Traktor vs. Slovan 3:1. Press-conference after the match

Rostislav Čada, Slovan’s head coach:
I think that we could not come away with a win due to our own mistakes in the neutral zone as well as our somewhat timid play. Traktor attacked a lot more in tonight’s match while we left too much free space for the attackers to utilize. Plus, Lady Luck was not on our side – we hit the post on three separate occasions. Maybe if she were, the result would have been different.

Valery Belousov, Traktor’s head coach:

Sure it is great that we keep winning matches, but there are things that we should improve. For example, the players in every line understand each other on the ice pretty well, but the results could be much more substantial; shots and goals, that is. This is especially characteristic of the first line. Because of this it is at times unclear whether we are going to win the match or not. I will talk to my players and try to explain to them that this is hockey, and to win in hockey, you have to score goals. Showing off is good at times, but not on the ice.

Question to both coaches: Would it be fair to say that Slovan wanted to score in the third period, but could not, while Traktor could score, but did not want to?
I think that every player wants to score in any given match.
Belousov:What do you mean by saying we did not want to? Of course players are there to score, but the opponents always try not to allow this. Slovan is a very well-organized team; when they are on the defensive, it is not that easy to find the holes in their defense.

Question to Belousov: When is Mezin going to arrive to Chelyabinsk?

Question to Belousov: It seemed as if Traktor had lost their focus after scoring the second goal, especially during the power plays.
No, I don’t think so. We were two goals ahead and thought we could score even more. You know, this happens a lot, but then you fail to score once, twice, bang! – a counterattack, and your team is on the receiving end of it. I told my players that Slovan was a good team, that they could execute their chances well and that we had to keep our eyes open. It’s great that we were able to score the third goal momentarily; otherwise it could have been way more difficult to put the game away.

Question to Belousov: Some fans believe Traktor got too relaxed after the third goal and played half-steam. Do you agree?
No, I don’t. We needed the win, so I told my players to pay more attention to the defense, which we successfully did.

Question to Belousov: Traktor used two different power play line-ups in tonight’s match – 4-1 with Antipov as a defender and 3-2. Which one do you prefer?
The one that brings us the result we need (smiles). We are trying out different options, and will be using the best option when needed.