Vityaz vs. Traktor 2:3. Press-conference after the match

Valery Belousov, Traktor’s head coach:

We began the first period well, scored twice and had a comfortable lead heading into the second. During the break I told my players that they should not repose on their laurels; Vityaz is a very resilient team, they play until the very end, and that was exactly how it played out. It’s great that we managed to win not in overtime or penalty shootouts; three points is way better for us now.

Yury Leonov, Vityaz’s head coach:
Traktor deserved a win tonight. As for our team, first period was terrible; however, we fared way better in the second; the third one was just a nailbiter; it seemed as if the one who would commit the first mistake would lose. Unfortunately, it turned out to be Vityaz this time.

Question to Belousov: Why did you move Kuznetsov to the second line in the third period?
We switched to three lines because not all of our forwards were feeling well. In the end, that proved to be a good decision.

Question to Leonov: Why was Vityaz ‘sleeping’ in the first period? Could it be weak motivation?

Leonov: We usually do not begin our matches that way. Plus, you cannot be weakly motivated for a team like Traktor. If you are talking about emotions, I believe each and every player has to be emotionally charged by themselves; I cannot get into everyone’s head. Players have to be enthusiastic for the game, you cannot coach that. Too bad it did not quite happen tonight.