Amur vs. Traktor 2:1. Press-conference after the match

Valery Belousov, Traktor’s head coach:
I would like to congratulate Amur with a well-deserved victory. As far as our team goes, we began the match on a negative note. We then corrected the game plan in the second and third period. It is a pity our goal was cancelled. However, I would like to say once again that Amur played a good match and deserved the win.

Hannu Jortikka, Amur’s head coach:
The match got off to an auspicious start for us. We dominated the first period and scored two goals. Amur also played well in the second period, which, however, cannot be said about the third period. Traktor could very well tie the game; good thing we were able to put the match away. I would also like to mention Korotkov’s line in particular; they played well in the closing moments of the match, showing great resilience and perseverance that each and every one of us needs to show on a continuous basis.

Question to Jortikka: Yury Kuznetsov has recently been appointed as your assistant. What do you make of this change in Amur’s coaching staff?
Jortikka:This is a typical situation for professional hockey. If something does not work properly, one has to make necessary changes. I would even go so far as to say that we have to replace several players whose level is lower than we want to see from them. It’s now or never for them – they are either going to perform better, or they are going to be looking for a new job.

Question to Jortikka: In today’s match Amur’s newest acquisition Vladimir Loginov had his namesake Aleksandr Loginov as his partner. Did you put them together because of the fact that they have the same last name? One more question – what do you make of his performance in today’s game?

Jortikka:Yes, you are right; they played together because they have the same last name (smiles). In all seriousness, Bilalov and Peretyagin have been playing together for quite a while, so I decided not to split these two. The same goes for Osipov and Ozhiganov, so basically I had no other choice but to put Vladimir Loginov in the second line. As for his performance, I think the ‘new’ Loginov played a decent match, especially given the fact that he arrived to Khabarovsk only this morning. We are expecting Piganovich and Jaakola to be back on the roster, and once this happens, I will be completely satisfied with Amur’s defensive line-up.

Question to Belousov: Before the match Kuznetsov went on a rant on Twitter about the conditions of the hotel where Traktor stayed. Do you have anything to say about this situation?
Belousov:I think Yevgeny should answer this question himself. I didn’t have any problems with the conditions we had been put in. I believe Kuznetsov overreacted a bit. In fact, he had been given several accommodation options to choose from. It was only in the morning that I learned about this; we need to clarify this situation.

Photo courtesy of KHL