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HomeSports“Avangard” has stars, “Salavat” has depth. Gagarin Cup Preview: East

“Avangard” has stars, “Salavat” has depth. Gagarin Cup Preview: East

Date: April 14, 2024 Time: 20:10:24

Let’s continue with our games: the day the playoffs begin, we will talk about the East. You can read the western part of the trailer here:

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Why can Severstal become champions? And SKA, not convert? Gagarin Cup Preview: West

8. “Cupid”

Usual rating: 4+/5. Even though Amur had a larger budget than its competitors to reach the playoffs, a part of it was the “Far East surcharge.” Several well-paid players, including starting center Alex Broadhurst, missed many games. Andrei Martemyanov built a team that can hardly be called a rebound team; It was more like Peter DeBoer’s Vegas: heavy, fierce in combat and with a large number of not very effective shots (the Tigers are sixth in the league in terms of their number). “Amur” fulfilled his task and at the same time ensured the best seasons in the careers of almost a dozen hockey players – from Yegor Korshkov, who became a tasty batch of transfers, to Kirill Slepts.

Why will they win the Gagarin Cup? At night, Khabarovsk scientists will slightly change the Earth’s gravitational field and the year 2026 will immediately arrive.

Why they won’t win: Opponents will not only have to fly to Amur, but will also have to run back and forth. Igor Bobkov has excellent statistics and can show 10 super saves, but at any moment they can be crossed out for failures, which Nikita Serebryakov himself did not allow in “Admiral” last year.


Usual rating: 5/5. Despite the fact that Oleg Bratash’s team dropped down the table throughout the season, no one expected such agility on their part. This is demonstrated by a review of the forecasts made by colleagues before the start of the season: almost all of them sent Togliatti to the last place in the East. Even in pre-season, Lada looked like a team that would be difficult for anyone to play against, and a bit of luck added to their excellent defensive system. Bratash’s boys are fourth in the league in terms of shots, although they bothered the other goalkeepers the least. It’s great that Lada restarted the careers of Kugryshev and Shumakov, but next season they will need reinforcements; This was admitted by Bratash himself, who said that this year it was planned to lay the spine.

Oleg Bratash

Photo: photo.khl.ru

Why will they win the Gagarin Cup? They will eat, they will sleep, they will eat again, they will go out to the game, they will block a lot of shots and Podyapolsky will move on.

Why they won’t win: Lada’s lack of class is mainly noticeable in the majority: the team converts only 13% of attempts and is in last place in the league. In the playoffs, the Tolyatti team will have rare chances, execution must be maximum and there is a feeling that guys like Josephs have exhausted the limit of luck in the fall.

Interview with a foreigner from Togliatti:


“In Europe, unlike the United States, I am not limited.” Interview with the leader of Lada

6. “Tractors”

Usual rating: 3/5. Traktor’s media department alone did a great job, coming up with new formats and making Alexei Zavarukhin the star of the failed movie “Brother 3.” The rest of the season in Chelyabinsk seemed like confusion and hesitation: Anvar Gatiyatulin was never able to free himself from tactical shackles, and Zavarukhin freed the team for two dozen games, but did not offer anything in a purely tactical sense. When something went wrong, Traktor at the end of the season became a crowd that didn’t know what to do or where to run. We were mostly saved by the miracles of Maxim Shabanov, who showed excellent progress. At the end of the regular season, Chelyabinsk recovered, but there are too many rumors about problems in the locker room: you cannot become a champion in such an atmosphere.

Why will they win the Gagarin Cup? There is still a lot of talent in this team: there were periods when Nikita Tertyshny did not make the squad, and it cannot be said that the squad looked lonely without him.

Why they won’t win: Often this talent remains on paper and is not used effectively. In addition, the entire Traktor headquarters is embarrassed, where for two seasons in a row there has been a kind of jump with assistants and experienced specialists do not appear, which could affect the playoffs.

5. “Motorist”

Usual rating: 3+/5. The entire Avtomobilist regular season is densely painted in gray colors of different shades. This season I only missed one Auto game and almost all the others were similar. None of the team’s players took a step forward this year, none of the youngsters got a place in the top 9 and almost every match ended “below.” The positive of the season is the game of the goalkeeper duo Alikin – Galkin, where the younger colleague almost conquers the position of first number, as well as the best minority in the KHL. Otherwise, a strange feeling is created: the stars of the team can score, but it is as if they cannot do it in the style established by Nikolai Zavarukhin, and the players of the lower divisions in such a game create opportunities, but do not take advantage of them. . There are still far fewer questions for the coach than for the management: year after year in Yekaterinburg, beauty is only captured on paper.

Zavarukhin Brothers

Photo: photo.khl.ru

Why will they win the Gagarin Cup? If the goalkeepers play beyond their abilities, the minority will remain the same as the season and the foreign players will show that they do not only play for bonuses.

Why they won’t win: For the whole year there was no excitement in the game “Auto” and, first of all, the feeling was created that the players themselves did not care. Without a twinkle in the eye you don’t win cups or even series, and it’s hard to remember when the players, many of whom received the most important contacts in Yekaterinburg, had that twinkle.

4. Ak Bars

Usual rating: 3/5. Home ice in the first round is the minimum goal that Ak Bars could count on before the season with this or that squad. The first place was taken by Bilyaletdinov’s team almost unconditionally, since many competitors had gone through restructuring of varying degrees of depth, but in reality the Kazan team seemed to have returned to the torment of the strange Znarka era. It is true that Ak Bars missed quite a few goals and therefore stayed afloat. It is worth noting that in the last games of the season, Kazan finally began to play stronger, but Bilyaletdinov’s personnel decisions still raise many questions: now, apparently, Dmitry Kagarlitsky has fallen out of favor.

Why will they win the Gagarin Cup? A much less stellar version of the team in 2015 reached the finals in a game you immediately wanted to forget after watching it. Whatever one may say, the strength of the team in the current league is of great importance, and Bilyaletdinov is a coach who still knows how to tactically outperform his less experienced colleagues, and he showed it just a year ago.

Why they won’t win: Kazan journalists write that Bilyaletdinov of this season and last are different people and now he is trying to push the players into a narrow framework. After the 2015 finals, the team was eliminated by SY in the first round a year later. An analogy is not an argument, but the parallels are more or less.

3. “Salavat Yulaev”

Usual rating: 4+/5. We’ve seen a lot in KHL seasons, but in a couple of weeks without personnel decisions, a team would go from an amorphous mass to lovers of Brazilian tiki-taka. The transfers of Livo and Meloche helped SY gain decent momentum, but still, the stylistic change came before them. In the first month of the season, there was a feeling that Salavat’s players were generally prohibited from aggravating the situation with the puck. It is not clear whether Viktor Kozlov himself made the change or was asked, but soon Salavat began to play from the best sides of his forwards: passing, fast, technical, without losing rigor in pressing and defensive play in general. Impressed by this, experts even began to say that “SY” had no weak points, after which “Salavat” blurred the end of the season. It’s a small thing, but unpleasant.

Victor Kozlov

Photo: photo.khl.ru

Why will they win the Gagarin Cup? Somehow unexpectedly, “Salavat” from a team that demanded transfers turned into a kind of “Seattle” from Kakhael, where you can collect four very even and level three. Alexander Samonov displays the best save percentage for a SYU goalie in 15 years, and only three teams in the league give up less than Salavat.

Why they won’t win: All three of SY are the same, there’s just no obvious superstar there. Recently, the team played a couple of games without Josh Livo and generally experimented with the lineup, after which the number of goals fell to zero, but Livo is no Boucher. It’s hard to remember a champion without a super striker.

2. “Avant-garde”

Usual rating: 5/5. This Omsk team met in the spring in the pine forest and, if it were not for the return of Vladimir Tkachev, everything could have gone very wrong. However, the Omsk student chose his hometown and pairing him with Boucher once again created a nightmare for the league. The rest of the trio fared much worse, and for the first month and a half Avangard was terribly lame, but they corrected the matter due to the frantic majority and the fact that since Hartley’s time, Omsk players have always been ready to pass under the disk. Closer to the deadline, Avangard received a second complete line, but the three newcomers did not work 100%. Mikhail Kravets’ decision to separate Zhafyarov, Prokhorkin and Yurcho turned out to be quite correct, and Omsk can boast of having a star even on the third line. In summer, expectations were much worse.

Why will they win the Gagarin Cup? There is always the example of Metallurg 2014, which reached the championship with a super team. Boucher didn’t come into the playoffs in the best shape, but it’s hard to imagine this decline continuing after the end of the regular season. If Avangard starts playing according to the Brazilian system, rivals will have little chance.

Why they won’t win: Omsk has the Zhafyarovs in attack, only in defense are Chmykhov and Rykov, selected from the VHL, and in the second pair is the very young Gulyaev. The gap between the lines seems very large and the goalkeeper’s position does not inspire confidence. Pavel Khomchenko outplayed his opponents, but for him this will be his Gagarin Cup debut, and at the age of 29!

1. “Metallurgy”

Usual rating: 5+/5. When Andrei Razin returned, it was initially planned that the year would be transitional, the coach would introduce the guys who had spent time in the Steel Foxes into the lineup and seriously ask for a second season. It turned out to be unexpectedly so successful that everyone was amazed. Despite the fact that Metallurg failed in the spring with offers and failed to work with foreign players, the team took first place in the conference. All Magnitogorsk youth players took a giant step forward, the team began to attack from the first games, but remained in the shadow of the more promoted Western teams. Even the participation of the leaders of Razin’s Severstal, who were laughed at, had its effect and all rumors about problems in the locker room were quickly suppressed.

Andrey Razin

Photo: photo.khl.ru

Why will they win the Gagarin Cup? Razin’s future rival in the first round, Andrei Martemyanov, was brief: a team without weaknesses, which knows how to play according to instructions both in attack and defense. During the season, Metallurg also adjusted most after bringing Sergei Mozyakin to the headquarters.

Why they won’t win: This is a very young team with all the marks of a young team and a pair of goalkeepers who between them are barely over forty years old. Additionally, for the first time in his career, Razin begins the playoffs with his favorite team; It is not yet clear what to expect from this.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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