How tenacious was the central meeting of the day? How many forces have submitted to those and other army men, and which of them has the right to reproach fate for failure?
Sergei Pryakhin: I will not hide it – I liked the hockey that SKA and CSKA showed today. Obviously, all the participants in this match were fully prepared, tested and fought. There was a lot of power struggle. The match was even, but in principle, the northern capital army team still stood out a bit and therefore deserved to win. As for the failure, then, of course, one cannot but remember CSKA’s mistakes at the end of the meeting. But this is hockey, everything happens in it.
At the end of his playing career, he trained a lot. Tell me from the position of a team coach: which of the SKA or CSKA players after this match, as they say, would “insert a piston”?
Sergei Pryakhin: Probably, after this meeting, a serious analysis would have deserved the moment when St. Petersburg’s Nikita Gusev scored: it seems that Moscow’s Vladislav Provolnev gave an inaccurate pass, followed by an interception, and in the end SKA scored the third goal . As for another CSKA defender, Nikita Nesterov, he broke the rules when the opponent was already running away from him. By the way, in the course of the match, CSKA made a little more mistakes in its own half of the field, and SKA had no choice but to actively play in the opponent’s zone.
Who would you call the protagonist of this encounter?
Sergey Pryakhin: I would single out the goalkeepers – they both played confidently, made a lot of saves.
Marat Khairullin’s goal, after which the score was leveled in the first half, is it a masterpiece?
Sergey Pryakhin: In general, Marat has had a very successful season this season. This is a fast and technical hockey player, and he now ranks first among KHL regular season scorers. The guy stands out, so he’s not surprised that he scored such a beautiful goal today.
On January 25, we all watched the showdown between the future top contenders for the Gagarin Cup?
Sergey Pryakhin: It’s probably too early to talk about it. SKA, of course, looks very confident. CSKA – in segments: sometimes it plays decently, but sometimes it is also flawed. But, of course, everything is possible.
The last question, as a person who played in the National Hockey League: in your opinion, how different are the levels of the NHL and the KHL now?
Sergey Pryakhin: It seems to me that in the NHL the level of hockey is even higher – all the stars of the world gather abroad. But of course the KHL also has something to brag about. Here, for example, today’s match, how could it leave anyone indifferent?