Play-offs round the corner
Minsk’s Dinamo still to play three matches in KHL Championship
By Yegor Glebov
Dinamo recently saw success in its away series against Moscow, Prague and Bratislava, bringing home 6 points of 9 possible. It is now ranked 7th, reinforcing its tournament position and increasing its chance of reaching the play-offs.
The squad’s recent performance has inspired confidence from fans although the home match against one of the leaders of the Eastern Conference, Chelyabinsk Traktor, brought disappointment. At the after match press conference, the head coach of the Minsk team, Alexander Andrievsky, noted, “We were crippled by the second goal. This was our fourth match, having played every other day, and we’d just returned from a difficult game. We remained determined for the second half but our rival’s second goal broke us psychologically and our exhaustion was suddenly apparent. It’s difficult to fight physiology, so the result became 2:5.”
The home defeat hasn’t influenced Dinamo’s tournament position in the Western Conference. “Everything is in our hands and we’re still ranked seventh. We have three matches ahead and everything depends on us,” Mr. Andrievsky has stressed.
Dinamo Minsk can expect to earn points in its away match in the Moscow Region’s Chekhov, against local Vityaz. The home meetings will be more difficult. On February 15th, the Belarusian squad will face one of the leaders of the Eastern Conference, Ak Bars Kazan, followed by Ufa’s Salavat Yulayev, ranked 5th in the Eastern Division, on February 17th. These squads may have already ensured themselves a place in the play-offs by then, so we may be fortunate enough to find them saving their energies but our Minsk squad will still need to work hard to gain a place in the final stage of the KHL Championship.