HC SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:
- I would like to thank our fans for their wonderful support, it meant a lot to have a sold-out stadium. We tried to win at any cost. After returning from Mytishchi, we weren’t as fresh as normal. Nevertheless, our guys worked as a united team. We will work on the mistakes which we committed. You can’t win without losing sometimes, I would like to thank our team for picking up one point. I have no issues with our commitment. This defeat will serve us well for the future.
- Did you feel the pressure as a result of winning nine in a row?
- We didn’t even speak about that, none of us are looking at the standings. We are treating every game individually. When preparing to face Dynamo, we had analysed all of the details. This was the third match against this team in the current campaign already. I can only congratulate Dynamo today, they have a good, organised team with a strong coaching staff. This game has given us food for thought.
- What went wrong in the second period?
- We were lacking concentration. We should always remember that opposing teams come to play their best ice hockey against us, this means that we should work better than the opponents and play with full concentration during every shift.
- Why didn’t you freshen the line-up after playing in Mytishchi on Thursday?
- If we would have had the opportunity to freshen the team, we would have done so. Our system involves energy-sapping, aggressive ice hockey, pressing the opponents across the entirety of the ice. In this game, we should have taken advantage of the scoring opportunities which we created. Despite this result, we have to remember that we haven’t lost in either regulation or overtime yet, I think that we are moving in the right direction. Yes, we didn’t score our penalty shots today, but on another day, I am sure that we would have converted in the shootout. The opponents simply shot on goal, whereas we tried to beat the goalkeeper with skill moves. This was the difference. Moreover, we conceded shorthanded and didn’t score on the powerplay.
- Before he moved to SKA, Damir Zhafyarov had missed 10 penalty shots in a row. Now he has failed to convert in two shootouts for your team. Why are you allowing him to participate in shootouts?
- He is a leader of our team. Previously in his career, he had scored several penalty shots. Damir didn’t score in the shootout today, but he will next time. There are 58 games to go in this regular season, it’s a long campaign. For us, the most important match is always the next one. We will continue working hard. If required, we will replace our batteries, we have reserves which we can use. Following this game, we had a good conversation with the players in the dressing room. I’m sure that we will see a reaction on the ice on Monday. Can you remember a football or ice hockey team which didn’t lose a single match throughout a particular season? The only example is surely CSKA Moscow from the Soviet times.
- Are you disappointed that you couldn’t reach 10 victories on the bounce?
- The next game is always the most important for us. We will start with a clean slate! All of us are working together. I do have issues with our discipline, too many individual penalties are being taken at the moment. When you deserve the victory with your hard work on the ice, you win games. It was more useful for us to lose today. There isn’t any time in which to be upset, we immediately have to prepare to compete against a strong Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod side on Monday. As we know, the schedule is tough this year, but it’s always better to play in matches rather than simply training.
- Can you explain why Roman Rukavishnikov wasn’t included in the squad for this game?
- Competition is the key to progression. I would like to point out that in accordance with the KHL regulations, two young players should always be in the line-up. Marat Khusnutdinov – born in 2002 – and Arseniy Koromyslov – born in 2003 – were in our squad for today’s game. Hopefully, Dmitry Buchelnikov will be ready to play on Monday, his batteries have been charged up. You always need health competition within a team.
HC Dynamo Moscow head coach Alexei Kudashov:
- I think that everyone enjoyed this match. The atmosphere was great, and the fans saw everything possible. It was a quick match full of opportunities, and we had goals, overtime and a penalty shootout. We are happy that we earned points.
- Was it especially nice to tally points after previously conceding two defeats in regulation time to SKA this season?
- We didn’t focus on that factor, the main thing is that we can beat any opponent. If you start focusing on rivalries, you won’t have enough in the tank for the full season. We felt confident that we could win today.
- In comparison to the previous two games against SKA, what did you change?
- If we look at the second match, then we barely changed anything for this game. The only things which changed were tactical details. When the players believe in themselves, they can achieve positive results.
- We were surprised to see Dynamo compete on the front foot for the full 60 minutes.
- We have a young team which is full of energy. It’s very dangerous to sit in defence in Saint Petersburg, so instead we tried to take the game to them.
- Saint Petersburg-born Dmitry Rashevsky scored the decisive penalty shot for you.
- He took responsibility for that shot and converted.
HC SKA forward Mikhail Vorobyov:
- It was an even game between two strong teams.
- On the bench, did you see that Damir Zhafyarov had scored before Andrei Pedan put the puck into the net?
- Yes, but the referees hadn’t noticed that the puck had gone in after Damir’s attempt. Andrei decided to make sure that we had scored.
- Was it difficult to play against Dynamo after the match in Mytishchi with Kunlun Red Star?
- No, I wouldn’t say that there was a major difference. We always prepare for each individual game, you receive two points for beating either Kunlun or Dynamo.
- You have improved your faceoffs. Have you been working on this individually?
- This is down to all of my teammates, just look how many times Dmitrij Jaskin and Zhafyarov win the puck back in our line. They don’t allow the opponents to possess the puck.
HC SKA forward Vladislav Tsitsyura:
- This was our third match against Dynamo Moscow in a short period of time, therefore both teams are already very familiar with one another. All of the games have been largely the same. In the shootout, Dynamo were better than us today.
- Did you notice that Zhafyarov had scored right away?
- I only saw Pedan’s shot as I had just returned to the bench following my shift.
- Did this game feel like a cold shower after scoring six goals against Kunlun on the road?
- It’s obvious that there is a difference in quality between Kunlun and Dynamo, you can feel it on the ice. However, given that this was the third match with Dynamo in a row, tactics probably didn’t decide the outcome today. It was more down to our approach.
-Were Dynamo more aggressive than in the preceding two meetings?
- We are focusing on our own performances. When preparing for all of our matches, we get fired up exactly the same way, it doesn’t matter if the team is from the top half of the standings or the bottom. We now have to prepare for another very tough game on Monday with Nizhny Novgorod.