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Transcript: Alexander Pechurski Russian Radio Interview

Tuesday, 02.16.2010 / 10:05 AM / Features
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Transcript: Alexander Pechurski Russian Radio Interview
The Pittsburgh Penguins launched “NHL in Russian,” a Russian-language radio show, on Tuesday, Nov. 24. It airs each Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Pittsburgh time (4:30 p.m. Moscow time) on the Penguins’ new HD radio station, 105.9 HD-2, and is streamed live on www.pittsburghpenguins.com and www.nhl.com. Following is a transcript of an interview with Tri-City Americans goaltender Alexander Pechurski, a Penguins’ prospect who stopped 12-of-13 shots in relief against the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 16 in his NHL debut, and was named the game’s No. 3 star. In 15 games with Tri-City, Pechurski has posted a 7-5-1 record, 2.45 goals-against average and .911 save percentage. Click here for the 'NHL in Russian' page.  Pechurski was interviewed by George Birman and Olej Mejeritski of the “NHL in Russian” show.

2-16 NXL Na Russkom (NHL In Russian) - Listen to the Pechurski interview here

George Birman: Please welcome Alexander Pechurski.  He is a goaltender who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins and is currently playing in the Western Hockey League for the Tri-City Americans.  Alex, thanks so much for finding some time to talk with us.

Oleg Mejeritski: Thanks Alex.

Alexander Pechurski: Hello.

Birman: Tell us a little bit about who you are, where you are from and how you have gotten to North America. 

Pechurski: Well, I was born in Magnitogorsk (Russia). I started the season playing in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). I played there for half the season, and then they brought in another goaltender, Valeshyekov.

Mejeritski: You played for Magnitogorsk, right?

Pechurski: Yes. And they sent me to the second team. I called my agent and told him that I wanted more playing time (to help my development so that I can one day) play in the NHL.

Birman: And that's how you got here?

Pechurski: Yes, my agent got me a deal.

Mejeritski: How hard was it for you to find a team in North America?

Games Played 15    
Wins 7    
Losses 5
Overtime 1
Goals Against Avg 2.45
Save Percentage .911
Shutouts 3
Pechurski: It wasn’t hard at all. The Tri-City Americans drafted me at the beginning of the season.

Birman: What was it like on Jan. 16 when you made your NHL debut with the Penguins? 

Pechurski: Well, first off, it was a huge shock for me.

Mejeritski: Tell us how making your NHL debut came about?

Pechurski: We had a game against Seattle, which we won, 3-2. And after the game, our coach came into our locker room and said something in English about me, but I didn't understand what he said because I am still learning the English language. Then, everyone started to walk up to me, congratulating me and giving me hugs.  In the hallway was a scout from the Penguins and a Russian translator. He came to watch how I did. He told me that Marc-Andre-Fleury was injured and that they were calling me up as the backup goaltender (on a one-game amateur tryout). I was in so much shock. I didn't understand anything.

Birman and Mejeritski: Even in Russian you didn't understand anything?

Pechurski: It has been my dream (to play in the NHL) since I was a child. Our game against Seattle ended around 10 p.m. At around 4 a.m. I woke up and flew to Seattle, and from Seattle to Vancouver. I went right to practice and then to the hotel, where I slept for about an hour.

Mejeritski: When you showed up to practice, how did the guys treat you?

Pechurski: Well, as soon as I entered the locker room, the guys walked up to me, introduced themselves and I introduced myself. Then, Geno (Evgeni Malkin) walked up to me, told me don't worry the team is young, there's nothing to worry about.

Mejeritski: Tell us about the beginning of the game, did head coach Dan Bylsma tell you anything?

Pechurski:
Well, we didn't really talk much.  After practice he came up to me, asked me how I was and if everything was alright. He didn't really mention anything about the game other than telling me that I was the backup.

Mejeritski: It was a close game, 2-1 in favor of Vancouver, after the first period.  Were you thinking you were going to sit on the bench the whole game?

Pechurski: Yes. But then at the start of the 2nd period they scored three quick ones.

Birman: Did you get any thoughts at that point about going in?

Pechurski: Yes. Then I looked at (Matt) Cooke and they were motioning for me to put my equipment on.

All: "Laugh"

Pechurski: The coach told me to go in the net.

Birman: Ok, so you got to the net, and what were your first thoughts?

Pechurski: Well, I didn't have any thoughts.

Birman: Did you have any nervous feelings?

Pechurski: Well, no I wasn't nervous. I just didn't want to give up a goal on the first shot.

Birman: How do you think you did in your debut?

Pechurski: My debut, well everything went great. And everything was so much different.

Birman:
Yes. That must have been difficult.

Pechurski: I didn't feel too comfortable.

Mejeritski: As the game went on, did you feel more and more comfortable?

Pechurski: Yes.

Birman: Did Fleury tell you anything after the game?

Pechurski: Even at practice he came up to me, he helped me out and gave me tips. After the game, he asked me if I liked his pads. I told him they weren’t too uncomfortable.

Birman: Alex how's life been in Canada?

Pechurski: Well, everything is good.

Mejeritski: Is somebody helping you?

Alexander Pechurski makes one of his 12 saves during his NHL debut against the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 16, 2010.
Pechurski: Yes. I live with a billet family. They help me a lot.

Mejeritski: Are there any Russians on your team or are you the only one?

Pechurski: We have a player from Belarus named Sergei. He speaks Russian. We are both learning English by going to an English class two times a week. We have a Russian teacher.

Mejeritski: How's the language coming?

Pechurski: Well, it's getting better and better.

Mejeritski: Did you notice the shots coming at you harder in the NHL than in juniors?

Pechurski: I didn’t even notice. My mind wasn't focused on that.

Mejeritski: Everyone basically says that the biggest difference between the NHL and other leagues is the speed.

Pechurski: Yes, the NHL is much faster.

Birman: Alex, if we talk goaltenders, past or present, do you have any that you compare yourself to?

Pechurski: Well, probably Vladislav Tretiak. Even my number is 20, in memory of him. I want to be like him.

Mejeritski: Talking about Tretiak, he is the general manager for the Russian Olympic team. Are you going to watch them?

Pechurski: Of course I'm going to watch Team Russia. I'm going to keep an eye on them and cheer for them.

Birman: You said it has been your childhood dream to play in the NHL. What team did you envision yourself playing for?

Pechurski: I never had a favorite team. I just wanted to play in the NHL.

Mejeritski: Were there any teams you rooted for?

Pechurski: Anaheim and Pittsburgh.

Birman: Well, Alex we are going to wrap it up now.  We hope that one day you can live out your dream and become the first full-time Russian goaltender to play for the Penguins.

Pechurski: Thank you so much.

Birman and Mejeritski: Bye and good luck.

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