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Sochi Winter Cup. Sochi - SKA. Press-conference

Roman RotenbergSochiPress-conferenceZakhar BardakovSochi - SKA - 090222
HC SKA press-service

HC SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:

- It was great to play in front of fans again today, I think that everyone enjoyed the game. We've been working hard over the course of the past month, the training process was serious. The players showed character. We have things to improve, the work continues.

- What exactly did you work on during the break?

- We focused on our physical condition during the first two micro-cycles. In the third, we put an emphasis on tactical details. We are preparing seriously for the playoffs. Here, in Sochi, we're grateful to the organisers for giving us the opportunity to play in front of supporters.

- Andrei Kuzmenko is being spoken about more than any other Russian ice hockey player at the moment. What is going on there?

- We are grateful that he was called up to the national team, he received a useful experience. Yes, Andrei dreams of playing at the Olympic Games, but he will have another chance in the future. He's still young. Andrei underwent an independent medical examination, and the doctors subsequently granted their permission for him to participate in games. However, he needs time to adapt following the flights from China. Nevertheless, he contributed to the victory today, we can all see that Andrei has progressed this season both with and without the puck. He feels fine, he was on the ice for 19 minutes and 45 seconds today.

Sochi Winter Cup. Sochi - SKA. Press-conference

- Did you contact the national team's coaching staff to gain an understanding of Kuzmenko's injuries?

- Each player undergoes a full medical examination. Andrei did this and was allowed to play in matches. We haven't recieved any official information from the national team's doctor, and we can't go by things said in the media. We talk with the national team's coaching staff but, at the same time, we trust both our doctors and independent specialists. This is HC Sochi's official medical centre which has been used by many KHL clubs. It was crucial for us to receive an independent report on Andrei's health, so that no one has the opportunity to say that our club doctors are biased. We sent all of the required documents to the KHL.

- SKA came back from 0:2 and 1:3 down. With the playoffs just aroud the corner, how important is this?

- It was tough for us to get into the match, games are very different in comparison to training sessions. We want our players to be in optimal shape for the KHL Gagarin Cup playoffs. I am grateful to the team for coming back from a two-goal deficit, the guys showed their spirit. It's pleasing that we showed character. I would like to thank the fans who watched either at the arena or on television, we play for them.

HC SKA forward Zakhar Bardakov:

- It was a good game with a lot of goals which were scored either at equal strength, on the powerplay or shorthanded. It's great that ice hockey is back, I think that everyone has missed it.

- SKA scored twice shorthanded. Had this happened in your career previously?

- Maybe it happened at youth level, I can't remember. Unfortunately, we also conceded when on the penalty kill, so we have to improve defensively.

- How is the training process going?

- We trained well in Saint Petersburg before travelling to Sochi, working out both in the gym and on the ice. At the moment, we are mainly focusing on our tactics.

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