About the League
Top goaltender of the 2017-18 season SKA-1946 St. Petersburg’s Nikita Lysenkov shares his thoughts on the past year, personal statistics, competition and his plans for the future.
This season was positive for me. Although, we were just a little shy from achieving the main goal and winning the cup. However, I believe that next season is going to be very productive for our team as a whole and for every player personally. It’s going to be a step forward for everyone. We made a huge journey, played in the finals and it was great. I’m glad I was named the top goaltender of the season. I want to thank my teammates. It was the best season in my career yet.
Series against Loko Yaroslavl
I think, we lacked championship patience, which is something Loko had. They had won Kharlamov Cup and they had a few guys on their team who had done it. Their experience played a huge role. They had more patience than us.
We didn’t talk about our mistakes. There was no reason for that as the season had ended. They just told us that we did a good job because we made it to the finals. Maxim Anatolievitch Sokolov told us before the games that we should cherish the moment because not every hockey player gets to play in the finals.
Comparing JHL to VHL
I think, it gets some getting used to. You just have to step on the ice, feel the game and everything is going to be alright. VHL hockey is more evened out and smart. You have to get your head into it. Although, goaltending is different from skating. It’s very special.
Being named the top goaltender of the season
I didn’t really expect it. I was told I was going to receive the award a day before the ceremony. It was a surprise and a pleasant one at that. I saw that I was on top of the league statistics-wise in the regular season but I didn’t give it much thought. I tried to focus on winning Kharlamov Cup. It doesn’t happen every day. My parents and family were very happy.
I followed only my statistics. I didn’t try to beat anybody. I just tried to play better in every game. That’s the biggest sign of improving for me.
Top JHL goaltenders
I would point out Ilya Konovalov from Loko Yaroslavl. He had a terrific playoff run and really helped his team. He’s tough to play against. It’s obvious that he’s too good for JHL. I think, next season he’s going to play in the KHL a lot. He has experience and patience, which I lacked. I looked at him and tried to learn from him. I would also point out Kirill Ustimenko from JHC Dynamo St. Petersburg. He’s a year younger but he has already been drafted by an NHL team. I think, he has a bright future ahead of him.
Facing Belye Medvedi in Chelyabinsk
It was an important game for me because I was born in Chelyabinsk. All of my relatives came to the game. You remember games like that all your life. It was great to win at home in front of my family.
I didn’t expect to receive the award from him at the ceremony. I came there, saw Emil and it dawned on me a little later. At the ceremony he wished me to have confidence and play solid so my team would win with me in goal. It was great. I like Emil as a person.
Competition with Konstantin Volkov
We have a very good relationship. It was a pleasure to play with Kostya this season. Thanks to him I grew as a goaltender. We talk a lot and spent time together in-between games. This season has been productive for both of us. Even if there’s a competition, it’s important to stay a good person and keep a good relationship. We cared for each other at the games. As Maxim Sokolov told us, when Kostya plays – I play with him and vice versa.
I have confidence and I want it to happen very much. I’m going to keep working hard. If I get the chance to prove myself, I’m going to be very happy. We’ll see if I’ll have butterflies in my stomach (smiles). But I have confidence in myself and I’m very eager for the moment to happen.
Goals for next season
I would like to become a regular in VHL and make a debut in KHL. I want to feel what it’s like to play against grown men. I think I’m ready.
If you like everything about yourself, you should retire. I’m not used to talking about my upsides. As for my shortcomings, sometimes I have a quick temper and I’m too aggressive. I need to work on my goaltending calmness and composure. I need to get better at that.
I like Sergei Bobrovsky, Marc-Andre Fleury and Henrik Lundqvist. I watch them play and try to see what they’re good at and learn from them. They are all very active goaltenders. Everyone of them has something unique. Bobrovsky has a unique technique, Fleury is all about emotions and unreal saves, while my style is similar to Lundqvist’s, I think.
I faced them in the regular season but not in the playoffs. Kostya was doing well in the series and he played every game. Spartak players were nudging me and jokingly asked me why I didn’t play in those games. I tried to not pay attention to that. It wasn’t important who was in goal. The most important thing was that we won the series 3-0. I never regret about anything. Spartak was a great experience for me. I’m very grateful to the coaches I worked with. I want to thank all of my teammates and club’s management. Thanks to them I grew as a player.
It’s difficult to remember something off the top of my head because jokes and pranks happen every day and there’s a lot of them. Maxim Anatolievitch once told us a story about a goaltender who played for the Chicago Blackhawks. I can’t recall his name right now. Goaltenders are weird people. Alexei Zhamnov once put his chest protector at this guy’s stall and then found it cut up in the washroom. Actually, our coach told us a bunch of goaltending stories. I try to remember them all. Kirill Petkov is the biggest joker on our team. Sometimes he does crazy stuff.
Hockey is kind of a drug. My body is used to activity and I just can’t sit and do nothing. On Day 3 I want to do something or go somewhere.
I go to the gym these days and do a bit of boxing every now and then. My dad was into martial arts, mainly judo, and I got it from him as well. Perhaps, if it wasn’t for hockey, I would have been in martial arts.
There’s Uvildy lake in Chelyabinsk region. I went there often until I was about 16. It’s a very memorable place for me.
I live in the suburbs. It even looks a bit like downtown Chelyabinsk (smiles). It’s a very quiet neighborhood and there are a lot of beautiful places. In fact, the city is absolutely gorgeous. The infrastructure is great and there are a lot of places to visit.