The third round of the Continental Hockey League playoffs starts on April 2. Four clubs continue to fight for the Gagarin Cup – SKA, CSKA, Metallurg and Traktor. Sport24 gives its forecast for the conference finals, based on the widest line of BETSITY.
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SKA (1) – CSKA (3)
Matches: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 *, 12 *, 14 * April (* – if necessary)
The sky is blue, the grass is green, and two army clubs are playing in the final of the KHL Western Conference. Many are tired of such predictability, but SKA and CSKA continue to keep the brand despite all the circumstances. It seemed that something could change this season, when these clubs were led by specialists who had no previous experience as head coaches, but Sergei Fedorov and Roman Rotenberg lost only one match in the first two rounds. What might be the questions?
At the same time, the path of the army to the West finals turned out to be different. CSKA in the series with “Locomotive” and “Dynamo” had a very noticeable advantage, while not leaving the feeling that Fedorov’s team at any time can still add. This was confirmed by the final game against the white and blues, which the army club turned over with a score of 0: 3. SKA, on the other hand, after a confident pass of Minsk “Dynamo”, suffered a lot in a duel with “Spartak”, which at that time had no playing practice for more than two months. St. Petersburg won all four victories with an equally nervous score of 2: 1.
In general, CSKA in the current playoffs still looks like a real car, it is difficult to imagine who will be able to stop it. It is unlikely that Roman Rothenberg will succeed, to go on several bright performers (Kuzmenko, Burdasov, Gusev), as in the series with the red and whites, will not work here. Alas, most likely, one of the most predictable army cup confrontations in history awaits us.
Prediction: CSKA victory in the series with a handicap (-1.5) – 1.70. Fans of risk can try an even bolder option: the victory of CSKA in a series with a handicap (-2.5) for the odds 2.95.
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Metallurg (1) – Tractor (2)
Matches: 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 *, 13 *, 15 * April (* – if necessary)
Tight with sensations in the playoffs and in the East – the top two teams reached the third round of the regular season. Moreover, many predicted back in the summer that the Magnitogorsk and Urals would be the new ruling force in the conference. Sadly, but unlike the West, there is at least a change of “power” – a year ago for a ticket to the Gagarin Cup final fought “Ak Bars” and “Avangard”, who have already gone on vacation.
Another parallel with the Western Conference – the performance of “Metallurg” and “Tractor” in the current playoffs is too striking. Ilya Vorobyov’s team is still giving a full-fledged hockey concert: in the series with “Barys” it teased the opponent with one defeat at the start, after which it simply blew up the Kazakhs, but the duel with “Avangard” will forever go down in league history Magnitka’s victory in the decisive match. “Tractor” is not impressive at all with its game – against “Neftekhimik” it was not so noticeable, but the team of Anvar Gatiyatulin, which was left without “Salavat” legionnaires, added with a loud squeak.
The confrontation of two different hockey systems awaits us. In the first of them creativity and creativity are valued, in the second – concentration, organization and clear performance of the coaching task. For some, this may be bad news, but in recent years, hockey has more often won the second option. In addition, Traktor has not yet fully revealed its attacking potential, in the regular season Chelyabinsk beat Magnitogorsk in three out of four cases, and at least one sensation in this playoffs should happen.
Prediction: reaching the final of “Tractor” – 1.90.
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