Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo has been single-handedly leading the KHL regular championship for the 2023-2024 season for more than a week. And if last year’s outbreak, the rise of the results of Igor Larionov’s charges, was perceived as a unique success, now, closer to October, we can safely say that “Torpedo” (Nizhny Novgorod) is a real club important in Russia. , and perhaps throughout Europe.
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Fans usually vote with their feet. Nowadays in Nizhny it is not paradoxical that the stands for each club match are packed. People look at the club not only for its constant victories and middle leadership in the KHL West, but also because the automakers show such virtuous hockey that sometimes the complexities on the ice and the combinations of fans make the head. go around, in the good sense of the word.
If last season it was still impossible to clearly identify the team’s leaders and the four attacking lines presented the same danger to the opposing goal, now Igor Larionov brings into the world already trained leaders whose game people will see in person. The same young and playful Vasily Atanasov. There is so much joy, an incendiary mix, enthusiasm for their actions on the ice and, most importantly, no confusion when making decisions, even though every time you think, now there will be an inaccurate transfer, now they will make a mistake. They are not wrong and each action of the team is a thoughtful maneuver by a brilliant screenwriter. Or Kovalenko, Letunov, who have already gained experience, including in North America, and Firstov and Konyushkov, who joined them in the philosophy of the game. The roles are clearly distributed.
The position of the goalkeeper also draws attention. Neither goalkeeper gives in and each one tries to give their best. The dizzying saves and at the same time reliability come from both the creator of last year’s hit, Ivan Kulbakov, and the Slovak point guard Adam Huska. And everything happened somehow calmly and calmly, without cursing or nervous changes of goalkeepers at the slightest problem or even defeat.
When playing against Torpedo, opponents count on the fact that teams will begin to retreat in moments of particular fatigue or when playing with uneven lineups. They are not robots, it must be difficult for them too, both physically and mentally. But the Nizhny Novgorod hockey players try to the last to deflect threats from the goal with passes, which is manifested even in the jokes of the commentators during the matches, which focus on the fine that Larionov imposes on his players for wasting the disc.
This season, the automakers’ coaching staff has produced new talents who are not even eighteen years old. Nikita Artamonov is already attracting the attention of several scouts and officials with the smart actions and techniques he displays on the ice. He already scores and distributes, and acts within the general framework of the decisions made. A player who, as always, due to his youth and enthusiasm should be allowed quite a bit of marriage, plays like a man who spent a dozen years in the KHL. Or defender Anton Silaev, in fact, the athlete celebrated his eighteenth birthday only in April, and it is difficult to imagine the Torpedo team without this brilliant defender.
As a result, it turns out that “Professor” Igor Larionov is not building a single “Torpedo”, but is promoting a whole direction of combinational technical style in the vastness of Russian hockey. And this cannot fail to attract or captivate. A game that is not boring, without distributing the game on the sides, without prolonged throws in the middle zone, without throwing like that, without depending on chance, isn’t this a breath of fresh air? A purely Soviet model of building a game through quick passes, with movements not controlled by the opponent, but with modern inclusions, taking into account that the Volga team does not refuse to play in the power play. Tika-taka in hockey, and the Nizhny Novgorod “Torpedo” is our “Barcelona” from the time of Josep Guardiola.
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