DMITRY KRASOTKIN: “I DON’T PUT HANDCUFFS ON MY PLAYERS. MY GUYS KNOW WHAT CAN THEY DO TO WIN”

DMITRY KRASOTKIN: “I DON’T PUT HANDCUFFS ON MY PLAYERS. MY GUYS KNOW WHAT CAN THEY DO TO WIN”
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04.06.2018 в 14:30
DMITRY KRASOTKIN: “I DON’T PUT HANDCUFFS ON MY PLAYERS. MY GUYS KNOW WHAT CAN THEY DO TO WIN”
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Loko Yaroslavl head-coach Dmitry Krasotkin shared his thoughts on championship season. In this interview to Junior Hockey League media relations department Krasotkin told how Loko had to substitute U18 Team Russia players during the playoffs and how Loko brought luck to FC Lokomotiv Moscow.

 

- In the 2017-18 season Loko set a new Junior Hockey League record as the team gained points in 53 consecutive regular season games. How did you manage to achieve this result?

- We managed to achieve the result because of our team discipline and roster depth. Our coaching staff called up several players who were born in 2000 and 2001. In the regular season we lost some games to average opponents. For example, we lost three games out of four to JHC Dynamo Moscow. But after all losing in the very end of the regular season did us good. Dynamo was battling for a playoff spot and they were very motivated. On the other hand, we were a little out of focus and got what we deserved. It shook our guys a little and it was good that it happened on the verge of the playoffs.

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- During the season Loko players were saying that the club’s management has a very easy going approach when it comes to everyday life. For instance, the players were allowed to keep their cellphones on the eve of the game and there weren’t any military orders.

- Yes. I didn’t try to artificially increase the level of intensity. Although, we did put in a place a set of rules. As the head-coach, I couldn’t allow anarchy. You can’t have a smooth ride all through the season so sometimes I had to punish. But we don’t put handcuffs on our players. The most important thing is that the guys understand themselves what is good for them, what makes them better and why they win.


- You had to make a few adjustments in the playoffs since as many as three Loko players were called up to U18 Team Russia.

- Obviously, when U18 Team Russia called up as many as three of our core players we had to make a few adjustments. After all, defensemen Anton Malyshev and Daniil Misyul were our core players all through the season. But we don’t have the right to refuse our players to play for Team Russia. Since Team Russia needed them, they had to go. We were able to replace them because of the depth of our roster. We were lucky to have avoided injuries almost entirely. Mark Pavlikov missed the last game and we had to call up 2000 year born Anton Lukichev from Loko-Yunior. He did well.

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- Did you have the chance to follow the U18 IIHF World Championship?

- We watched the games in-between the games against SKA-1946 St. Petersburg. And we watched the quarterfinal game against Team USA after the playoffs. The most frustrating thing was that Daniil Isayev almost didn’t play at the tournament. He was a replacement player in the game against Team Slovakia and even helped the team to win in the shootout but he never really got a fair chance.

- You became the most decorated coach in Junior Hockey League history after you won Kharlamov Cup this season.

- The most important thing is that I love my job. As for the fact that I had become the most decorated coach in the league’s history, I learned it only recently. Although, the main priority of every junior team is developing players for the club’s first team. Recently Artur Kayumov and Ivan Kovalyov signed with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. They will continue to play within the club’s system. We’re also going to get back some guys who gained experience on other teams.

 

- This year the Junior Hockey League had its first season closing ceremony, where you were named the top coach of the season. How did you like the event?

- I met a lot of acquaintances at the ceremony, which I don’t get to see very often. I spoke a little with all of them, it was great to see everyone. Loko wasn’t represented in any other nominations but it didn’t surprise me at all. Obviously, Ilya Konovalov was great in the playoffs but everybody on the team played more or less equally well and it wouldn’t be right to single out anybody. Look at the statistics – none of Loko players were among top scorers and goal-scorers in the regular season either.

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- Aside from Yaroslavl, where the fans celebrated cup win, FC Lokomotiv celebrated their championship title in Moscow as well, as they won Russian Premier League.

- FC Lokomotiv Moscow management invited our team to their game against FC Zenit St. Petersburg. In the intermission we were invited to step onto the pitch. Our players had their game jerseys on and brought the cup as well. It was a great moment. The stadium was packed and everyone applauded us. Looks like we brought good luck – Lokomotiv won the game and got their first championship title in 14 years.

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