Alexey Marchenko is finally becoming a full-time Red Wings defenseman after dealing with serious injuries and showing a lot of patience while being demoted and promoted at a fast rate. In this translated interview, originally appearing on the popular Russian website SovSport.ru, Red Wings prospect Alexey Marchenko talked about moving between main and farm teams, explained how he feels regarding playing full-time for the Wings, and compared Mike Babcock and Jeff Blashill.
* For the original SovSport.ru article by Dmitri Malinovsky, click here.
– Alexey, other than a big talent, you also have a great attitude. You spent three years moving between the farm club and the main team. Was it hard?
– I knew since the start that I had to pass through the AHL, I was ready for that. My first season has been very good. My coach told me that I needed to play one year and a half, and then I would be promoted up to the Red Wings. During the season they called up many guys and it has been my turn too. I played one game, and then I picked up an injury, my season was done. So I underwent a surgery, and after a long period of recovery I had to find my game again. At the end of last season they called me up again for the playoffs. This season I am mostly playing for the Red Wings.
– You played a good number of games this season, do you consider yourself a full time member of the Red Wings?
– I wish I could think like that. But to confirm that all is done, well, it’s early. Each game for me is like the last one, I have to show my skills and confirm that I deserve a spot in the lineup.
– You played under both Mike Babcock and Jeff Blashill. Where are they similar? What are the main differences?
– They are similar in sense that both want their team to play a system game. They allow for some improvization, but the most important thing is the system. Blashill is a bit younger, he coached most of guys in the farm team and maybe he’s a bit closer to the players. Maybe the communication with him is a bit easier.
– Many have the opinion that after Babcock left the Wings, the team lacked a strong leader and relaxed a bit too much, and this is why the results are not up to the expectations.
– It’s hard to object to this view of the situation. But in any case we got points in 13 straight games. Of course it would have been better to win all these games, but the team is still searching for his best game, and we need time.
– How do you like playing with your linemate Brendan Smith?
– Well, we all have pretty much the same instructions from the coach: play hard on defense and try to help the forwards. Our defensive pairs are regular: Kronwall and Ericsson, DeKeyser and Green. I think that we play well together and complement each other. But maybe for you it’s easier to judge.
– Is it hard on the day-to-day plan when you get moved so often between the farm and the main teams? Do you live constantly in a hotel?
– No, I rent a place now. I lived in a hotel for a couple of weeks after I got called up, but then they told me to find a place. I have no problems in day-to-day life.
– Many players in this period try to visit some good or warm places. Do you have any plan for the seasonal vacations?
– Not yet, but I think we’ll simply rest at home.
A professional hockey writer and translator. Loves Russian culture, language, and hockey. Reachable on twitter @AlexSerenRosso