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

Valery Belousov, Traktor’s head coach:
First off, I would like to congratulate Sibir, they deserved the win tonight. As for Traktor, we begin the second consecutive match in a lackadaisical fashion. I am not certain as to the reasons why this happens; maybe long flights and travels are finally taking their toll. Still, I think we deserved at least one point tonight. We had a dozen of goal scoring chances, but could not convert them. I cannot reproach my players for anything in tonight’s game; they tried hard to pick up the win.

Dmitry Kvartalnov, Sibir’s head coach:
I would like to congratulate each and every one of Sibir’s players. We had a difficult match tonight; two early goals helped us a great deal. We stood our ground against the very skilled Traktor’s forwards who are also great skaters; Jeff Glass played a perfect match as well, saving us from trouble on a number of occasions. Maybe we got lucky somewhere along the way, but win is a win. Once again, congratulations to my team.

Question to Belousov: Mezin didn’t make it to the line-up for tonight’s match again. When is he going to take the spot in Traktor’s net?
Belousov: He was with the team during the series of away matches. Do not get ahead of yourselves, he will play; let him get acquainted with the team and the conditions first.

Question to Belousov: Does the fact that Mezin has yet to play a single match in this season take away from his physical shape?
Belousov: No, I don’t think so. He followed a training regimen in Lokomotiv, he’s following it now in Traktor. He’s an experienced goaltender as well; I worked with him some time ago, and I can tell that absence of matches does not affect him that much.

Question to Belousov: Are you expecting any NHL players to sign with Traktor?
Belousov: No.

Question to Kvartalnov: Why did you replace Osipov for Drugov tonight?
We believed that Drugov could be of more use for us tonight.

Question to Kvartalnov: Today Sibir overcame a team that pertains to the top echelon of KHL. How is this victory important for your team?
Any victory is important for Sibir. The fact that we defeated such a strong team serves as a bonus.

Question to Kvartalnov: Traktor organized an onslaught of Glass’ net in the third period. Was it due to Traktor’s total dominance or was it your game plan to stay on the defensive?
As I said earlier, Traktor is a highly-skilled team, so yes, we had to stay on the defensive. Fortunately for us, we did not let Traktor score and picked up the win.

Question to Kvartalnov: Kutuzov scored his first season goal tonight. Did you expect more from him for this season? Last year he was a leading defenseman, helped Sibir a great deal during the power plays, but this season things are not looking so smooth for Kutuzov.
Kvartalnov: It’s all fine; he’s still our defense’s leader.

Question to Kvartalnov: Are you amazed with Stepan Sannikov’s performance thus far?
Yes, absolutely! He’s a young player, and he’s gaining confidence by the match, which is a very important thing for a rooki

Photo courtesy of KHL