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Kozlov Discusses Disagreement with Anderson

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A rough translation from Russian press

"Atlanta coach likes playing in four [lines], while I think that it’s impossible to play the whole match this way as we simply lose the rhythm. Ilya and I tried to explain that it’s necessary to change picture of the game sometimes.

"In order to catch the rhythm it’s better to play in two or three [lines], but Anderson doesn’t feel it. Maybe he is inexperienced or maybe he sticks to his own directions after he won the cup in AHL".

"I played both in AHL and NHL and these are absolutely different leagues. Not all coaches, who won something with the farm-club, can achieve something serious in NHL, and vice versa".

You can argue the merits of rolling for lines, but the Thrashers are playing winning hockey while rolling four lines--which they never did with Ilya on the roster. Furthermore, to suggest that Kovalchuk didn't get a mountain of ice time from Coach Anderson is simply not accurate. Ilya Kovalchuk led all NHL forwards in ice time  during most of his seasons in Atlanta. The 4th line usually averaged about 8 minutes when Kovalchuk was here because the top three lines got more ice time.

He also took offense to comments that the Thrashers won nothing with Kovalchuk:

"I was negatively surprised when Atlanta managers said after Ilya Kovalchuk’s quit that they hadn’t won any cup match in eight years with this player. Kovalchuk has done a lot for this team and I was hurt by these words. It means that it’s time for me to leave the club too".