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Harijs Vitolins speaks before playing Lokomotiv

Harijs VitolinsLokomotivSKA - Lokomotiv - 110118
HC SKA press-service

- How have you been preparing for today's match?

- We're training as we always do, there are games every two days. We have analysed how the opponents play, we are preparing for a serious match. We can see that Lokomotiv are performing well. They have an aggressive team, I think that it will be a good game.

- Under new head coach Dmitry Kvartalnov, do Lokomotiv play differently than they did with Alexei Kudashov?

- Overall, their style of game has stayed the same. However, maybe their guys have new motivation. They have matches when they play well, but Lokomotiv can also struggle to score goals. A lot will depend on us and if we play a fast, aggressive game. If we do that, Lokomotiv will have problems. Nevertheless, if we start the match slowly, Lokomotiv will have a chance to get into the match.

- Andrei Zubarev was at the morning skate.

- Yes, he will play.

- How is David Rundblad feeling?

- He won't play today, but we will have four days rest after this. He is skating. David feels pain, but things will improve.

Harijs Vitolins speaks before playing Lokomotiv

- Is there any news surronding Roman Rukavishnikov?

- It's hard to say anything yet. The injury is serious, we're seeing that he can't do anything that involves physical work yet. There are only ten days left before the Olympics, he won't play during that period. We'll take a look at how he feels after the tournament.

- On January 25, the final Olympic roster will be announced. Have you made the required decisions?

- We have ideas, but conversations are still ongoing. We have time, you'll find out on the 25th.

- Will there be surprises?

- We don't need to surprise anyone. The players which the coaches count on will go to the tournament, those who have played in enough competitions. Players who travel to the Olympic Games will be worthy of representing the country.

- SKA have sealed home advantage in the KHL playoffs. How do you motivate the players?

- We're trying to make the guys understand that all teams are continuing to fight for the playoffs. There aren't many matches left before the next stage of the season, we're preparing. Consecutive games should keep our players in shape. Everyone needs points, including us - CSKA Moscow aren't very far behind.

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