UFA Ė The Czech Republicís Dmitrij Jaskin has a long family connection with international hockey games in Russia.
In 1989, two NHL teams arrived in the Soviet Union: the Calgary Flames and the Washington Capitals. That was the first such visit in Soviet history. The match between Khimik Voskresensk and Calgary in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) was very difficult for the hosts, as the NHL club took a 4-0 lead. However, defenceman Alexei Jashkin scored a goal for Khimik with 4:16 left, defending the honour of Soviet hockey.
The goal scorer from that game is the father of Dmitrij Jaskin.
Dmitrij Jaskin has not only chosen a different role to play as a forward, but he also lives abroad and represents another country. On the Czech U20 national team, he is becoming a recognized leader. In the 3-1 round-robin win over Finland at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship in Ufa, he scored the third goal and was named the best player of his team. IIHF.com caught up with this powerful and technically skilled player.
How did you feel about this victory over Finland?
Super. We played against the Finnish team in the right way. That's why we won.
Was it pleasant for you to be named best player of your team in that game?
For sure, that was a nice moment, but it wasnít just about me getting the award. I'm part of a brilliant collective. We help each other. The guys played well. Thatís why we won.
The Finnish team often played rough against you. Was it difficult to stay calm?
I think that happens in every game, all the more so when the tournament is rather short. In that situation you need to not be nervous. You need to be patient and do your job. In this match we did it and won.
You have personal supporters in the venue. Do you like it?
Of course, it was awesome. I want to thank them for supporting my team.
What changed in your team system after losing the first game with Sweden?
We didn't change a lot. Rather, we played with better discipline. In the match against the Swedes, we received too many penalties and in this game, much fewer. Also, against the Finns, we took more shots and our second chances were more efficient.
Which moment of the game against Finland was crucial?
The third period, when our opponent had many chances to score, but we defended well.
Your coach Miroslav Prerost was sick during that match. Was it difficult to deliver a good performance without him?
Despite his illness he was involved in the game. He pointed a finger to show who needed to be on or off the ice.
How did he set this game against Finland up for you guys?
Finland plays the same kind of hockey as Sweden. You need to come back very quickly on defence. They skate well and shoot a lot. Also, they play well one-on-one. In that situation you need to battle hard.
What happened on your hit on Finlandís Aleksander Barkov?
I noticed that he was trying to hide the puck and moved to the side. In that case, I just wanted to catch him. But unfortunately the hit occurred at the knee.
Did you chat with your teammates about the fact that both the Czech Republic and Finland have native-born Russian players here?
I mean, Sasha [Barkov] now is more of a Finnish guy. Most of my life, Iíve lived and played in the Czech Republic. Thatís why nobody asked me such questions. But of course, I heard a couple of jokes.
What does your team need to do to be successful?
Just to play our style.
To you, is the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship in Russia just an important tournament, or is it also about coming back home?
I didnít think about it because I wasnít in Russia for a long time. But I did want to come back there, and Iím helping my teammates, because I speak Russian. To be honest, Iíve waited for a long time to arrive in Russia. It was difficult for me to wait.
What prevented you previously from returning to Russia?
I havenít had enough time. All year, we have a lot of games, and in the summer, I always want to have a vacation somewhere warm.
Is it difficult to be interpreter for the whole team?
Of course not. I help my teammates to order a taxi or to buy something with pleasure. That's not a problem for me.
How do you deal with the chilly weather in Ufa?
To be honest, I have never been in such cold weather, like -30įC. Well, probably, I have been, but it was long ago and I don't remember.
What do you think about the city of Ufa?
We havenít gone into the city. We have only been at the venue and hotel. But Iím told that the city is nice, so weíll try to go for a walk.
This World Junior tournament is the second for you. Are you becoming a leader, not only on the ice, but also in daily life?
Yes, of course. All the guys who are not World Junior rookies try to help and show others how to act in different situations. That's our role.
Did your dad give you some advice before traveling to Ufa?
Yes, of course he did. In a few days he will come to Ufa and I hope he will advise me more.
Do you look at the World Juniors as a chance to showcase yourself for KHL teams? Or are you focused on making the NHL?
There is a lockout in NHL now. That's why itís not necessary to speak about it.
Do you have any feelings toward the Russian national team?
All my powers I give to my team.