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SKA - Torpedo. Press-conference

Roman RotenbergInterviewPress-conferenceTorpedoVasily GlotovAlexander VolkovSKA - Torpedo - 260922
HC SKA press-service

HC SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:

- It was an important game for us in front of our supporters. The guys followed the game plan, fighting for each other and playing with discipline. Everyone helped one another across all zones. We scored good goals and helped the goalkeeper to earn a shutout, this is what we want to continue achieving. We were rock-solid in defence and attacked well. However, we have to start taking advantage of our scoring opportunities, we should have won by a larger score. We will now prepare to play Admiral Vladivostok on Wednesday, who today managed to beat a strong Severstal Cherepovets side.

- What was the plan for today? To score one goal per period?

- Our plan was simple: to make the fans happy, score as many goals as possible and close down all routes to our net. We knew how Torpedo like to move in the attacking zone. Nevertheless, we still made mistakes which we will analyse. We want to make even more people happy with our performances! Our issue at the moment is that we're not scoring enough goals. Take Dmitry Buchelnikov for example: he had five great chances today. If you have five opportunities, you have to take at least two of them. I am happy with how our players showed commitment and followed our plan.

SKA - Torpedo. Press-conference

- How would you summarise Vasily Glotov's performance? He only signed for SKA yesterday.

- He did a great job! We spoke yesterday evening before he flew here in the night. I know Vasily well, previously I had convinced him to return to Russia from North America. He has been a member of the SKA system since he was 15 years of age. Yes, it was difficult for him today, but I am happy that he participated in this game and that he's with us again. Vasily understands our system well. It was tough for him emotionally, but trades are a part of our sport.

- For your second goal, Valentin Zykov didn't switch off after it had seemed that the puck went in after the first shot.

- It's vital to always play until the whistle. You have to crash the net and search for rebounds. Valentin did really well for his goal, he didn't switch off and scored a very important marker.

- Your fourth line was full of young, energetic players.

- We needed to freshen up psychologically, not physically. We are losing a lot of emotions in our matches. I am happy with how our fourth line performed, Buchelnikov had five chances and the other guys worked hard. Maxim Groshev drew a penalty out of Torpedo, while Pavel Koltygin played in accordance with our system. All of our teams in the KHL, VHL and MHL use the same system, so it's easy for our players to switch around.

- Dmitry Nikolaev tallied his maiden KHL shutout. How did you congratulate him with this achievement?

- He received our chain which is given out after victorious matches! We gave our players the task of protecting the goaltender and to not allow the opponents to shoot on goal. Dmitry made some big saves, he was excellent. We will work on giving opposing teams even less chances to score. Our players are blocking shots with their bodies and are trying to protect our netminder at all costs. We congratulate Dmitry, but ice hockey is a team game and we don't focus on individuals.

- When will injured players such as Alexander Samonov, Mikhail Pashnin, Nikolai Prokhorkin and Danila Moiseev return?

- We are counting on all of our players, I'm sure that we will soon see them on the ice again. Perhaps they will be back for Wednesday.

HC Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod head coach Igor Larionov:

- The opponents showed quick, aggressive ice hockey. This is a lesson for us about how to prepare for an opposing team and a certain match. Unfortunately, we couldn't show our ice hockey because we made simple errors and put together messy plays. I would like to congratulate SKA with their victory.

- You attacked a lot, but barely any of your shots landed on target.

- The opponents often blocked our players at the vital moment. As you saw, we like to play attacking ice hockey, but today the final pass was lacking. SKA deserve credit, though, they were aggressive, closed down all practically all of the space on the ice and worked well with their sticks.

- SKA have well-built defensemen. Did that affect you when it came to using goalscoring chances?

- When you compete against well-built defensemen, you need to play in a specified style. We didn't do this today, unfortunately. SKA's defensemen have more experience than us, but this is simply a fact, not an excuse. Our fast forwards should have used the space better. We had worked on this, but we couldn't execute.

- Young forward Ilya Fedotov impressed at the Black Sea Cup in the summer, but he isn't playing for your senior team at the moment.

- We have sent him to the MHL, because he is losing out when it comes to competition within the team. We can't rush his development, it's like a slow cooking process. The problem for us is that we haven't got a VHL team. The young guys can play for Chayka in the MHL, but players too old for that league have to be sent to Penza. But, Penza is not a member of our system. This is affecting us.

- You moved the bench with the reserve players closer to the boards. Why?

- I have regularly spoken about this issue with the KHL. An ice hockey rink isn't a park where you can go and rest. In Nizhny Novgorod, I have moved the bench for the reserve players so that they can sit nearer to us. They do this in the NHL. Instead of focusing on other things, they should be focused on the match.

- This summer marked your first pre-season as a club head coach. How do your players feel physically?

- We've got used to pre-season being all lifting weights, but the game has changed. Next year, our pre-season will be shorter. The players earn good money, they are capable of getting themselves in shape. Instead of looking which car to buy, they should be searching for personal trainers. We cannot spent a month just focusing on losing weight after the off-season. By the way, our players always work out after every single game. It's not about who can lift the heaviest weights or run the fastest, it is about being a professional and preparing for matches in the right way. This also concerns nutrition, water intake, sleep and psychology.

- In Russia, ice hockey is referred to as simply hard work. However, you like using the North American approach of making sure that the sport is fun to play. How are you changing the attitudes of Russian players?

- Our players are starting to understand that ice hockey is in fact a game. When they are on the ice, we want them to focus on playing the game instead of looking at the scoreline. Our system depends on them making the right decisions on the ice. Some of our players on the ice today haven't got a lot of experience in the KHL, but we don't want to overload them with information. We want them to get a feel for playing the game at this level and the responsibility which comes with it. Let's not make players robots. Thanks to the difficulty of the matches in which we are participating, our players are progressing. I'm delighted that we have 68 games in the regular season, but it would have been even better to have 80 matches! Playing in games is the only way in which you can help your players to progress. We do play energy-sapping ice hockey, but everyone in our team roughly receives the same amount of ice time. Young defenseman Boris Konyushkov and Maxim Fedotov are on the ice a lot, they need to go through this process. There will be defeats along the way, but I believe that we can fight for the Gagarin Cup. Otherwise, what is the point of our efforts?

HC SKA forward Vasily Glotov:

- We played with aggression. The main thing is that we won, we played in accordance with our system and helped our goalkeeper earn a shutout.

- How was it playing for SKA again?

- It was fantastic! I had missed the Ice Palace, the team and the excellent organisation here.

- How does SKA's system differ in comparison to how Sochi play?

- I was told about our system this morning, plus some things have stayed the same from when I previously played for SKA. Our team likes to play aggressive ice hockey. In comparison to Sochi, SKA play with higher intensity.

- Why did you choose the number seven?

- I simply chose the first number I saw when I was given the list of available numbers!

- Talk to us about how you transferred to SKA.

- It's an interesting story. I had recently been unwell with a high temperature, so I had only just come back to training. I skated twice after returning back from illness. Sochi were playing against Amur Khabarovsk, but I had only skated with the non-playing squad in the morning. I went to watch the game from our box at the arena. However, when the national anthem was playing, I received a phone call telling me that I had been traded to SKA. I said that I was ready to travel to Saint Petersburg immediately. Later on, at 16:50, I received another call. They told me that my flight was at 19:00! I barely had any time in which to pack my things. If I'm honest, I wasn't sure that they would let me in the dressing room to collect my gear. My bag weighed around 40 kilograms! I went home to my wife to pack our things together, but I forgot half of my stuff. We only had enough time to throw our things in the suitcase! Eventually, I arrived at my gate at the airport just as boarding had started. It was an interesting experience!

HC SKA forward Alexander Volkov:

- We had worked on our mistakes following the last match. All of us followed the game plan and achieved the victory.

- Why are you playing so much better than last season?

- As the head coach said, it's because I spent the full pre-season with the team. We have a great group, everyone helps each other.

- Torpedo are considered a fast, aggressive team. Did you enjoy playing against them? The teams played without neutral ice.

- Yes, it was entertaining. Instead of physical duels, both teams simply played end-to-end ice hockey and showed their individual quality in the process. It was great fun. When we were 2:0 and 3:0 up, the coaches told us not to relax.

- You haven't got a beard this season. Is this helping you?

- Of course! I shaved it off because of my son. Otherwise, I wouldn't have got rid of it.

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