HC SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:
- We’re happy that the Ice Palace was sold out today. First of all, I would like to thank the fans who gave us great energy today. It was an interesting, competitive match in which everyone burned with desire to win. Magnitogorsk are a strong team, they have players which at times decided to turn into Canadian actors. This was an obstacle which we had to overcome. Our guys did a great job, they withstood Metallurg’s pressure, improved in the third period and achieved an important win.
- Why were the second and third periods quiet in comparison to the first?
- We had watched their matches against Dynamo Moscow and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. A wounded animal is always very dangerous, they were full of motivation for this game. We committed mistakes for their goals. Nevertheless, we have to give credit to our players who turned the match around, competed as a united group and achieved a positive result. We changed our tactical approach and continued playing with a lot of speed. We have to point out Zakhar Bardakov’s seven-minute penalty, the opponents used their acting skills for that. We held on during their powerplay and blocked pucks. After that, we made changes to our line formations and reacted to the situation. Furthermore, our fourth goal today was the 100th which we’ve scored this season! We have to continue moving forward, we will now travel to Vladivostok via Krasnoyarsk. Recovery is crucial.
- Did Magnitogorsk surprise you in the first period? You didn’t seem ready.
- We committed mistakes for their goals. But, of course, we also have to take into account that Magnitogorsk have strong, high-quality players. Brendan Leipsic is a player of NHL level, he only left North America because of reasons not to do with ice hockey. Philippe Maillet is a leading player, the same can be said for Vasily Koshechkin and Nikita Korostelyov. We knew that we couldn’t give them space. Metallurg like to gain speed at neutral ice, so that means that we have to use a high line. If you look at the goals which we conceded, then you’ll notice that they scored because of our errors.
- Alexander Nikishin was fantastic after being rested against Sochi.
- I wouldn’t say that he rested, instead he trained hard. Perhaps he even worked harder than those who played against Sochi! There are different reasons why players aren’t selected for certain matches. Instead of revealing the details, we now have to prepare to play Admiral Vladivostok who are in good form.
- Do players receive bonuses for hits?
- We’re using different methods in order to find motivation. It’s vital to have a great atmosphere within our team, but the details will remain inside our group. We have to speak less and do more on the ice.
- Why did Mikhail Pashnin leave the game?
- I can’t say what happened there. Thankfully, we have reserves in our team who can take the place of anyone else. Our young players are training well.
- This is your maiden victory against Ilya Vorobyov as a head coach. Previously, you both worked for SKA.
- Ilya Vorobyov is representing a dynasty. In the past, Pyotr Vorobyov was an assistant to Vladimir Yurzinov. We’re all Yurzinov’s students! I am proud that I have worked with a lot of head coaches of other KHL teams, we achieved a lot together. We have to continue learning every single day, though, and Yurzinov is helping us do this.
- Will Matvei Michkov and Dmitry Buchelnikov fly with you for the upcoming away trip? They are in superb form for SKA-Neva in the VHL.
- Yes, there is a chance that this will happen. Before we make our decision, we’ll have a group discussion as coaches. We can see that Matvei is improving, he’s fighting hard and winning a lot of the duels. This is what we want to see. There is a large possibility that we will soon see Matvei in the KHL again.
HC Metallurg Magnitogorsk head coach Ilya Vorobyov:
- Both teams played excellently, no one sat back in defence. We started brilliantly, but then SKA came back and even took the lead. We managed to equalise before the first intermission, before we subsequently had scoring opportunities during the second stanza. Unfortunately, we conceded a cheap fourth marker because of our own mistakes. This is why we lost.
- Do you have instructions for how to score two quick goals in Saint Petersburg?
- No. Each game turns out differently, there aren’t any instructions.
- It really was a thrilling first period.
- Two strong teams competed against each other who both like to play attacking, exciting ice hockey with a lot of passes. Metallurg and SKA don’t like to sit in defence, instead they choose to play in a creative style.
- What went wrong for Metallurg later in the game?
- I wouldn’t say that anything went particularly wrong. The goalkeepers were solid, that’s all.
- There is an opinion that you rested Maillet especially for this game. Is this true?
- He was injured. He tried to play against Yaroslavl a couple of days ago, but he wasn’t quite ready. Philippe did well today, he had told us that he was ready to participate in this game.
- Did you feel the extra tension? This was a match between the two teams which are leading both conferences.
- Yes, I did. Games between SKA and Magnitogorsk always have added intrigue anyway.
- Why isn’t Eddie Pasquale playing at the moment?
- He’s injured, that’s why young Ilya Nabokov is on the bench. We’re hoping that Eddie will soon be able to return, maybe in the next couple of matches.
- Where did you go for a walk before the game?
- We took a walk in the central region where I used to live. Yes, the weather wasn’t great today, but Saint Petersburg truly is a beautiful city. I savour every trip here!
HC SKA forward Valentin Zykov:
- It was a difficult match, especially during the first period. We subsequently focused on our defensive play and managed to earn the victory.
- Why was the opening stanza full of goals? Six were scored in total!
- The opponents took advantage of the opportunities which we presented them with. Nonetheless, the main thing is that we reacted and turned the game around.
HC SKA defenseman Andrei Pedan:
– Metallurg have a quick, technical team, we allowed them to display their strengths during the first period. I’m happy that we then managed to adapt, play more compact and turn the game around in our favour.
- The first period contained six goals. Why did this happen?
- Magnitogorsk have a fast, technical side which is capable of using their scoring opportunities. We allowed them to skate away 2-on-1 and 3-on-1. I would like to thank our fans for the wonderful support, I think that they really enjoyed the first period! We gave Magnitogorsk a fight and registered the win.