Army games await

4 October 2021

After Saturday’s 4-2 win over Vityaz, Red Star’s next two games involve the same opposition – CSKA Moscow. We travel to the Russian capital on Monday, October 4, before welcoming the Army Men to Mytishchi on Saturday. While it’s always a big test against one of the KHL’s top teams, Ivano Zanatta’s men go into this week’s action with some encouraging form behind them. The Dragons won two of their last three games and pushed high-flying Dynamo Moscow hard in the third. And our first line is proving formidable of late: in the last five games, the Foo brothers and Luke Lockhart have produced 13 (6+7) points.

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CSKA Moscow (Oct. 4, Oct. 9)

Last season: The Dragons put up a good fight in both meetings with the Army Men last season, but lost out 2-3 on both occasions. The second game, in Moscow last December, went to overtime after CSKA battled back from 0-2 to snatch the win.

Familiar faces: None.

Background: CSKA sprang a surprise in the summer when head coach Igor Nikitin, Gagarin Cup winner in 2019, left the club to be replaced by Sergei Fedorov. The new man, whose NHL career substantially overlapped with our own Alexei Kovalev’s, brings a wealth of playing experience from a glittering career at the very highest level but has not previously worked as a coach in pro hockey. His first month in the job saw CSKA win eight of its 13 games to reach fourth place in the Western Conference, but there were some uncharacteristic defensive collapses in 0-4 losses against Avangard and Metallurg plus a 3-6 reverse at home to Barys. The Army Men are not yet showing the military efficiency we’ve become accustomed to seeing in recent seasons.

Fedorov’s playing staff also changed substantially. Prominent arrivals included Nikita Nesterov and Mikhail Grigorenko, both back on the team after spells in the NHL. Goalie Adam Reideborn came from Ak Bars to replace Lars Johansson and another Swede, Lucas Wallmark, was added to the forwards. Another new addition, Sergei Plotnikov, currently leads the team in scoring with 12 (6+6) points from 13 appearances.

Although Red Star’s meetings with CSKA come back-to-back on our schedule, the Muscovites have a capital city derby against Dynamo in between

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