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SKA - CSKA. Press-conference

Roman RotenbergCSKAInterviewPress-conferenceZakhar BardakovDamir ZhafyarovSKA - CSKA - 221122
HC SKA press-service

HC SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:

- I would like to thank the fans inside the sold-out Ice Palace for their fantastic support! Their energy allowed us to score so many goals during the first period. As a result of our recent road trips, we haven't had the chance to train a lot over the course of the last couple of weeks, but we managed to work on a lot of important details. Furthermore, a lot of our coaches and players became ill with a virus. CSKA have a great head coach in Sergei Fyodorov and a strong team, our young players competed at a high tempo against them. Nevertheless, we will analyse the mistakes which we made, you cannot give away such a large advantage against a side like CSKA. We will now prepare to host Lokomotiv Yaroslavl on Thursday, a team which uses the same system which CSKA have.

- What does the Army Rivalry against CSKA mean to you?

- The rivalry is like Barcelona against Real Madrid! It's the best thing for the development of ice hockey in our country, it allows for us to grab the attention of sport lovers. By the way, I saw the Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina at the FIFA World Cup today, a result which proves that you can achieve anything with a solid, united group of players full of energy and motivation. Our guys did a great job, they followed our game plan. Games like this in the

SKA - CSKA. Press-conference

KHL are helping us to develop. When Russia returns to the international scene, we will defeat the likes of Finland, Sweden and Canada. This is what we are aiming to achieve.

- You tore CSKA apart during the first period. Did you play total ice hockey in that stanza?

- You can't score if you don't shoot! We had played well during our recent away matches too, but we made too many unnecessary passes instead of shooting the puck on goal. We're only just getting started, we have a lot of games against teams like CSKA coming up in the future.

- CSKA's players seemed to be on the hunt against Nikita Popugayev and Nikita Kamalov after they previously landed hits on their players.

- It would be better for CSKA to answer that question. In games like this, teams do everything in order to achieve a positive result. Kamalov picked up a small injury during this match, but then CSKA's players kept on hitting him in the injured area. Ice hockey is a physical sport, and CSKA always play on the edge. They're a physical, aggressive opponent, they like to land a lot of hits. Our task is to withstand their pressure and win the duels. Today, I liked the fact that we won a lot of the duels across the ice.

- All eight goals in this match were scored at equal strength. What went wrong on the powerplay?

- We made unnecessary passes instead of shooting. CSKA couldn't score on the powerplay either, though, our players were excellent on the PK. Both teams killed their penalties successfully.

- Was the first goal crucial in setting you on your way?

- As Vladislav Tretiak once said to me, his legendary CSKA team always used to quickly score three or four goals to secure their win early on. We want to do the same nowadays.

- Young defenseman Arseniy Koromyslov was only on the ice during one long shift during the second period (01:38). Why didn't he play again afterwards?

- We're always searching for a way to win. Injuries happen during games. We gave Arseniy the opportunity to compete in this match, but CSKA penned us inside our own zone during his shift. It's difficult to recover after such a trying shift.

- SKA seemed to compensate for the missed chances in Kazan and Nizhnekamsk.

- You have to deserve good fortune with your hard work. In our previous two matches in Tatarstan, we made too many passes instead of just shooting.

- Will you try to sign a replacement for Alex Grant?

- We never rule anything out, competition is the key to progression. Nonetheless, if our young players are winning the competition against the older ones, then we are only happy. The best players are competing in games. Anything is possible, but we're satisfied with our young guys who today managed to defeat a really strong CSKA team. We are working in accordance with the situation.

- Nikita Popugayev is playing with your number 81 on his jersey!

- Yes, I use the number 81 when I have the chance to play myself, but we're talking about our team here. Players are free to choose any number they wish. Nikita was excellent for us today, he battled hard, landed a lot of hits and unleashed shots on goal. He fits into our system well, he's an aggressive ice hockey player. Life has given him another opportunity to play ice hockey, and Nikita appreciates it.

HC CSKA Moscow head coach Sergei Fyodorov:

- Everything fell apart for us in the first period. We didn't play with concentration, conceding silly goals in the process. We will look into why this happened. I think that this was a good test for us. I would like to congratulate SKA with their win, they have a quick, mobile team. We didn't expect anything else from them. When you are playing against a team like SKA, you have to compete with a lot more intensity. Our guys understand this.

- Did SKA's goal in the first minute of play ruin your game plan?

- Our players have enough experience to not let a goal like that affect them. To put it simply, the first period just didn't go our way at all.

- SKA had previously lost a lot of matches. Did they play like a difference team today?

- SKA played as they always do against us. We knew that this game was going to be like, but we didn't compete with the required concentration during the opening stanza. However, despite our difficulties, our players showed character in the second frame and started to show their quality. Had we scored to make it 3:5 when on the powerplay, it would have been a different match. Sergei Plotnikov also had a fantastic chance to score our third in the concluding minute of the second period, but their goalkeeper made a top save. The third period would have been a lot more interesting had we only been 4:5 down instead of 2:5. Today, the problem was that we immediately gave SKA such a large advantage.

- CSKA didn't seem to compete with focus.

- We've already spoken with the players about this.We don't usually start such big and important matches so badly, it's not like us at all. This game promised to be a tense, exciting one full of goalscoring chances, and at times this is what we got. Unfortunately, we started the game terribly.

- Why are your leading players such as Nikita Nesterov and Anton Slepyshev not receiving so much ice time recently?

- Anton is injured. When we played against Spartak Moscow, we knew that we were going to compete with young defensemen.

- In your last five consecutive games, you have conceded the first goal. Are there problems within your team?

- It's not a good tendency that we are often conceding the first goal. We have to remember that we aren't even halfway through the campaign yet, a lot of great matches are ahead of us. We are working hard and everything is calm within our group.

- Your goalkeeper Alexander Sharychenkov played well today after replacing Adam Reideborn, but he isn't playing a lot this season.

- We had originally planned for him to take to the ice in our next game, but the situation forced us to play him today too. Alexander helped us keep in touch with SKA in this match. He has recovered from his injury, and I think that we will see him again in our next match this week.

- Darren Dietz used to pick up a lot of points when playing for Barys Astana, but things are a little different for him as a CSKA player.

- He was a great attacking defenseman for Barys, but for CSKA he has to be strong in defence too. Darren accepted his role and is performing in it well.

HC SKA forward Zakhar Bardakov:

- This is a great win for us, we made our fans happy! However, we now have to prepare for Lokomotiv.

- Did you expect to score so many goals during the first period?

- The main thing is that we managed to continue competing with the same approach during the second and third periods, seeing the game out successfully to earn the victory.

- How did SKA manage to produce such a powerful performance after losing twice in Tatarstan last week?

- We managed to recharge our batteries. November has been a challenging month for us with the difficult schedule, but now we are back on form. We'll continue in the same manner.

- You become a different player when there are a lot of physical duels and disagreements on the ice.

- I wouldn't say that, I just try to play my style of ice hockey. If I need to stick up for my teammate, I always will. In the first period of this game, it was obvious that Popugayev didn't commit any foul. I didn't see that particular CSKA line after that incident, we took them out of the game.

HC SKA forward Damir Zhafyarov:

- The main thing is that we won. A lot of important games are ahead of us, so we can't afford to relax.

- You can't have expected to lead 4:0 against CSKA after the first period.

- No, no one did. However, our four goals gave us a vital boost, and they allowed us to subsequently control proceedings - apart from the two markers which we conceded.

- Why did SKA play so differently in comparison to the two matches in Tatarstan?

- We played our brand of ice hockey in those games, but luck wasn't on our side. All of our continued trying our best and working hard. In our upcoming matches, we will try to fix the situation and make sure that luck is on our side. We want to find the way to win.

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