Traktor vs. Avangard 4:6. Press-conference after the match

Petri Matikainen, Avangard’s head coach:
Great atmosphere and great matchup tonight, a true extravaganza for the fans in attendance and those watching at home. We had to catch up with Traktor throughout the contest, but I liked the way we hung on. As a result, we were rewarded for our efforts with three points. I’m very glad we won tonight.

Valery Belousov, Traktor’s head coach:
I believe we should not have played so openly against Avangard, and I told my players about it. Even though we played well offensively, we made too many mistakes in the defense. Besides, much to our chagrin, our goaltender did not perform successfully tonight.

Question to Belousov: When to expect Garnett to return?
I think he will be back after the break in December.

Question to Matikainen: Your first line scored twice in two periods, then you moved Zaborsky to the third line. Why?
I tried to change the game rhythm of the lines. This change you talked about proved itself to be a good decision because Tomas played quite well in the third line. Plus, since Kuryanov was back among his old partners, the first line also looked fine. And it was not only the first line – each of our lines brought something into the game.

Question to Matikainen: Is Kuryanov going to be back to this line on a regular basis?
I can’t say for now. It sometimes happens during a match that you feel you should do this or that to improve the situation. We will see. He could stay, or he could be back to the third line.

Question to Belousov: Does Mezin’s poor performance tonight mean that it is Fokin that is going to appear in the next match against Severstal?
It’s too early to say, we will see.

Question to both coaches: Is it possible to say that this match resembled playoffs?
Again, it’s too early to say. Playoffs are different from the regular season; all teams are a lot more disciplined in the playoffs. It’s great that we have got regular season where we could scout and correct the mistakes we can’t make in the playoffs.
You can’t ignore the fact that the league has become much stronger; you can’t play in a relaxed manner with any team. The proof is not far to seek; take, for instance, our previous matchup against Avtomobilist – two periods were totally evenly matched. Today’s game very much resembled the match with Avto. As far as our team goes, we are not thinking about playoffs; it’s still regular season, and all our thoughts are concentrated on the regular season.

Question to Belousov: You switched to three-line mode toward the end of the game. Does it mean you were discontent with someone’s performance?
Белоусов: Panov had a groin muscle strain, Kostitsyn and Razin also had minor strains, so it’s kind of obvious that we had to play in three lines due to the lack of forwards.

Question to Matikainen: What do you make of
Rämö’s performance tonight?
He played well, we won; it’s all that matters.