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Roman Rotenberg speaks after beating CSKA in Moscow

Roman RotenbergCSKAInterviewPress-conferenceCSKA - SKA - 031022
HC SKA press-service

HC SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:

- This was a very important game for us. We knew that we were going to play against a strong opponent, CSKA have technical players who are good with the puck and can take advantage of any scoring opportunity. The first period wasn't great from our point of view, but the guys subsequently responded to the discussion which we had in the dressing room. This is an important victory for us! We will now prepare for the next match.

- Why did SKA start so poorly?

- Our discipline let us down. We took cheap penalties today, this is an aspect which has to be improved. We'll analyse this tomorrow. When playing against such a strong team like CSKA, you can't take penalties. Given that this was already our 14th game of the campaign, it's also very important for us to recover in the right way between matches.

- You made a lot of line changes in the third period.

- We were searching for the key to victory while trying to get the best out of the players. We always use the same system, so we can comfortably make changes to our lines when the game isn't going our way. We made changes during the second and third stanzas.

Roman Rotenberg speaks after beating CSKA in Moscow

- What do you think about teams which pull their goaltenders for the extra skater in overtime?

- Each team decides what's best for them. CSKA are a very strong opponent, we have a lot of respect for them and they have an excellent coaching staff. When I was young, I used to have a poster of Sergei Fyodorov on my wall! In overtime, we put our quick guys on the ice and they managed to win us the game. Maybe we will also pull our goalkeeper in overtime in the future, it all depends on the particular situation. If the rules allow for you to do this, then it's fine.

- Taking into account that this was such a difficult match for you, does this victory feel even sweeter than normal?

- Of course, this is a big win for us. We have a young team in comparison to CSKA, our players need to come through these tests when you have to make comebacks. Our goal is to dominate for the entire 60 minutes, but silly penalties let us down in this match. We have to play with more discipline. CSKA didn't train yesterday, so maybe they were fresher both physically and psychologically. Each club uses its own approach. We trained hard yesterday before holding a light morning skate today. I would like to thank my team and our fans for this game, it really is a major victory for us. Furthermore, I would like to thank the opponents too, such games allow you to reach new levels. Today we witnessed ice hockey of a very high level. We're happy that we won today, but we must remember that we have five more matches against CSKA in the regular season. We will now focus on our next game.

- When the match went to overtime, did you bear in mind that CSKA were going to pull their goalkeeper for the extra skater? Is this why you put the speedy Maxim Groshev on the ice?

- This wasn't the first time when we have played 3-on-4 this season, we are always training our PK. Maxim did really well for his goal, he worked to his maximum and used his pace to score. I don't want to point anyone out, though, we work as a team and this is a team win. All of our players blocked pucks and helped the goalkeeper. We now have to work on getting rid of the mistakes which we are committing.

- How is Nikolai Prokhorkin feeling?

- Our injured players are recovering. Time will tell who takes to the ice in the next match.

- Evgeny Koreshkov, who is now in your coaching staff, is considered to have created the idea of pulling the goaltender in overtime in the KHL.

- He also did the same thing with Barys Astana. In the past, Anatoly Tarasov also used to do this during training sessions, but they didn't play 3-on-3 in those days. A lot of KHL teams pull their goalkeepers for the extra skater when they play in overtime, when we played against Severstal Cherepovets we understood that they might do this. When in this situation, you simply have to defend solidly and block pucks with your body. The key was that CSKA won the first faceoff draw in overtime, this consequently allowed them to control the puck and pull the netminder.

- It seemed that CSKA had moved offside before they scored their second goal. Did you speak to your video coaches about this?

- No, I didn't. We can improve in this regard too, we must have good communication. When you play on the road, sometimes this can be a problem. We will analyse what happened there.

- Did you immediately realise that Marat Khairullin had scored with his shot in the third period? The referees initially didn't notice that the puck had crossed the line.

- In a situation like that, the referees receive a signal that it was a goal around 10-15 seconds after the puck went in. When they stopped play, we immediately realised that we had scored.

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