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Sergei Shirokov: "We're preparing for the season's crucial period"

InterviewSergei Shirokov
KHL

- Have you looked over the episode where you failed to score clean through against CSKA?

- No, I saw it all for myself during the game. Ilya Sorokin played great. It would have been great if I could have scored.

- If you will have such an opportunity in the future, what will you do differently?

- I always try to do the best I can in the situation. Yes, I didn't take the right decision. However, the main thing is that we won. We are preparing for the season's crucial period.

- Did you expect the match to be so tense?

- Of course. CSKA play aggressive ice hockey, they are challengers for first place. The three previous games proved that this was going to be a tight match.

- Was this derby the most entertaining of the lot?

- As a participant, it's hard for me to speak about that. There were penalty shots and a disallowed goal in overtime. Lots of memorable events! It's great that we managed to win in Moscow.

Sergei Shirokov: "We're preparing for the season's crucial period"

- Did you know that Roman Shirokov was cheering for you in the stadium?

- Yes, we always keep in contact. Afterwards, he came down to our dressing room and congratulated me with the victory.

- Were you aware of what happened in overtime when CSKA scored?

- It was clear from the start. We were immediately told that it was offside, all of calmly waited while the referees made their mind up.

- Victorious music inside the stadium even started to play...

- They were a bit too quick! Probably, CSKA found it tough playing after that incident.

- Not long ago, CSKA caught SKA up in the KHL standings?

- We didn't pay any attention to that at all, our thoughts were connected to turning our bad run of form around. All of us understood that we had to win the derby. We beat CSKA and have a game in hand over them.

- When SKA started losing, did anything change inside the team?

- No, the coaches simply found the required words. Also, as players, we got together without the coaches. We understood where we made mistakes, the team began to play better.

- Were some strong words spoken among yourselves?

- I wouldn't say that, we just said that was on our minds. Some of us had things building up inside. No one got offended, it's a part of the process. We're a family, a united team.

- After losing to Dinamo Minsk, Oleg Znarok mentioned that you could have beaten Ak Bars and Lokomotiv.

- Yes. In Kazan, we conceded after making a mistake in the third period, and against Lokomotiv, we missed a lot of goalscoring chances. This was a good lesson for us before the playoffs.

- Was Oleg tough with you all?

- He always works the same way, he demands 100% from us.

- Were these defeats down to simply mistakes?

- We lost to Kazan in the shootout, against Yaroslavl there was only one goal in it. In Minsk, we began terribly. That cannot happen again.

- Having won so many games in a row, did the team relax?

- We know that all teams give everything against SKA. I think that journalists were more interested in how many matches we won on the bounce.

- Nevertheless, when winning all the time, SKA played like a machine.

- It broke down somewhere! Luck turned against us. Through hard work, we will try to get it back on our side.

- What did you think of the special SKA Army jerseys for the anniversary match against Dynamo Moscow on December 8th?

- Fans should rate how good they were. Our job is to go on to the ice and play ice hockey. However, I must say that the jerseys were really nice.

- Did you watch the 2017 World Junior Championship?

- Yes, I did. Some I watched live, others as repeats. I want to congratulate our guys with a good performance. They were a bit unlucky in the semi-final, but they still did a great job. It's down to Valery Bragin, he proves year in year out that he is a top coach.

- Has Yegor Rykov shown you his bronze medal?

- No, I must ask him to do that!

- Who impressed you during the tournament?

- Kirill Kaprizov was excellent, it was expected. The main thing is that the team was united.

- What did you do for New Year?

- I was at home with my family. I don't have much free time, I like to spend it with my loved ones. On the 2nd of January, we flew to Minsk.

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