Slovakia is sick hockey. I clearly understood this on the 10th day in Bratislava. In an effort to distract me from the World Championships, I fled to the center of town, sat down to have dinner at a restaurant where no one was watching sports channels. And what do you think? The waiter, who saw my accreditation around my neck, started talking about hockey. When he heard that I was from Russia, he said smilingly: "Oh, you play Ovechkin in the national team, I just love him, but I don't like Malkin, I don't like him at all." We started a dialogue and he admitted that his favorite hockey player is Radulov. For his sake, he flew to Montreal when Alexander was in favor of the Canadiens. It's funny that the same day on the same day the colleagues spoke to the defender of the Sweden and Dallas national team, Jon Klingberg, who said: "Radulov is just a monster! It was exciting to play with him for one team, but it's even better that he doesn't play against us. "
The Swedes have not played with Russia, but have already shown a master class. The current world champions are one of the most open teams. After the training, journalists can talk to any player. Head coach Ricard Grenborg pays 40-50 minutes after each lesson on the ice to communicate with the press: first with the writing press, followed by television, then with correspondents from Switzerland (the other day he led Zurich) and then can talk to Russian journalists . For comparison: Ilya Vorobyev talks no more than ten minutes in total, Russian players also reluctantly agree to an interview in the mixed zone. The Swedish colleague, who had learned the rules of the Red Car from me, could not even hide a genuine surprise and suggested that I would go to Swedish training only.
The real weather fight began in Bratislava. It rains all day, the piercing wind blows to the skin and the temperature outside is +8. It has not been that long a cold hockey championship. It is not surprising that the fan zone was closed one evening due to bad weather in the capital of Slovakia, and before the Russia-Italy match there were almost no people near the arena. A Russian fan put a bag on his head not to get wet. A good replacement for an umbrella that would break here quickly due to the strong wind. If I initially only walked around the city on foot (the city is small), I now travel by public transport. It turned out that the trams are very, very nice.
However, the state of mind was spoiled when not too sober Russian fans started to shout in the same tram: "We are Russian, we have better planes than the Americans." Fortunately, nobody responded to these cries. The match with the Italians almost assembled a complete stadium, this time there were many fans from Russia. They were heard and much better than during the game with the Czechs. However, many were already tired at the start of the second period, when the fifth puck flew through the gates of Italy. The words "Kalinka" were memorized in the arena – they played after every abandoned puck of the Russians. "The Red Car" scored ten goals, it's amazing how the DJ console didn't break the number of "Best Long …" repetitions in the stadium.
Since 1993, ŠKODA has been the general sponsor of the hockey world championships.
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