The senior Russian national team returned to Cologne, where the players trained ahead of the 2017 IIHF World Championship semi-final against Canada. They trained in these following lines:
Vasilevskiy, Sorokin, Shestyorkin;
Kiselevich, Gavrikov - Telegin, Andronov, Nichushkin;
Provorov, Mironov - Panarin, Kuznetsov, Kucherov;
Antipin, Belov - Gusev, Shipachyov, Dadonov;
Orlov, Zub - Plotnikov, Tkachyov, Barabanov.
Russian national team coach Harijs Vitolins:
- The main thing is to play it simple and make clever passes, especially in our own zone. As I have already stated, the team which plays better in defence will win. Both teams have talented players. I think that Vladislav Namestnikov will play tomorrow.
Has the ice improved here? I wouldn't say that. However, in comparison with Paris, it's easier to breath inside the arena. We have been given the home team's dressing room, Germany were there until they got knocked out. It feels like we are at our own home World Championship. Our coaches have never beaten Canada? We need to write new history. It's always an honour to beat Canada. Everything is in our own hands. We have a good, balanced team which has creative players and others who do the dirty work.
Russian national team forward Evgeny Kuznetsov:
- Yesterday, I watched two quarter-final matches at the same time. Canada's Philadelphia Flyers players are good, as well as Ryan O'Reilly and Mark Scheifele. Nevertheless, I think we can make them spend more time in defence. This year, they don't have that many physical defensemen. This will help us.
Do we have a goalkeeping advantage? Yes, I think that Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best netminders in the world under the age of 28. He controls the game brilliantly and is very hard to score against. Canada have technical players who skate well, but they will find it difficult on this ice.
It's my birthday today, but I generally don't celebrate it. It's more of an important day for my family. We put a lot of effort into the quarter-final against the Czech Republic, but we weren't nervous. We are playing for our country.
Russian Ice Hockey Federation