STEVEN SARDARIAN: "AIMING TO BREAK MANUKYAN'S RECORD"
"Red Army" forward Steven Sardarian is in his first season in the MHL, and was named the best forward in the Western Conference in November. The hockey player told the league press service about his desire to break Manukyan's scoring record, his unusual name and eating tasty treats secretly from his nutritionist.
About the title of best player in November
— The “Red Army” had a long road trip: we were in Vladivostok, later were returning home from practice. I remember listening to music - a selection of the "Top 100 songs on Apple Music", getting ready for a long-awaited delicious dinner, and when I got off the bus, my partners told me the news.
I believe there is no need to single out anyone in the team: even in an individual award there is a lot of credit to the partners, so personal titles are never above team goals.
ABOUT THE MHL SITE
I think every MHL player visits the league website. I'm always interested in how other teams are playing, what's going on in the standings, who's scoring. I have a lot of friends, ex-partners - I follow their performances.
I'm also a follower of the league's social media - recently the official MHL Instagram account started following me, too, which I'm very happy about. I think they should have done it earlier, though (smiling).
ABOUT SOCIAL NETWORKS
These days, almost everyone hangs out on social networks. And I don't think that this is a bad thing - there is a lot of information on there, you can develop using social networks. I always learn something new using them.
ABOUT AN UNUSUAL NAME
My parents chose a very beautiful name, and I am proud of it. When I was young, my father went to America and met an interesting man named Steven there – he was running a business there at the time and then a few years later he moved his business to Russia.
On the team, they usually call me Steve or Steven. Sometimes they call me Sara - which is an abbreviation of my last name. There are friends who don’t get to call me by my first name but instead address me by different famous Stevens’ surnames such as King, Seagal or Stamkos. All those Stevens are cool and famous, so I don't mind.
ABOUT THE JUHL RECORD
(In the 2019/2020 season, Sardarian set a JUHL record with 107 (32+75) points in 34 games. In the same season, the forward played in 23 games for the 2003 CSKA team, in which he scored 35 (12+23) points).
It's great that CSKA pay attention my achievement. The club gave me a symbolic "Golden Helmet" for my record, which was very nice.
ABOUT ARTYOM MANUKYAN'S RECORD IN THE MHL
(In the 2016/2017 season, "Omsk Hawks" forward Artem Manukyan set the MHL scoring record with 105(39+66) points in 60 regular season games. The record has not been broken yet).
You always must set the highest goals for yourself. I don't think a record should last long - records are meant to be broken. And if so, why shouldn't I do it? So, I am striving to rewrite Manukyan's record, I am going for it.
SHOT OR PASS?
I play according to the situation. All the goalies are very well-trained now, so it's hard to score with a direct shot. So, I try to evaluate the momentum: if there's an option for a good pass, then why not - I like nice, accurate passes. But if there's an option to put in a promising shot from a good position, then I'll shoot.
ABOUT THE PANDEMIC
My debut season in the MHL didn't start out the way I wanted it to: I was sick for a long time in August with a coronavirus, which disrupted my training sessions. It was very hard for my body, and I had to find the strength to work. The coaches worked very well with us; they have an individual approach to each player, so now I am 100% used to playing in the team.
ABOUT ADDITIONAL TRAINING
Training only with the team makes it impossible to develop all the individual skills, so I often work out in the throwing zone and go to the gym.
I have my own nutritionist. However, I don't always listen to his advice, because it's hard - especially when I want to eat something yummy. When I deviate from the plan, I reassure myself that I will go out on the ice, sweat, and work off those calories.
ABOUT THE IDOLS
In hockey - Ilya Kovalchuk, Steven Stamkos and adult Nikita Kucherov. In soccer - definitely Lionel Messi. Leo is the best player in the world, no one can convince me otherwise. If we talk about personal qualities, my idol is fighter Conor McGregor. I admire the way he sells himself: he made himself completely on his own, he turned himself from a simple plumber into one of the most famous people.
I haven't played with my "Red Army" partners yet, I usually play chess on my phone. I play at the hardest level, but if I lose, I turn on "Beginner" to improve my self-esteem.
ABOUT MOTIVATIONAL SPEECHES
- At 18-19 years of age, all hockey players are professionals, so they have to tune themselves up for the game. Motivational speeches are necessary during the game, especially when things don't work out right or whenever you need to cheer up. Our captain Artem Pugachev is good at that. Who is the best joker in the team? When our coach Rinat Hasanov is in a good mood, that's him.
I do not believe in omens. Success depends on a thousand different little things and smart people know that. The main omens for me are good sleep and nutrition, but I don't have any special rituals before a game.