CSKA – Torpedo. Coaches' comments
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CSKA – Torpedo. Coaches' comments

Sergey Fedorov and Igor Larionov summed up the results of the match. 

Sergey Fedorov, head coach of CSKA: 

— Congrats to Torpedo on their victory, in the end they showed a very good game. We created a lot of chances, we led some part of the game, but we didn't have enough concentration to play more carefully at the end. Yes, we lost the fight today, but all the battles are ahead. The guys tried, I have no particular criticism regarding them, but some shortcomings in concentration affected the result.  

— Is the lack of concentration due to the fact that the hockey players have already "had enough" hockey because of the duration of the championship? Or are there any other reasons?

— Everyone is in the same boat, our club had enough breaks, days off. It's probably unusual to play without pauses for national team matches, but it's great. The guys are dedicated to the club, hockey, they play almost in the same combinations, everything is quite simple, there is an opportunity to polish the game, establish connections and make their game, work much easier for themselves and for partners. 

— Were you ready for the fact that Torpedo will not run forward, but will keep a lower profile?

— I didn't see that. Torpedo played well with and without the puck. The chances, which we created, failed, it's hard to say anything here. The game in general was like that in Nizhny Novgorod. The team looked more mobile than in Nizhny Novgorod, it was clear to me well prior to the game. We had a good first period and a half, we had the opportunity of power play at the end of the second and at the beginning of the third periods, but Torpedo turned out to be more mobile, faster. The opponent played great, showing good team speed.

— Do you think that it was the goalkeeper's fault? 

— The goalkeeping topic is always very sensitive, I, as the head coach, cannot say that the goalkeeper is to blame. After all, there are five players in front of him who are also doing their job. Probably, our goalkeepers are also looking for their own game, we're all human. When Aleksandr Sharychenkov was injured, a certain burden fell on Adam. We controlled it, but things happen. Summing up the interim result, I said to the guys: "Yes, we lost the fight, but all our battles are still ahead," so we are preparing and will continue to show the hockey that brings both results and satisfaction. 

— What about Slepyshev? Is it treated after being hit with a stick?

— It's not about the stick. There's a trauma of a different nature. I know for sure, there was a spasm, I won't say that I clearly understand the details myself, there are problems.

— How likely is he to return to the games with Dinamo Minsk? 

— Globally speaking, we lose guys every day, and we get them every day. I've seen Vlad Kamenev, I understand he's recovered, while Volodya Grudinin got sick yesterday, Egor Bryutov got sick the day before yesterday. There is a virus, but we have enough players and guys eager to play. I don't think this is something new for our team, and for teams of the whole league. We are dealing with this, just like other clubs. 

— How much will your absence affect the team during the games of the national team?

— Ravil Yakubov will lead the process, Igor Aleksandrovich Kravchuk and Vladimir Aleksandrovich Chebaturkin will help him. Hassan Said, Sergey Naumov and I will be absent for four days, we will help the national team. Everything is clear, the plan is ready, Ravil already had such an experience last year, there was a longer pause — the Olympic one, and he coped with it, so everything is under control here.

— Who will stay with the goalkeepers?

— We will have a few days off, spending some time with the team. I think Sergey Naumov will offer an option for their preparation.

— Igor Larionov Jr. was born in Detroit. Did you think that after many years he would score against CSKA?

— I'll answer plainly: no, I didn't. In general, putting all emotions aside, I am very glad that it turned out that way. I know how he grew up, what kind of hockey education he received, so it's not a big surprise for me, I'm just happy for his progress. Hockey is a struggle, and our main battle is still ahead.

— Are you entering the new year with the same goalie line? Or may there be any changes?

— At the moment we are working further with our goalkeepers, if there are any changes in this regard, we will definitely inform you.

Igor Larionov, head coach of Torpedo:

— First of all, I would like to thank CSKA, which gave our young team an impulse close to that in the playoffs. After the second period, we lost 1:2, and this is where the backbone, the core of the team that is being formed, manifesting itself. Therefore, many thanks to the CSKA team for such a test. At the same time, I would like to congratulate the fans who came from Nizhny Novgorod on the end of the most difficult departure, congratulate the guys on a good game and a good ending, before the breaks they gave a good emotional background to rest, reboot and move on through the season. 

— I saw the previous game with CSKA, where Torpedo played an attack and lost 0:4. Today you endured, endured, playing against the opponent, and won. Maybe it's the way to play with teams of the CSKA level, like today, it turned out perfectly, don't you agree?

— I don't think we endured today. Patience is a good word there — I often use it when speaking with guys. Patience in playing the puck, patience in decisions. And in this regard, you understand, today we are trying to sell this game so that the fan goes to a hockey match, sees hockey, which is full of improvisation, interesting moves and skill, the enthusiasm that the players show. Patience, of course, is also part of our game, part of the growth of our team. In this regard, when it manifests itself in your zone, when you can take the puck out in order to avoid those chances that we create for ourselves in our zone, patience is the key here. I would like to note that the guys believed in each other, because there was a conversation after the first and second periods. This is how the team overcomes difficulties and pressures when it is hard and you need to find the strength and win the victory together rather than one-by-one. We are talking about the importance of the role each player has in the team. The goalkeeper, the defenders and forwards — everyone bears a share of responsibility that we lay on them. It doesn't matter who scores, the main thing is that the team wins. Therefore, if we talk about the match in Nizhny Novgorod with the score 0:4 and today's match, they may have been different in style, it's hard for me to discuss it right after the end of the game. Yet, in general, we do not deviate from our line, because hockey is what we love, what gives the opportunity of a plot that cannot be predicted before the game. We try to make sure that the audience coming to the game has fun. I said before the game that if we won some hearts of army fans who understood that hockey is a game, not a job, then this isat was our main mission. This is a story that requires patience, pain that occurs with the growth of the team, with mistakes, but this is an inevitable process, in these matches you understand how important a small detail is, and any detail for any player who needs to be supported if the game is no success. As you have said, every game is unpredictable and interesting. It gives journalists the opportunity to talk and write about it, to draw their own conclusions on how we play.

— Speaking of small details: why, after such a difficult trip to Siberia, the Far East and Moscow, did you not even stop in Nizhny Novgorod for a day?

— There is such a situation that frequent traveling from place to place would probably be difficult, that's why we asked the CSKA team to reschedule the match from December 8 to December 7 so that we would not have to stay in Nizhny Novgorod and in Moscow for so long. That's why we had planned this match for a long time, we knew that we would have a day of rest after crazy time zones and flights, the guys needed to recover and at the same time bestir themselves for a good match against CSKA. The guys reacted correctly, won a difficult match, for which I am very grateful to them. 

 

— Wouldn't you admit that beating CSKA this season was the maximum task in terms of symbolism rather than self-satisfaction? Especially since they are coached by Sergey Fedorov?

— Of course, we played against the reigning champion of the KHL, a very balanced and competent team, we kept in mind that 0:4 defeat in Nizhny Novgorod, but, on the other hand, we do not divide the teams, because we don't have a status sufficient to divide CSKA, Amur or HC Sibir. For us, every match is a challenge, a test that we pass all together with players few people knew before the season. They were well-known, in fact, but they were in the background, which did not give them the opportunity to show their potential in full. For the match with CSKA, I did not make any promises, fiery speeches in terms of the fact that we were playing with CSKA and that was my former team. It was another match in the schedule. The only thing I told the guys before the game was that we had to find opportunities to beat the superior teams. These are SKA, CSKA, Lokomotiv. We are now the fourth, this gives the guys the opportunity to gain confidence in this season, which is intense and interesting, we do not set goals in any part of this championship to be satisfied, because we gain the experience we need.  We have a lot of young players who are gaining momentum, and we will not be satisfied with the results that we have today. We haven't won anything yet, but we've made the experts and fans talk about our game — this is our greatest achievement. The result comes by itself with a good game.

— Your son scored the puck today. Of course, he was born when CSKA was not on your horizon for a long time. How well is he familiar with your story? 

— For me, every player in the team is an equal member of our team, I don't look at the last name. I look at the actions, their behavior in everyday life, their role in terms of team building. I am very glad that my son received that support from the coach. For me, the creative component and improvisation is what the team is built on.