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Post: CSKA was on the verge of relegation, SKA nailed the “Canadians”: the consequences of the start of the KHL playoffs


All participants of the second round of the KHL playoffs are determined

All participants of the second round of the Continental Hockey League (KHL) play-offs have been announced. The results of the first stage of the Gagarin Cup – in the material of RIA Novosti Sport.

“Salavat Yulaev” lost in a naval battle

Even at the conclusion of the regular season, Avangard’s defeat in the last match against Ak Bars and Salavat Yulaev’s win over Magnitogorsk went clearly offset by Omsk, which freed them from the need to fly to Vladivostok. The Ufa team could not cope with the attack of the “Admiral” – from the opening match in the capital of the series, Bashkiria, it was clear that the “sailors” looked more ready compared to their elite rivals.

“Admiral” did not need bright hockey filled with technically talented players. Pragmatism, strength and patience were higher in this duel. “Salavat” may continue to complain about the lack of squad, but only in anticipation of next season. Leonid Tambiev’s team better understood what and how to do it. The feeling of the outcome of the confrontation turned out to be only nominal.

SKA overcomes “Canada” pressure

No one expected Dynamo Minsk to be able to offer at least some resistance to the strongest club of the championship, but Craig Woodcroft surprised. The elder brother of the Edmonton Oilers mentor showed his Canadian roots in time and went to St. It made Petersburgers fold and sweat. There was also some bloodshed: in the series with Minsk, the SKA players suffered a lot physically and were injured of a significant number of different natures.

“This is how Canadians play, but they need to understand that there are rules. Why don’t our NHL players act in such a way that the opponent can lose more than just health? And Canadians in the KHL play: We keep hitting, we have no choice”, — SKA mentor Roman Rotenberg, Said about the bison’s tough game.

The decisive factor in the series is St. Petersburg “army” class. Recapturing the lead in the fifth match (6:3), SKA retained its characteristic intensity and strength in the final match in the Belarusian capital, sending the Canadians on vacation.

“Locomotive” quietly reached the destination

The TV series “Locomotive” and “Vityaz” still did not attract the necessary attention on its posters, and the course of the conflict only confirmed that this war will not capture anything significant. Three of the five games ended in overtime, and the “railwaymen” came out stronger in a solid, closed and systemic hockey duel. And although there was nothing spectacular in the style of Igor Nikita, the necessary result was nevertheless achieved. No one will be surprised if Loko makes it to the conference finals.

Tkachev and Tolchinsky shot “Vanguard”

The Siberian derby in the first round of the playoffs is a delight for the eyes of hockey fans. Spectators and journalists saw exactly what they wanted to see: bright, unpredictable hockey with elements of drama and a fair outcome. It would be fair anyway. “Siberia” showed its best hockey and had every chance to spread the series over all seven games, but the individual performance class turned out to be decisive.

Sergey Tolchinsky and Vladimir Eduardovich Tkachev put aside the rumors about new contracts with Avangard and took up their direct duties – playing hockey, making a difference and delivering results. The two-man Russians scored 10 points in five games.

“Neftekhimik” has become a useful simulator for “Ak Bars”

The current playoffs have quickly taught us that even the so-called weak have a good chance of success and can beat the aforementioned favourites. Such a result was also real in the Tatarstan derby, where Neftekhimik was a hard nut to crack in the fight against Ak Bars. A lot of sweat was poured from Kazan to overcome the influence of the insolent Nizhnekamsk residents, and this work gave the necessary result. The main advantage of “Ak Bars” was the goalkeeper line: “Neftekhimik” lost precisely because of the lack of quality in this component.

Ak Bars head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov summed it up: “This series has allowed us to look at the shortcomings that need to be fixed, we have it. The opponent prepared us quite well for the next round.”
Hockey.  CHL.  Match Admiral - Salavat Yulaev - RIA Novosti, 1920, 14.03.2023

Strengths of “Admiral” called striker “Ak Bars”

“Dynamo” did not have enough strength to pursue Larionov’s pioneers.

“Torpedo” Igor Larionov fell in love with thousands of spectators and hockey fans during the regular season, but many had doubts about the reliability of the Nizhny Novgorod system in the playoffs. Qualifying matches are always a different alignment to the championship. But Larionov managed to prove the opposite.

“Torpedo” did not change itself and played sharply and offensively against a strong and united team of the Moscow “Dynamo”. The White-Blues, who became famous for being aware of the match-specific duties of each member of the team during the regular season, could not find the strength to resist the attacks of the “notorious automakers”. Aleksey Kudashov also drew attention to this: “It’s not fear. The team is physically dependent.”

Did Vorobyov delay dismissal?

Magnitogorsk “Metallurg” has suffered a lot of negativity over the past few months. The finalist of last season fell into a state of crisis. First of all, this affected the offensive play, which, unusually for the team of Ilya Vorobyov, became ineffective. In the playoffs, the problem did not go away, and Magnitogorsk was very close to literally giving Avtomobilist a ticket for the second round. And with this, many have already guessed that Vorobyov will leave Magnitogorsk.

But Pavel Akolzin and Nikolai Goldobin were against such schemes. While the first saved the series for Metallurg with a hat-trick and carried it to the seventh game, the second showed the Goldie show at the most critical moment. Remarkably, in the decisive match, the Magnitogorsk team also bounced back from 1:3. Isn’t this a miracle?

Champion got on his nerves

“No one believed us” After the results of the series said Andrey Razin, head coach of “Severstal”.

It would be more accurate to say that no one expected a club from Cherepovets on a modest budget to find the resources to put up a fight on par with one of the strongest teams in the league. And although the prerequisites for this were after three out of four wins in the championship, the playoffs looked fundamentally different. But no. Severstal forced CSKA to respect themselves and fought so hard that the outcome of the series remained in doubt until the middle of game seven of the series.

All decided on the nuances. CSKA just added pressure and strength, somewhere the referees became more loyal to their “red-blue” decision and in the end “Severstal” simply “ate” the players. Perhaps CSKA needed just such a series to better prepare for an extremely uncomfortable competitor, Lokomotiv.

Source: Ria

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