Despite the generally decent performance of HC Sochi, they still cannot reach the playoff zone of their Western Conference. Moreover, the gap of seven points has been holding for quite a long time and is not diminishing in any way. Sochi residents are closing the gap, say, from the Minsk “bison”, but Torpedo comes to eighth place in the West – and again the southerners are separated from the playoff zone by the same seven points. I would even say, some kind of enchanted distance.
But I know Andrei Nazarov too well, which means I can say with confidence that as long as the Sochi residents have chances, they will not give up their attempts. And for Dynamo it will be a very difficult match. The task for the blue and white is noticeably facilitated by the fact that Dynamo leader Vadim Shchipachev did not play in the last match of the Russian national team at the Channel One Cup, Sunday’s match. That is, theoretically it may well play against Sochi – and it will be a completely different Dynamo. On the other hand, Shchipachev played three previous matches of the national team, and in any case will be much less fresh than his other blue and white colleagues.
Well, the Sochi residents have nowhere to go. And now they also cannot divide their rivals into leaders and outsiders, they have to bite into everyone. Therefore, I dare to assume that the southerners will not leave Moscow without anything at all. What they will be able to do there with the leaders of the Western Conference is another question, but it seems to me that in the main time HC Sochi will not lose. This is my clumsy prediction.