Sochi Hockey Open (preseason) 18.30 CET
Well I would have so much to write now starting of new season but lets start with SKA..
Okey, they are (again) no.1 candidates to lift the Gagarin Cup under their new coach Vorybov. They lost of course some important players likes of Kovy back to NHL, BUT he is already 35y old and pure sniper. Also maybe the best goalie in hole league past seasons finnish Mikko Koskinen who also went to NHL. But they have good goalie duo now with Shetsyorkin and new goalie swedish Hellberg. Also their defence is still by far the best in the league on paper, if you look roster wise. Also they added some interesting players. Most interesting maybe Neil Yakupov, I mean the #1st overall draft pick from 2012 in NHL. He is a pure talent, BUT he never quit made it in the NHL, dont know was it that he was russian so he didnt like it there but still a great player. He will prob play in 1st line of SKA this season. Also Oleg Li came from Amur, and he was one of their best offensive players last season. SKA has again just a great team on paper.
Well about Kazan, they kept almost the same roster that won Gagarin Cup last year.. I dont know, but Im maybe expecting them to be little "hangover" from winning the trophy last season, and maybe they dont start this season so strong. They have struggeled now here in this tournament, AND their defence seems vulnerable. Of course they are still top-3 favourites in East this season with their roster.
I just think that SKA again wanna show that they are the best team in KHL, and especially against the defending champion they will come strong out here! Also their defence have been rock solid here in this tournament. My other option would be over 5 (AH).