Yevgeny Katichev. Defenseman to the marrow of his bones

It’s always more pleasant to win against friends

How’s the season so far?

We got off to a decent start, and our results are there to prove it.

Is it at all important which place Traktor occupies at the moment?

Of course it is. We are now leading in our division, which is a great boost to our confidence.

Were you worried when Mezin changed Garnett in the net in the game against Spartak?

No, not at all. Mezin is a very experienced goaltender and a good man in general. Plus, we were out there to help him, to block the shots; this was our target.

Do you have any archrivals, so to speak?

You always want to win against those whom you know personally, especially friends, to show that you are better (smiles).

So this means your archrivals are not teams, but players?|

Yes, exactly.

Why does Traktor always lose in first periods and have to muster a comeback in the thirds?

Let this trend continue as long as we keep winning. We will try to do our best to play in first and second periods as good as in the thirds; if we do, we will be unstoppable.

Is superb performance in the thirds due to great pre-season physical preparations?

Yes, we had a rigorous training regime during the pre-season. Other than that, I don’t know any reason why this happens. Maybe we just wake up in third periods, maybe it’s something else.

It’s great when your hits and checks get the spotlight

Last season was a success for Traktor. This year everyone expects even better results. With that in mind, tell me what are the areas where Traktor got stronger?

In order to analyze it we need time. Then again, if we take pre-season, it was more intense this year. Moreover, our scouts have done a great job. You can see already how the newcomers have become an integral part of the team.

In case the lockout is over, will the teams that got stronger thanks to the influx of NHL players be affected by that?

Absolutely. When the leaders leave, it’s always difficult for any team to regroup. I believe that Traktor will not be affected this much if the lockout ends; other teams with NHL stars on their roster, however, will.

Do you feel tired now? The schedule must be heavily-packed.

Yes, there is always an element of fatigue, but we have to deal with it. We have got our coaching staff that knows exactly how to cope with fatigue.

Soon enough KHL will be on a short break due to national team’s matchups. Are you going to watch them or do you just want to take a little rest from hockey?

I will watch the games if I have a chance. I want to see Kuznetsov in action, and here’s to hoping he does not get injured. As for rest from hockey, I never am quite tired of it in the first place.

Are you satisfied with your stats?

Partially, but there are things I would like to improve.

Recently you have garnered your first season points. Are you glad with it? Or attacking efforts are not that necessary for a defender?

Of course it’s great to score points every once in a while, but I prefer focusing on the defense which is a priority for me as a defenseman.

Do you have any personal plans for this season?

Perform better than the previous year.

KHL has recently announced that your hit against Maksim Mayorov was the best hit in all of KHL in the first two weeks of October. Your reaction?

I did not know until I got a call. I wanted to see it myself, so I went online and checked it. Quite honestly, I was flattered.

How meaningful is this for you?

It’s just flattering, especially when everyone points out your power actions on the ice.

No time to think about opening a business, I have only just begun to play hockey

Standard question about your spare time.

Spare time during the season is like a dream, but when this dream does come true, I try to spend as much time as possible with my nearest and dearest. Of course I also try to do things that had piled up, but I never manage to do everything; I rather tend to think about how to rest as much as possible.

Do you prefer to spend your free time at home?

Largely yes.

Any favorite movies or books?

If we talk about movies, I like comedies; my favorite one is The Hangover. I even have an association of my own connected with this movie.

Have you got a pet?

A dog, chihuahua named Richie. I don’t’ see him that often though since I am always away from home.

Do you have any dreams or goals aside from hockey?

I don’t have the time to think about it during the season. When it’s over, I might give it some thought.

Some players pursue coach’s careers, others become entrepreneurs. What about you?

It’s too early to think about it. For now it’s just hockey-hockey-hockey (smiles).

Any other kinds of sports you like?

In a recent interview I have said that I like soccer; I love playing it on PlayStation. I also like jogging.

What sporting events do you watch?

The major ones like European championships and World Cups.

A fan of team Russia?

Of course, but I also support some other national teams and clubs.