SKA - Torpedo. Press-conference of game one
HC SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:
- It was a hard-fought playoff game. I would like to thank our players for withstanding the pressure and earning the victory, and our fans for their fantastic energy which they provided us with. We will continue working hard.
- Despite having opened the scoring in the third period, SKA couldn't hold on to the lead.
- We committed a mistake for their goal. We'll analyse what happened in this match, certain aspects of our game require improvement.
- Both teams displayed exciting ice hockey today. Can we expect to see the same on Saturday?
- We want to produce an improved performance in all components. We'll continue playing in accordance with our system on Saturday, but we must improve all of the details. We're competing against a strong opponent, so we have to improve with every passing shift. The guys understand this.
- Why did you make line changes in the third frame?
- We always search for the key to victory. During the regular season, we often made line changes during matches. This is what game management involves. In this game, we discovered the line formations which allowed us to earn the win. We'll analyse this match and prepare for game two.
- Can you say that all teams are competing on an even footing in these Gagarin Cup playoffs?
- There aren't any weak teams in the KHL.
- SKA landed 26 hits today in comparison to Torpedo's seven.
- We've been competing in a physical manner throughout the campaign. We're improving our approach, not changing it.
- 19-year-old defenseman Arseniy Koromyslov is being included in your line-up, but he isn't receiving any time on the ice. Don't you want to include a different young player in your team?
- Arseniy has been with us throughout the entire campaign.
- SKA applied plenty of physical pressure on Nizhny Novgorod. Is this the key to success in this series?
- The secret consists of hard work and discipline, that's it.
HC Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod head coach Igor Larionov:
- There was a fantastic atmosphere within the stadium! I hope that the fans enjoyed the game. Unfortunately, barely any goals were scored today, but the teams competed in an attacking manner. I would like to congratulate SKA with their win.
- Torpedo wasted a lot of scoring opportunities.
- When you play well, waste plenty of great chances and end up losing, it's twice as difficult to accept the result. I don't have any issues with the quality of our performance or how we adhered to the game plan. In my opinion, the guys played really well. Can we play better? Yes, we can, and the players know this. We have 36 hours in which to recover and prepare for Saturday.
- This is the second consecutive game in which Vladislav Firstov has attempted a lacrosse goal in overtime.
- We can't put any restrictions on the guys. This is a new generation which is growing up using these skill moves. If you know that you are capable of pulling it off, why not try? He was close to scoring with his lacrosse move today.
- Four matches in a row involving Torpedo have now gone to overtime. How can you explain this?
- There isn't any explanation when it's the playoffs. We have to bear in mind that it was tough for SKA as well today, it was the first game of the series at home and they had the pressure of their fans on their backs. Having competed in three consecutive overtimes before today, our players have gained confidence when playing in the extra frame. Both teams played well in this game. We are here to make the fans happy, and our way of playing the sport will attract more fans not only in Nizhny Novgorod and Saint Petersburg, but across the entire country. I read today that in terms of attendance levels, the KHL is fourth or fifth in the European ranking.
- In the second period, why did Alexei Kruchinin take your penalty shot instead of Firstov who had earned it?
- Kruchinin is our most experienced player. After missing a month's worth of action due to injury, he needs to regain his confidence. This season, Kruchinin has often been effective with his penalty shots, but we have to point out the fantastic performance of the SKA goalkeeper. If we receive the opportunity to take penalty shots in future games, we will take other candidates into consideration.
- Did Torpedo lose this game themselves?
- I wouldn't say that. We're playing against a strong team. We played well, but this is the playoffs. Our task is to now forget this match and prepare for game two.
- Why was Nikolai Prokhorkin completely unmarked for SKA's opener?
- If you noticed what happened, you would have seen that our defenseman Nikolai Burenov lost his balance as a result of a problem with his skate. Sadly, Prokhorkin was consequently left all alone on the crease. It's difficult to blame a player when he was simply unfortunate. The second SKA goal was also an unfortunate one from our point of view, you saw how they scored it. This makes this defeat even more difficult to take.
HC SKA forward Alexander Volkov:
- It was a challenging start to the series. All of us felt a bit nervous, but the main thing is that we got off to a winning start. I think that our performance level will improve as the series continues. How have Torpedo changed in comparison to the regular season? Ice hockey in the playoffs is always different. However, today both teams used this game to get to know each other in more detail, everyone competed with caution. The series will improve as it progresses. Torpedo had a lot of shots on goal in overtime as a consequence of competing on the powerplay, but we had faith in our goaltender and those competing on the PK. We defended calmly and subsequently sealed our win. In future matches, we have to be more solid and confident.
HC SKA forward Vasily Glotov:
- We had really missed our supporters! We're really happy to win in front of our fans again. Furthermore, it was a useful experience for us to register the victory in overtime. Taking into account that this was the opening game in the series, both teams played with caution and were trying to get to know each other, but the ice hockey will improve as the series progresses. Torpedo's equaliser? Perhaps we didn't position ourselves correctly. I think that the coaches have a better explanation, they will tell us what we should have done. We'll analyse what happened tomorrow. The style of ice hockey in this series is attractive? From our point of view, we're focused on simply earning four wins in order to progress. Attacking ice hockey is being witnessed in every series this year. In the playoffs, you have to immediately move on to the next game regardless of the result. We'll recover in time for Saturday.