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Ilya Kovalchuk: "We had lots of chances to score against CSKA"

Ilya KovalchukCSKAFansCSKA - SKA - 080418
HC SKA press-service

- We had a lot of chances to score. I think that CSKA only had one shot in the third period, but they managed to equalise. I want to congratulate them with winning the series, they deserved it no matter who had the advantage. We didn't use our chances on the powerplay. CSKA's players blocked the puck and deservedly won. I think it was a good series, I wish Ak Bars and CSKA luck in the final.

- Did the Olympic Games have an affect?

- That tournament finished over a month ago, we had energy. How can you play any different in front of such fans? We tried our best, but the puck didn't go in and the goalkeeper played well. We can't blame anyone in the dressing room.

- What's Lars Johansson's secret?

- At times, it seemed as though the puck was going in, but his pads made a save. Pavel Datsyuk had a great chance in overtime. He's a good goalkeeper, you don't get bad ones at this stage of the playoffs.

- How will you celebrate your birthday next week?

- It's too early too talk about that. I'll be with my family.

Ilya Kovalchuk: "We had lots of chances to score against CSKA"

- Was this your final SKA match?

- I said a huge thank you to the guys, management and fans. I don't know what will happen, but I'm planning to spend the next few years in North America. Thank you to Saint Petersburg and the fans at the Ice Palace, we became one big family. I'm not saying goodbye, this is only see you later.

- Do you have enough energy to play at the World Championship?

- The coaches will decide. I don't have energy to think about that right now. However, the World Championship is a major tournament, so I will play if required.

- Is your health fine?

- Yes, I felt great in the last few games. Unfortunately, we couldn't take the series back to Saint Petersburg, but I congratulate CSKA. They have young players which haven't won the Gagarin Cup yet, we will watch the final.

- You have won the Gagarin Cup and Olympic Games since returning to Russia.

- I had a great five years in Russia, I'm really happy. I was warmly accepted in Saint Petersburg, it's a special city which will always be in my heart. Thank you to the fans.

- Was the Olympic Games triumph your best achievement?

- Everything was important. We won two Gagarin Cups in five years, won the regular season, our stadium was always full. The MHL and VHL teams are in their respective finals, it's great that Saint Petersburg is on the right track.

- Your thoughts on the new KHL playoff ideas?

- I'm an athlete. The league's management will decide what's best for the fans and teams.

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