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SKA - Amur. Press-conference

Press-conferenceAmurValeri BraginSKA - Amur - 210921Mikhail Kravets
HC SKA press-service

HC Amur Khabarovsk interim head coach Mikhail Kravets:

- We're not happy with the result, the score is 1:5. We knew that SKA have a strong powerplay, but we didn't have enough time to prepare the team for this match and the guys have struggled on the penalty kill so far this season. The first period was very good from our point of view, however we subsequently struggled after going 1:3 down. I can't say that we gave up in the third frame, however, once again we conceded shorthanded. Our players fought against a strong opponent, we have to improve our penalty killing and our play in the neutral zone. We must get out of this situation, our target is to qualify for the KHL Gagarin Cup playoffs.

- SKA's advantage concerning shots on target was small. Is this a positive sign for you?

- It's positive that we only allowed SKA to have 21 shots on target. However, 18 shots on target for us isn't good enough, we need at least 30. We had chances, but we constantly made passes instead of shooting. We have to shoot more.

- You have been hired to bring Amur out of their crisis.

- This is ice hockey, I love my job and I'm happy that they hired me. We need to try to win games. Victories will give all of us confidence.

SKA - Amur. Press-conference

- Before you were appointed their new head coach, had you watched Amur's matches?

- I watched a lot of games, not only those involving Amur. I saw Amur play against Avangard Omsk and Dynamo Moscow. I really liked how the team competed with Avangard, the penalty killing was excellent and it was a strong performance. Amur generally start games poorly, but today we were solid in the first period. Our third periods are letting us down. Plus, the long flights take their toll on the players. Today was a fast, aggressive game, it will help us.

- What were the first steps you took with your new team?

- At yesterday's training session, we worked on our defensive play and our powerplay tactics. The guys hadn't long arrived from Khabarovsk. I changed the lines taking into account what I know about this group of players. All of the line combinations were different in comparison with the match against Metallurg Magnitogorsk? I chose the line-up in accordance with my opinions. We have the opportunity to create two strong lines and two which will defend more. Overall, our powerplay was good today, and we had opportunities at equal strength too.

- Patrik Bartosak has conceded nine goals in two matches. When will Evgeny Alikin play?

- Our goalkeeper did well today, he made a lot of good saves. We weren't solid enough in defence, and the players didn't block SKA's shots on goal. You win games if you block shots. I think that Evgeny will start against Kunlun Red Star Beijing.

HC SKA head coach Valeri Bragin:

- We had had four days off, so we were lacking game shape. The first period was a bit messy, but then we played better during the subsequent two frames. We scored good goals, and our powerplay worked. It's a confident victory for us.

- What did you make of Yaroslav Askarov's maiden performance of the KHL season in net? And why was Sergei Ivanov the back-up goalkeeper?

- Yaroslav played well. Alexander Samonov is a bit ill, and Lars Johansson is with his wife who has just given birth to their son today.

- Kirill Kirsanov spent more time on the ice today than any other SKA player. Does this prove just how much you trust him?

- Just like everyone else, he makes mistakes sometimes. We analyse how each player feels physically after every game and training session. He's in good shape, so that's why he played so much in this match.

- Why isn't Daniil Pylenkov competing on special teams?

- We are preparing for him to compete on the powerplay. Today, Stepan Falkovsky was on the powerplay, but there was a moment when we wanted Daniil to compete on the man advantage. He is a player for the powerplay.

- Zakhar Bardakov hasn't played for a while. Why is this?

- He's training, Zakhar signed for SKA from a different team. His time will come.

- Oscar Fantenberg seemed to leave the game early.

- The puck hit him in an unprotected part of the body, it's just a bruise I think.

- Do your defensemen take more care in defence when a young goaltender like Askarov is playing?

- Yaroslav already has experience of playing in the KHL and at the World Junior Championship. I wouldn't say that our defensemen are more careful with him in goal.

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