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Anton Belov: "It won't be easy against Severstal"

Anton BelovSeverstalPlayoffs
HC SKA press-service

- After yesterday's game against Severstal, how are you preparing for the KHL playoffs first round series?

- It was quite an intense training session today. We will only skate again on the morning before the game. We're preparing for the series.

- Yesterday, did you notice anything special about Severstal?

- I don't think that they did anything new. We didn't have all of our first team players competing yesterday, they have only just come back from the Olympic Games. It was a tough game, Severstal didn't allow us to create a lot of chances. The 0:0 score speaks volumes. I would like to congratulate their players, they qualified for the Gagarin Cup playoffs and I hope it will help them stay in the KHL.

- How can the extra day's rest help?

- Those who were at the Olympic Games are in shape. For the seven players who stay here there was a month's break, but we played a couple of games against Jokerit and Cherepovets.

- When watching the Olympic final, what emotions did you have?

- I was nervous, just like everyone else. Playing on the ice and watching on television are two different concepts. When I was injured, I watched matches from the VIP lodge. I get more nervous watching than playing.

Anton Belov: "It won't be easy against Severstal"

- What did you think when you weren't allowed to participate at the Olympic Games?

- It was a shock for me. Nevertheless, I am grateful to my teammates and to the club's and national team's management for supporting me. I would like to hear why the IOC made that decision and what evidence they had. I spent the whole four years before these Olympics in Saint Petersburg, it was obvious what goal I had. However, now I'm only thinking about the playoffs and the upcoming World Championship.

- Unlike other players who played at the Olympic Games, you have kept your emotions.

- You never know if emotions or being in shape will help you. Time will tell.

- Who's stronger: Germany or Severstal?

- I didn't play against the Germans. Let's prepare to face Severstal, they have good players which can achieve good results. I don't think that it will be easy for us, we have to win.

- Are the coaches putting special attention on to Dmitry Kagarlitsky or Yury Trubachyov's line?

- We are only concentrating on how they play as a team.

- How would you compare this regular season to last year's? You had the best plus/minus rating in the previous campaign?

- In personal or team terms?

- Both.

- This is an Olympic season. The schedule wasn't great. All clubs have stated their annoyance, but there couldn't have been any other options. In September and October, there were a lot of games. Overall, we didn't have many dips in form, we were consistent. We managed to take first place in the regular season. This year, I had an injury unfortunately and they couldn't find what was wrong with me. I missed half of the season.

- Have you fully recovered?

- They decided to work on my knee and see what is going on inside. Thank goodness, everything is fine now.

- You have got more energy to compete in the KHL playoffs.

- We'll see.

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