Today Ak Bars played the first two-sided match at the club base in Kazan as part of the pre-season training camp. Of course, there will be close attention to the team of Oleg Znarka in the coming season. Both the coach himself and his methods of working with one of the KHL giants are interesting, as is the figure of Alexander Radulov, who signed a two-year agreement with the Bars.

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Will Znarok and Radulov work together in Kazan? Can’t be 100% sure. Both are known for their difficult characters, leadership qualities, a kind of assessment of the people around them.

“Has Radulov changed somehow? After the game, he stayed. Otherwise, Sasha has changed radically – he has children, he is growing up, everything is a little different, like mine, too, ”Znarok praised his striker after today’s lesson and a two-sided match involving the Greens and Whites.

Interestingly, the teams played three periods of 30 minutes of “dirty” time. The meeting ended with the victory of the “white” team with a score of 6:4, and during the match they were inferior 0:4.

“We don’t have a single foreigner. Radulov? I’m talking about foreigners, what are you turning on the fool? ”Oleg Valerievich then laid siege to the journalist in his usual manner. Where without it? We missed this Znark.

Zinetulla Bilyaletdinov and Oleg Znarok

Zinetulla Bilyaletdinov and Oleg Znarok


Radulov himself played the match modestly, scoring only one assist and never hitting someone else’s goal. It is already clear that Alexander will be playing for the regular season in the first attacking trio of Ak Bars, which looks like this: Dmitry Kagarlitsky – Vadim Shipachev – Alexander Radulov.

Kagarlitsky and Shipachev interacted well even during the joint game in Dynamo Moscow, and the presence of Radulov in the link will only add power and creativity to the attack of the “leopards”.

“Have you crossed paths with Znark before? Yes, once or twice in the national team. When Oleg Valerievich took the helm of the national team, by that time I had already played for the national team, but at some point I got injured, I could not physically come to the team. Health is one. Some kind of failure, like a call to the national team – so problems, then with the groin, then with the shoulder, then a concussion. But that’s all in the past, we’re in the same boat here.

Znarok is an ideal coach for Ak Bars.  It will rally the Kazan stars and create an atmosphere
Znarok is an ideal coach for Ak Bars. It will rally the Kazan stars and create an atmosphere

First of all, he is demanding, and this is the most important thing at this stage. I think we have a good team, a good team. We just need to do the work in every training session in good faith: it will be the ground, or, I don’t know, some kind of recovery activities, as we saw yesterday, or hard work in the stadium. You just need to go out and give all your best, because, I think, the coaches know what they give, what in the end we will get by the beginning of the season, ”Radulov himself expressed his opinion, answering a question about working together with Znark.

Of course, special requirements will be made to Alexander in Kazan. They will expect results from the striker, leading positions in the sniper and scorer races, as well as active work in the locker room. Any hockey player will listen to the authoritative opinion of Radulov, and the young one in particular. By the way, the forward’s physical form is in perfect order.

Alexander Radulov in the gym

Alexander Radulov in the gym


The main thing is that during the season there should be no misunderstanding with the head coach. I immediately recall the talk about the alleged conflict between Radulov, Kovalchuk and Znark in the Russian national team at the December stage of the Eurotour in Moscow in 2015. Later there was a story with the non-arrival of Radulov at the location of the national team in Novogorsk. As a result, neither Radulov nor Kovalchuk appeared at the May 2016 World Championships.

Since then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge and a lot has changed, but the temper of the player and the coach has remained. Let’s see how both get along in Ak Bars, which is tasked with returning the Gagarin Cup to the capital of Tatarstan. The atmosphere within the team in such cases is very important.

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