Press conference with head coaches Ilya Vorobyov and Anvar Gatiyatulin, and also players Ilya Nikolaev and Stanislav Gareev
Ilya Vorobyov, Metallurg head coach:
– A good, solid game on our part, all the guys did well. They gave and squeezed everything out. Now the schedule is such that someone has more days off, someone has less. Now we need to get shape after the illness. I am happy with the team today. We should work on 5 on 3.
– Did the changes in the team have effect on? Did you get exactly the response you expected?
– Definitely, yes. Tonight we did worked well, in two directions and in short shifts. We achieved what I wanted.
– Today we saw tough pressing. The opponent could shoot nothing from the blue line.
– We talked about this, after Ufa in particular. If you look at the stats of Traktor, you see that it is the best team in the second period. We also prepared for this and analyze it.
– Of course, everyone was looking forward to the return of Juho Olkinuora. But there is always a risk. Tonight he missed quite a lot, were you sure of his shape?
– You know, we had thoughts of putting him on the last game, but we looked after him in training and recovery, how he moves. He wasn't quite ready. Yesterday during the training, we saw that everything is completely different. And so we were sure.
– A question about Yurov. It must be hard for you to let such a young guy play adult hockey. What are the difficulties? Is he ready to play every match?
– Well, I have worked with young players, though there were no 16-year-olds yet. There are a few moments. First of all, it is very difficult for a sixteen-year-old boy to push with men, simply because of his age. But he's doing great. Then you are right, every game should also be watched. He played three games in a row, then got a little cold and ran out of strength. I should be very careful letting him play. There is no doubt that he's very talented. I should not put too much pressure on him, both in physical and psychological terms, and also let him play more.
– Ilya Nikolaev is certainly older than Danila Yurov, but his coolness and calmness leave a pleasant impression. Sometimes he demonstrates mature hockey. What helps him?
– First of all, skating. He moves very well, and it's very important for the defender. Secondly, I was working with him for the whole last season, and now you can see that the guy stands out with his thinking. You know, sometimes the guys from Steel Foxes come and play children's hockey, while Nikolaev thinks out of these frames. This is a pleasant surprise. But again, I don't want to give them compliments now. The young guys have to take responsibility and to keep it through the season.
– When should we expect Kulemin?
– Kolya has skated today for the first day. A couple of days ago, he was allowed to work in the gym. Tomorrow he will skate for a little more, today he is in free mode. I really hope that we will see him after the break.
Anvar Gatiyatulin, Traktor head coach:
– Unfortunately, we didn't manage to follow our plan for the game. We played bad both in power play and in shorthanded play. However, I have no question about the players' dedication. It is clear that sometimes they lacked freshness. Now there will be a break – we will rest, work on mistakes and prepare for the next games.
– In the third period there was no Isaev. Was it due to the third goal in his net?
– No, he was injured in the second period and, unfortunately, could not continue the game.
– In the first period Metallurg capitalized on two of three power plays, while in the third period you couldn't. Maybe the first lines didn't have enough strength?
– Maybe yes. There is not enough freshness, and the schedule is tough, games take a lot of effort. Maybe they are the main reasons.
– If we look at the stats, you have two completely goalies. Why did Will play today? It was his turn?
– Yes, we have a plan and we stick to it.
– Recently, the team has not played against teams with many individually strong players. In the first period Traktor seemed not to be able to adjust. Like it was uncustom to play against skillful players, unlike those in Dynamo Riga and Torpedo. Was that a problem?
– No. We have a plan, we are preparing for the games, unfortunately, the opponent could impose their game. Sometimes we spent too much time in our zone, made mistakes, and it taxed our strength. There is time to work on the mistakes.
– Was Pilut absent for illness or a rotation?
– In the previous game, he did not finish playing, he was injured. Now doctors are working with him. We hope that he will be okay for the next game.
– Especially in the first period Metallurg seemed to meet Traktor very aggressively and didn't let start attacking. Did it make an obstacle for Traktor?
– Yes. I'll repeat. We had losses both when leaving our zone and playing in the neutral zone. The opponent played tight. Sometimes we played a little bit wrong, which made it difficult for us. We didn't attack much. Sometimes we lacked fresh players. During the break, we have the opportunity to relax and work on it.
– Traktor has more penalties than anyone in the league. Do you think, what is the reason?
– I think, it is a loss of concentration and wrong actions. We are constantly working on this, we analyze it, we watch videos with the moments. We will continue to work in this direction even more.
Ilya Nikolayev, Metallurg defender:
– We were playing to the end. We blocked a lot of shots and played for each other. That's why we won today.
– Your start in the KHL was untypical for a young defender due to the virus in the team. And now you are playing in the first line! What do you feel when you are starting so fast in the KHL?
– Yes, I was excited. The main thing is to get rid of excitement and play. Then everything will work out.
– When did you realize that you was ready to try out for the KHL?
– Now I think I'm ready. I should work hard and always keep the level.
– Ilya Vorobyov marks your skating. Do you pay special attention to it?
– Skating helps out a lot! Even when you lose a position, you can use skating to make up for it.
– The team has an even younger hockey player. Are you helping Danila Yurov adjust?
– We support each other, everywhere together. We help each other as much as we can.
Stanislav Gareev, Traktor defender:
– It is hard to say. One can say that we failed the game. We set our minds, but Metallurg was faster and fresher.
– This is your first South Ural Derby, did you feel a nerve?
– I can't say that there was any nerve. We prepared as for any game.
– Tonight Traktor didn't capitalize on power play but Metallurg did. Were you surprised?
– I wasn't surprised. We had analyzed it, we knew how they would play. But something didn't work out today.
– You get in the line-up irregularly. Is it hard to cope with this inconsistency?
– Here is so: how many you are given – so much you need to play and show. You have to get used to it, there is no other option.
– How much did the team miss Pilut tonight?
– We miss everyone who can't play.