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Michael Garnett: Canada is the only country that keeps its players under immense pressure

- It was a fine match. It’s always a great experience to play against the likes of Datsyuk and Radulov. I have to give Pavel credit; he got me on his penalty shot. Nonetheless, we were close to being victorious, and that stings a lot, even though it was a great game from both sides after all.

The lockout is now over. Who do you think will benefit and who will suffer?
One thing I can say is that KHL landscape will be changed, just like it was when NHL players arrived here in early fall. The teams that had NHL comers on their roster will now play a different hockey, in my opinion.

Those teams that will get to the playoffs but won’t be favorites to win it should have liked this news, how do you think?
Absolutely, it’s a great bonus for these teams. Those with NHLers on their roster will have to regroup. Anyway, like I said, KHL won’t be the same after that, and we will see how this is going to play out.

Who do you think will have the most problems: CSKA, SKA, Loko, Dynamo, Magnitka?
It’s hard to tell for sure. Dynamo has always played great hockey, Ovechkin or not. In general, I don’t think they will have that many problems; they have been top teams for a long time, and I am sure they will successfully rebound.

Traktor has not signed a single NHL player except for Kostitsyn whose contract does not expire until the end of 2013 season. Putting this in perspective, do you agree it was a wise decision not to sign too many NHL comers?
I agree 100%. We did not need to change our game then, and we won’t have to do it now.

KHL All-Star Game is now in jeopardy, even though the league is trying its best to have all the star power participate in the event. Your thoughts?
Yes, I’ve heard that KHL is trying to get Malkin and company to stay for the All-Star Weekend, but I am not sure whether they are going to succeed. However, I am sure that whoever will take part in it, it should be a great match and a great weekend. Previous four All-Star Games were a lot of fun. I’m excited about the event, especially now that it takes place in Chelyabinsk; besides, my parents will be here with me on this weekend.

Have you been following the U-20 World Championships at Ufa? How many matches have you watched?
Yes, I have followed both team Russia and team Canada. It was great to see Valery Nichushkin give his team the bronze medals. It’s a pity that Canada was left without medals, but team Russia did well too.

Tell a couple of words about team Canada’s performance.
It’s a big disappointment no doubt. However, everyone has to remember that they are only kids, but the whole country has already expected them to win at all costs. It’s a big responsibility, and not everyone can handle this kind of pressure, especially when we talk about junior hockey. They are not professionals yet and this is just a game; they performed well throughout the tournament and had bad luck in the end of it.

Hockey experts argue that for the past several years Canada has severely lacked talented young goaltenders. Canadian hockey press went as far as to say that coaching staff should not have picked Malcolm Subban to play in Ufa.
I don’t agree. There are lots of talented players in Canada, goalies included. You see, Canada is the only country that keeps its players under immense pressure, even if they are just kids. Same thing this year. Experts have demolished the team verbally; I still read similar articles that express negative opinions on team Canada’s performance. I think it’s unfair to judge these young boys who fought tooth and nail to get the medals for their country. Subban, by the way, has had a great tournament and сan not be solely blamed for Canada’s misfortunes.

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