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SKA - Sochi. Press-conference

Roman RotenbergSochiPress-conferenceSKA - HC Sochi - 130122
HC SKA press-service

HC SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:

- We had prepared well for this game. We tried not to lose the puck in the defensive zone while being effective in attack. However, we have a lot of things to work on.

- Marat Khusnutdinov opened the scoring today. How would you assess his progress?

- He was a bit nervous in the last match, missing two big scoring opportunities. Marat had not played for quite a long time after the World Junior Championship ended. We had a conversation with him, and we're happy that he scored in this game. We want him to be confident again.

- Evgeny Ketov set a record today concerning the amount of SKA appearances.

- He joined SKA nine years ago. Over the seasons, he has progressed well and gives his all in every game. Evgeny is in good physical shape and always sets an example by bravely blocking shots. His record broke the previous one which was set 46 years' ago!

- Mikhail Vorobyov's goal was scored following a nice combination play.

SKA - Sochi. Press-conference

- We should have scored more goals today, but Maxim Tretyak performed well for Sochi in their net. We always like to involve all five skaters in our attacking moves, we enjoy scoring beautiful goals for the fans.

- SKA have now formally qualified for the 2021/2022 KHL Gagarin Cup playoffs.

- It was important to qualify for the playoffs, we want to win every match. Nevertheless, we want to make improvements across all aspects. Our goal and philosophy is to improve with every passing day.

- Are you satisfied with the players' approach for the first period?

- I can't say that there were issues with the approach, but we took time warming up having not played for a few days. Starting from the second stanza, we began to create more opportunities to score.

- Evgeny Ketov is now a committed player who blocks pucks, but when he originally moved to SKA, he was more of a creative figure.

- He's a great attacking player too, but we must remember that the guys on the penalty kill make huge contributions. We've been blocking plenty of shots as a team this season overall, for example today Nikita Gusev worked hard in defence. Every player understands their role within our group. We don't have any set-in-stone tactics in attack, we allow the players to improvise. Commitment and character in ice hockey are the keys to victory in modern ice hockey.

- Why didn't SKA compete in Leningrad jerseys this month?

- We are counting on playing in these jerseys this season, it will depend on our match schedule. As someone who was born in this city, I understand the importance of marking the lifting of the blockade.

- The KHL is now being put on hold. How you will spend this lengthy break in play?

- If the Olympic Games are staged, the full team will be back together after the competition. I think that the guys deserve a rest, we're in first place of the Western Conference. We will prepare for the playoffs by holding four training cycles.

- Given your vast experience of working in the KHL, what's the best solution for the league in this situation?

- We must maintain the sporting principle and stage the full playoffs. Our main goal is to lift the Gagarin Cup. Furthermore, there is no point declaring a winner of the regular season if we haven't staged all games.

HC Sochi head coach Andrei Nazarov:

- In my opinion, it was a good match. Both teams tried to display exciting ice hockey. Yes, we couldn't take the game into overtime, but we gave SKA a tough battle.

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