for you?
– Games against my former team Loko-76 were of utmost importance for me. Winning them felt great. And the most remarkable game was the one against Mamonty Ugry on the road. We lost it 5:8, but it was an emotional and interesting matchup - a back and forth game.
– You scored two points (1+1) in ten playoff games. Why didn’t you manage to do better?
– I did a bad job, I was expected to do better in terms of personal statistics. I tried to work for the team, I wasn’t thinking about personal achievements. In the playoffs everything is different: game are tougher, tighter, harder, you are getting less space, there are many battles, everyone is trying to give his team a cutting edge. All of this influenced my performance on ice.
– You scored the first JHL playoff goal. How did it happen?
– I received a bank pass and advanced the puck into the offensive zone. I pressured an opposing defenseman and hit a top corner. It felt pretty regular to score that one, nothing special.
– Your team had to play five games in the series with Sputnik. Was it expected for you?
– Of course. Playing against them last year was also tough. We realized those would be hard-fought games, their guys were true warriors. Everyone knew it would not be easy, we had to take a hold on ourselves by means of team spirit and to convert our chances. It seems to me, it made perfect sense: all five games were bound to be played. It was nice to shake hands with the guys from Sputnik after those games, they did a great job, it was a cool series.
– How did you feel before the second round?
– We are still young players, it doesn’t make any difference to us, we could play the very next day after a tough game. I cannot say we were tired after the series with Sputnik, but it required a lot of emotion. We started every game as if it was our last one.
– In the series with Irbis, you played two great games, but then you lost three in a row. What happened to the team?
– We got outcompeted. We were skating, trying hard, but it was not enough against such a skilled team. We needed to get the momentum, but they were on the winning side.
– Did you lose concentration because of this?
– Yes, we did, because we didn't have much puck possession. It is always hard: you expend a lot of energy, start to lose confidence. At the end of the day, it made its presence felt and we let victory slip away.
– Game 5 went to overtime, but they scored a fast goal. What happened at that moment?
– I was on the bench, everything happened very quickly, I did not understand anything. Then I felt empty inside, as if something had left me, only sadness was left. After a couple of days, I managed to let it go. We have only ourselves to blame - we gave away the series, so we can only be angry with ourselves.
– Your linemate Yegor Vinogradov got injured. Can it be called one of the key points?
– Absolutely. He is one of the leaders of the team. We had good chemistry. We were lacking his offensive production, his agility. But this is not an excuse - we had to do better without him and move further.
– Which of your partners pleasantly surprised you in the playoffs?
– All the guys were giving a hundred per cent, but our goalie Yegor Gromovik was the best. He kept us in the game many times both against Sputnik and Irbis. Grom did a little more for us than we did for him. In the playoffs, the importance of the goaltender increases, but he also helped out in many decisive moments during the season.
–Nikolai Voevodin, the head coach of Chaika, graded the season B+. What grade would you give?
– I agree with that grade. We could have done better, we could have reached the playoff finals. B+ is a pretty fair grade for the season in general. It’s harder to evaluate myself. If to compare with the precious season, I can also give a B+. I should have performed better in the playoffs, so there's still something to strive for.
– What type of rest do you prefer?
– Working out in a gym is a type of rest for me. I feel comfortable there. I always need to keep myself busy, I cannot simply rest. I spent ten days without training and started to prepare for the upcoming season. Last year, I felt more tired, so I began to train a month before the training camp, the off-season started on May 20 for me. Now, in addition to the gym, I jog and practice on ice. I’m focusing on the development of endurance and speed, and working on stickhandling.
– Do you watch your diet during the off-season?
– I always try to eat right: I have breakfast, lunch, dinner, I monitor my hydration status. I haven’t eaten any fast food for two years, and I don’t even have any desire to eat it. I want to eat healthy so that my body feels good.
– Why did you decide to give up fast food?
– It just sort of happened. I realized that it was important, and started to watch my diet. When you really need something, then you simply do it and do not relapse.
– Do you watch hockey during the off-season?
– Yes, I watch NHL playoff games highlights, I also followed Ice Hockey World Championship. I stay tuned, read news, follow transfers. It is an interesting process. I also watch MMA, boxing, UEFA Champions League. When Liverpool played against Real Madrid, I didn’t cheer any team, I simply like this sport.
– What else do you like to do in your free time?
– I am a screen fan, I adore watching movies. My favorite genres are drama, thriller, fantasy. Superhero movies do not attract my attention. I have recently watched a good movie about mafia called Goodfellas and Peaky Blinders TV series. The last season is so-so, but overall, it is great. I also recommend watching The Last Dance about Michael Jordan. It is the most inspiring series I have ever watched.