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SKA - Kunlun Red Star. Press-conference

Press-conferenceKunlun Red StarValeri BraginSKA - Kunlun RS - 211021
HC SKA press-service

SKA - Kunlun Red Star. Press-conference

HC SKA head coach Valeri Bragin:

- This was a confident victory for us. Yes, there were mistakes, but we had the advantage for the 60 minutes and created plenty of scoring opportunities.

- Will this relax the team or give the players extra confidence ahead of playing Avangard Omsk on the road?

- Victories always give you confidence, especially a win like this one. We have to continue working hard and improving certain aspects of our game.

- 19-year-old defenseman Nikita Smirnov competed in 11 shifts on his KHL debut. How did he perform?

- He was solid and reliable. Of course, he needs to continue developing, and his physical attributes need to improve. Nikita played well.

- Can we say that you have decided on your two goalkeepers?

- We are looking at how each goaltender feels. Lars Johansson already has seven shutouts, everything is clear here. We will see what happens in future matches.

- Will we see Mikko Lehtonen during the upcoming road trip?

- We're waiting for him, it's difficult to say. As soon as he arrives, we will analyse his physical condition.

HC Kunlun Red Star Beijing head coach Ivano Zanatta:

- There's not much to stay, SKA are a very good team. We had three good opening shifts in which we scored a goal, but it was disallowed. That disallowed goal woke up the lion, there is not a lot you can do against a team like that. The lion attacked us.

- This was your first match at the Saint Petersburg Ice Palace as a head coach of a different team. What impressions were you left with?

- It's always nice to come back, this is a great place. Saint Petersburg is a fanatstic city, it has SKA in the KHL and Dynamo in the VHL. The Ice Palace is a special building. Unfortunately, it wasn't a memorable game, but this is a very memorable place for me.

- You conceded in the first shift after your goal was disallowed. How difficult was that psychologically?

- Yes, it was tough. We had a good start, but we woke up the lion. The lion doesn't take a lot of time to get going. SKA reacted immediately by scoring in the next shift. Once SKA gain momentum, it's very difficult to stay with them. The effort was there, but you can't compare.

- If your early goal would have been given, would you have had a chance? Or was the lion simply too strong anyway?

- I still think that we would have woken up the lion! However, that goal would have given us a boost and some momentum. Who knows what would have happened, but we're realistic. This is SKA, they're a team contending to win the championship.

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