He used to play among NHL stars, now he fights for Miskolc: What we want is play-off, says Rasmus Kulmala
What is your opinion on the quality of Slovakian league?
I think that most of the time, the hockey played in Slovakian league is on a high level. Players here are fast and skilled.
Can you compare Hungarian and Slovakian league?
In my opinion, the difference between these two leagues is apparent. Last year, we only had few difficult games against MAC. This year, we cannot really have any days off if we want to grab some points.
Your formation with Pance and Vas is very productive. Do you have a good chemistry on ice?
The line with Vas and Pance has been working really well, because it is quite easy to play with them. They both are hard workers and I think we share the same opinions about ice hockey, which helps a lot on ice.
How good is the cooperation with coach Glen Hanlon?
Glen Hanlon is one of the best managers I have worked with so far. He has extensive knowledge about hockey, the fact that derives from years and years of coaching, but also playing this game.
DVTK is on the bottom of the ranking, but you played have had a number of really good games. What is the problem?
Naturally, we are not happy about our current position in the rankings. We have played many good games, but we need to keep the string tight for 60 minutes. Often, we have lost the game because of a couple of ”black minutes”. We have to find the way to be capable of competing for 60 minutes three times a week.
After the game in BanskáBystrica, you mentioned play-off in the interviews. Is this yourteam´sgoal?
I am sure that our team has all it takes to get to the play-off stage. We have to overtake teams and be better prepared. Also, the home games are very important to us. At home, I believewe can beat any team because our amazing fans give us the necessary extra boost.
DVTK has a very nice stadium and passionate fans. Do you like it?
In overall, fans are really good here in Miskolc. They often travel far from home to the furthest places in Slovakia to support us.It is always heart warming to see our fans there, it fires you up.
Do you like Miskolc like as a city?
I like Miskolc a lot. It has decent size, not too big nor too small. Everything you need is within a walkable distance. People in Miskolc like sports, which is definitely a nice thing. Sometimes, I find myself watching basketball or football too.
During your career you played in Finnish Liiga. How good is this league?
The level of difficulty in Finnish Liiga is a little bit higher than here in Slovakia. But I am sure the top Slovak teams could compete there too. It is more tactical and not so fast all the time. Of course, there are some very good players who could play anywhere in Europe. Also, all their stadiums have this nice aesthetic vibe.
You won the golden medal on WJC. Do you remember this tournament? Can you tell us something about these WJC?
I have a lot of good memories of WJC. Of course, the reason is mainly because of our victory, but also because I had played with these guys for many years in U16 and U20, so it was a great ending for our national junior team career. It was great for Swedesin Malmö, we had good team, with many of its players being drafted to NHL later.
Some really big names were among your team-mates from that championship. Are you still in touch with them?
I still have many friends from that team. During the NHL lockout, few guys from North America played for TPS, such as Kevin Shattenkirk, Alez Martinez, Kris Russell, Mikko Koivu and Lauri Korpikoski. Ristolainen had also played for TPS before he got drafted to NHL, and he was probably my best friend. I was lucky to play with those NHL guys and see how professional they were and especially observing the things they did on the ice was something that amazed me. Particularly Korpikoski’s skating was something that I had never seen before.