The last game day of the regular season was blown away by Severstal, who beat the champion at home. The hosts scored 6 (!) goals and brought confusion to the army ranks, which were tuned in to the victorious wave. Recall that in the first round of the playoffs the Cherepovets team will face CSKA.
There is a full house in Cherepovets – all CSKA tickets are sold out. Numerous troops from Moscow landed on the banks of the Sheksna. Army fans occupied an entire sector. And some of them did not reach Cherepovets. Due to violent temper they were taken from the train in Yaroslavl. Let them wait there for their team, which, if they succeed in the series with Severstal, will surely fight with Lokomotiv. This is, of course, a joke.
In the meantime, I will please the CSKA fans with the news: before the holidays, the powers of club president Igor Esmantovich were extended for another three seasons.
The head coach of the red and blue, Sergei Fedorov, repeated more than once: on the eve of the playoffs, it is important for his team to take the rhythm of the cup, so it was decided to refuse to replace the goalkeeper in the extension.
The army men came out in fighting force. There were no defenders Sergeev and Yarosh. The return of the Slovak, who was injured at the bottom in Omsk, is expected for the second round of the playoffs, where he still has to break through.
We remember how many nerve cells were knocked out by Andrei Razin’s wards a year ago at Dynamo Moscow. The blue and whites managed to squeeze the daring rival only in the seventh game, to then fall below CSKA – 0-4. At the same time, the first two meetings at the VTB Arena ended in favor of the Steelworkers.
Razin, on the contrary, rotated the team, giving rest to the legionnaires: striker Lischke and defender-blueliner Press. He entrusted the door to Samonov, who did not play in the last games.
After effective victories over Torpedo, which collapsed into spare parts (8: 3), fallen Spartak (7: 1) and Dynamo Moscow (5: 4 OT), the army team met fierce resistance from the Lynxes. And immediately the old problems of the champions arose: the insecurity of the goalkeeper, the defense full of holes, the discipline of the game, which led to a series of stupid eliminations.
Sharychenkov stepped on the old rake – he stopped helping and after four missed goals went to the bench. He yielding the door to the young Skotnikov. It is strange that the reserve was not the Swede Reideborn, who received the same amount (four) from the blue and whites, but a substitute, whose appearance in the playoffs is possible only in case of force majeure.
The feeling does not go away: the army team plays according to their mood, when they please. And the head coach can’t force them and loses grunt control of his wards. The game of defense eloquently testifies to the quality of the work of the coach for defenders Igor Kravchuk. He appeared at the headquarters in the summer, and in December, at the initiative of Fedorov, Vladimir Chebaturkin was dismissed.
How many missteps did Dyblenko, Nesterov, Dietz, the young Brutov allow today… It is not known what the top scorer of the Okulov team was doing. The naughty puck did not want to obey him in any way. He got nervous when the forward rolled solo toward the gate in the second period. And in the third, having fallen under a forceful reception, number 71 completely forgot about hockey and began to take revenge on his opponents.
In the course of the match, a seditious thought arose: was it worth it in the derby with Dynamo to compare the score three seconds before the siren to get to Severstal? Wouldn’t it be better to sacrifice the second place in the West and have Vityaz as a rival, who became the sixth in the conference and solved all his tasks for the season?
PS 1. HC Sochi forward Matvey Michkov delighted with a lacrosse goal in the match with the Beijing Dragons and scored 5 (1+4) points on it.
2. The captain of Ak Bars, Alexander Radulov, after converting a free kick, achieved victory in overtime over Avangard and retained third place in the regular season scorer rating, which earned him 90 million rubles of bonus.
Severstal – CSKA – 6:4, Traktor – Torpedo – 6:2, Sibir – Avtomobilist – 0:2, Metallurg – Salavat Yulaev – 1:2 B, HC Sochi – Kunlun Red Star – 5:3, Dynamo M – Spartak – 4:2, Ak Bars – Avangard – 3:2 OT.
COUPLES IN THE EAST PLAY-OFFS
Ak Bars (1) – Neftekhimik (8) March 1 and 3 (both in Kazan), 5, 7 (both in Nizhnekamsk), 9* (Kz), 11* (Nzhk), 13* (Kz)
“Salavat Yulaev” (2) – “Admiral” (7) 1, 3 (both – Ufa), 5, 7 (both – Vladivostok), 9* (U), 11* (V), 13* (U)
Avangard (3) – Sibir (6) 2, 4 (both Omsk), 6, 8 (both Novosibirsk), 10* (Om), 12* (Ns), 14* (Om)
Avtomobilist (4) – Metallurg (5) 2, 4 (both in Yekaterinburg), 6, 8 (both in Magnitogorsk), 10* (Ek), 12* (Mg), 14* (Ek)
* If required.