What about the legionnaires and why is Ak Bars losing? Kvartalnov is silent about this

Does the coach not notice the crisis?

The day before, Ak Bars lost to Barys at home (0: 1 OT) in the KHL regular championship match. The Kazan team has never scored for the second time this season and lost the third of the last five matches. And if these results do not affect the position of the team in the standings yet, the quality of Ak Bars’ play suffers greatly.

Dmitry Kvartalnov / photo: Ak Bars official website


By all statistical indicators, “Ak Bars” outplayed the opponent the day before. In terms of movement and aggression in the main time, Kazan were definitely better. There were even segments in the match, when the hosts took guests to their zone for several minutes. After the match the head coach of Barys admitted it Yuri Mikhailis: “If you look at the game, the opponent was changing rapidly. It’s very hard to play in such a situation. ”

Another question is that the active play of “Ak Bars” did not bring any dividends. And this should be alarming for the coaching staff. It’s great when the team is faster than the opponent, wins the power struggle and all the rebounds near the boards, but what’s the point if such a game does not bring results? Ak Bars yesterday took the puck, controlled it, but did not create chances. For the entire match, you can remember a maximum of one or two dangerous moments. All the rest is the attacks from the defenders in the hope of being substituted in the patch.

A photo: Ak Bars official website

And if this tactic worked with Amur – the Kazan team scored three out of four goals after throws from the blue line, then many goals did not reach the Barys goalkeeper. The situation when the team owns the puck a lot and closes the opponent in a foreign zone should be perfectly used by the team leaders in order to come up with combinations and score goals.

However, the first two triplets of Ak Bars’ attack yesterday were invisible, and the main danger came from the fourth link Ivan Emetswhere he plays with Maxim Marushev… Both players have just recently been called from Barça and are doing great. The fourth link not only competently puts pressure on the opponent and takes the puck, but also plays pass, trying to create chances.

Justin Azevedo / photo: official website of Ak Bars

This is not yet close to the first line of legionnaires, which must drag the team in difficult situations. Stefan da Costa has not scored the last three matches, Justin Azevedo – six games, Patrice Cormier – seven. Moreover, in the matches with Traktor and Barys, it was they who were on the ice when the opponent scored in overtime. For the first time since 2017, Azevedo has had a negative utility in the regular season.

The Canadian never had any questions about dedication, and he brought the result stably. But now something is happening with the legionnaires, perhaps under the influence of Kvartalnov, who often had conflict situations with foreigners. “On the whole, we are not satisfied with our game,” the head coach said the day before, answering a question about the play of the Canadian attacking troika.


Despite all the skepticism about Ak Bars’s play lately, there are objective reasons for this. Many base players are still recovering from the coronavirus. The team plays without the main goalkeeper Timur Bilyalov, no captain Danisa Zaripova, who, by the way, in any hopeless situation will come up with a dangerous moment, does not play Nigel Daws and defender of the first pair Mikael Vikstrand.

It is clear that even without these players Kazan should calmly beat, for example, Neftekhimik and at least score against Barys. And when the team does not do this, it suggests that there are problems within the team. A team that endured everyone last season, retained its roster and strengthened itself, should not stop playing. It is obvious that there is a crisis. But what is it connected with?

A photo: Ak Bars official website

Most of all, it is surprising that Kvartalnov never explains to journalists at press conferences what is wrong with his team and how to get out of a difficult situation at all. The coach gets off with phrases that there are problems and “we are not satisfied with our game”. But yesterday he said one curious detail worth paying attention to.

Kvartalnov called yesterday’s match interesting and said that Ak Bars’s game was close to what the coaching staff wants to see. That is, the Kazan coaching staff is satisfied when the team runs a lot, takes the puck, but does not create anything, and the players do not create. Perhaps the word “close” is the reason for the unsuccessful play in the attack. Perhaps it is more important for Kvartalnov to play aggressively and run over the opponent than to create something in the attack.


The nicest thing about yesterday’s match is the goalkeeper game Amira Miftahova and the theme of the game with “Barys”, which was devoted to the problem of reducing the population of snow leopards. Miftakhov had a lot more work the day before than in the game against Cupid, but he coped with all the shots in the main time. If the 20-year-old goalkeeper continues to play confidently, then the question will arise about the need for Adam Reideborn… The Swedish goalkeeper, who receives a salary at the level of Bilyalov and occupies the legionary quota, is currently losing the competition in the Kazan team to local pupils.

A photo: Ak Bars official website

Ak Bars and Barys have been collaborating for several years to draw attention to the endangered species of snow leopards. The day before, special chevrons with the image of a snow leopard’s paw appeared on the teams’ uniforms, and Ak Bars himself came to the match wearing protective masks with the image of leopards.

Fans could make a donation to the national reserve the day before. To do this, it was only necessary to copy the QR code and transfer the desired amount. In September, the Kazan club became a participant in the program for rescuing snow leopards in the Saylyugemsky National Park in the Altai Republic and purchased several camera traps.

The director of the Saylyugemsky National Park visited the Ak Bars TV studio yesterday Denis Malikov, who said that the camera traps from the Kazan club should be installed from day to day. “While I was going to Kazan, our workers went on an expedition. As part of this expedition, traps will be set. The places for the expedition are hard to reach and getting there is a whole event. ”

Malikov also said that there are only 40 snow leopards left in the world, and everyone in their park is known in the face and by name. The main benefit of camera traps is that they help fight poachers. “Poachers know that there are camera traps and are afraid. They have already attracted people for poaching, some wear balaclavas so as not to get caught. “

KHL. Regular season

Ak Bars (Kazan) – Barys (Nur-Sultan) – 0: 1 OT (0: 0, 0: 0, 0: 0, 0: 1)
October 16. Tatneft Arena. 3910 viewers
0: 1 Starchenko (Dic, 61:07)
Goalkeepers: Miftahov – Ortio

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