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SKA - Ak Bars. Press-conference

Roman RotenbergPress-conferenceSKA - Ak Bars - 110122
HC SKA press-service

HC Ak Bars Kazan head coach Dmitry Kvartalnov:

- This was an excellent match for us, it's great that we only conceded one goal in Saint Petersburg. It was very important that we took the lead.

- After an energetic first period, the tempo subsequently dropped.

- Both teams lost possession in the neutral zone during the second stanza. A few of our guys on the ice today hadn't played for a long time, so maybe this affected our performance. Overall, though, they coped with their task and did a good job.

- A lot of teams are having problems with coronavirus. What did you make of the KHL's decision to not suspend the league?

- How can I comment on that? We are doing what the KHL tells us to.

- When did you find out that you have ill players within your team?

- Danis Zaripov? He didn't play during our trip away in the Far East. I don't want to speak about who is ill. I can say that we will never include an ill player in our line-up.

SKA - Ak Bars. Press-conference

- Your players were fantastic in defence today.

- We wanted to display our brand of ice hockey. We were solid in defence, even if we would have wanted to be more dangerous in the attacking zone. We prepared for this game after we lost our previous match on the road.

- Nikita Dynyak progressed through the Saint Petersburg ice hockey system. Did he compete with extra motivation?

- Probably, he did have a lot of desire to win in his hometown. This is important for any player.

- Ak Bars landed 24 hits in comparison to SKA's eight.

- We knew that against such an opponent like SKA, we needed to be close to them. They skate well and their forwards have plenty of quality.

HC SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:

- I haven't got any issues with the guys' attitude, they were up for this match. In the dressing room, we discussed the reasons why we lost. We have things to work on. The most important game for us is always the next one. I want to thank our fans, their support was great today.

- What did you speak about in the dressing room?

- We spoke about taking responsibility, instead of passing it onto other people. If you have a chance, you need to take advantage of it. In games like this, you have to show your character and score dirty goals. We will work on this.

- You couldn't break Ak Bars' sturdy defence down.

- Ak Bars played with discipline, I congratulate them with their victory. We know their system and how Dmitry Kvartalnov likes to play. Our task was to shoot more, crash the net and win the battles. We didn't achieve this fully today. Nevertheless, we did have a few clear chances, for example Marat Khusnutdinov couldn't score when clean through after he had already beaten the goalkeeper. We also want our defensemen to shoot more and win the battles on the crease. Games against tough opponents give us the opportunity to progress, we will play against teams with a similar defensive system in the playoffs. They will shut up shop, so we must work on breaking these teams down.

- SKA have already lost 10 home matches this season.

- There are a lot of details when it comes to this issue, we're discussing them with the players. The guys understand the reason behind this statistic, we need to prepare for games in the correct manner. We must look at ourselves in the mirror and move forward.

- Why didn't Leo Komarov play?

- There are issues with his health. Hopefully, he can play on Thursday.

- What did you do on Sunday in place of the cancelled match against CSKA Moscow?

- We trained and prepared for Ak Bars. CSKA and Ak Bars have similar systems. We prepared to play against a strong opponent, we treat all teams with respect. I am sure that in the future we will be able to break teams down.

- Can you share with us your opinions on Evgeny Ketov's disallowed goal?

- I spoke to the referee about this. He told me that it was a 50/50 call. Usually, the KHL states that such calls are made in favour of the attacking team, but today they made a different decision. We respect the decisions made by the referees, but we think that it's more likely that it was a clean goal. It's ice hockey, these things happen. Evgeny's record concerning SKA appearances? He needs to play in one more game to set the record.

- Coronavirus cases in the KHL are rising. What safety measures are you taking?

- We are treating this situation seriously. The team has been vaccinated and boosted, and we always ask the guys to follow the safety regulations in the dressing room as well. This concerns the players, staff members and the coaching staff. We are doing everything to avoid this virus.

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