Talking with ... Maxim Kuznetsov, Red Wings
defenseman - The Detroit News
By Ted Kulfan
Q.You've consistently been in the lineup recently.
A.It's a good feeling. When you know you're going to be playing, it
helps your confidence. It's a lot tougher when you're in and out (of the
Q.Are you happy with the way things have gone for yourself this season?
A.Some things, yes. Some things, no. You can always get better, improve.
I think I can still play better.
Q.You said before the season this was going to be an important season
for you. What did you mean?
A.I'm getting older (25). I've been in the league a few years now.
I have to start playing. You want to play all the time. I want to show
I can play in this league.
Q.The Wings have had a lot of injuries on defense lately. Jiri Fischer
is out for the entire regular season, at least. Mathieu Dandenault got
hurt. It's given players like you and Jesse Wallin more opportunities to
A.Nobody likes to see a teammate get hurt. It's very disappointing.
But our job is then to go in and help the team whatever way we can. There
are so many good players on this team. All you can do is wait for your
chance to play. And if you get a chance, you have to show you can play.
Q.As a Russian player, how much has former Red Wings defenseman Slava
Fetisov influenced you?
A.Fetisov is one of the best players of all-time. He's a (legend) in
Russia. When I first met him, I was so nervous. The first time I met him
here, I was hurt. He asked me what was the matter and I told him. He just
said that wasn't much (of an) injury, and to just go out and play. He was
a tough player. A tough man.