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Evgeny Ketov: "I think that we're in optimal shape for the playoffs"

Evgeny KetovOpen trainingPlayoffs
HC SKA press-service

HC SKA forward Evgeny Ketov:

- Please sum up the KHL regular season.

- There was a tricky situation when all of us fell ill. Nevertheless, we emerged from that period with our heads held high, we have fantastic young players who kept the ship afloat. Moreover, some of them have since remained in the team. I think that we're in optimal shape for the playoffs. We're ready.

- How different will this series against Dinamo Minsk be in comparison to your recent match with these opponents at the weekend?

- Ice hockey itself doesn't change in the playoffs. However, the price of a mistake is a lot higher. All teams have been preparing with the first match in mind. We can expect a fast-paced, aggressive game. Of course, there are different emotions in the playoffs, all of us can't wait to begin!

- You became the first KHL player to score 20 shorthanded goals.

- As I've said many times before, I don't do anything special when I'm on the penalty kill, I simply take advantage of the opportunities to skate on the counter-attack. In terms of our powerplay, I think that we did well during the regular season, we were fifth or sixth position of the ranking. Everyone is working on their special teams.

Evgeny Ketov: "I think that we're in optimal shape for the playoffs"

- Did your tactical approach change during the regular season? There were some alterations made to the coaching staff.

- No, we've been sticking to the same system throughout the campaign. We always know what to do on the ice.

- How are the young players getting on within the team?

- We have a great group with healthy competition. It doesn't matter whether you are a young player or not. Some of the younger guys joined the team during the pandemic, and they stayed with us after producing excellent performances. They're already senior players now.

- What advice would you give to the young players for the playoffs?

- The most important thing is to have the correct mindset. You must be calm, compete without panic and follow the game plan. Ice hockey doesn't change in the playoffs, but mistakes come with a higher price. The team which commits the least amount of errors competes with the initiative and wins. You certainly can't lose the puck at the blue line or make mistakes concerning shift changes.

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