Salavat Yulaev and Traktor are most entertaining pair in first round of KHL playoffs
The online edition championat.com named the hockey teams Salavat Yulaev and Traktor as the most interesting pair in the first round of the Gagarin Cup. Simultaneously, according to hockey experts, Traktor would become an inconvenient rival for any team from the top-4 of the East.
Ufa is called the favorite, but the confrontation can stretch for seven matches. As for Salavat Yulaev, everything will depend on the goalkeeper Metsola and the top three offensive players Granlund — Manninen — Hartikainen. The second line of Kadeikin also plays an important role capable of both defending and capitalizing on the powerplay.
The Chelyabinsk team is assessed as cross-functional. Traktor is able to adapt to any opponent. The Chelyabinsk team may be inferior in terms of skills, but the head coach Anvar Gatiyatulin revived the team after the disastrous last season and made it recognizable. By the way, Traktor also has strong legionnaires. Villa, Pilut, Oberg, Giki, Sedlak showed good play. They have an experienced and charismatic captain Sergei Kalinin.
The victory of Salavat Yulaev is predicted in seven matches, but the Ufa team will have a hard time in the confrontation with the Chelyabinsk rivals. The first matches of the series will take place at the Ufa-Arena on March 3 and 5.