18 July 2022
The schedule for the 2022/23 campaign is out – and the Dragons have a home opener on Sep. 2 in Mytishchi.
Our first game as a Western Conference team will be against familiar opposition from the Far East as Admiral Vladivostok comes to town. Indeed, there’s a Far Eastern flavor to the entire start of the campaign: our home stand continues with visits from Amur (Sep. 4) and Sibir (Sep. 6) before the Dragons fly out East for a three-game road trip against the same opponents (Sep. 9-13).
Life in the Western Conference means a different schedule for much of the rest of the season. As usual, KHL teams play all rivals at home and on the road (making for 42 games). There will be a further pair of games against each of our Western Conference opponents – CSKA, Dinamo Minsk, Dynamo Moscow, Lokomotiv, Severstal, SKA, Sochi, Spartak, Torpedo and Vityaz. In addition, the league has selected three teams – HC Sochi, Neftekhimik and Vityaz – who will take on Red Star in a further pair of home and away games. In recent seasons, these three clubs have also been in the thick of the playoff battle, making them a natural choice as the KHL looks to increase the number of games that will directly impact the final standings.
It all adds up to a 68-game season, the longest regular season in the KHL’s history. Games to look out for include our first meeting with defending champion CSKA on Sep. 20 in Mytishchi, a first trip to Avangard’s new arena in Omsk, where we play on Oct. 9, and a first look at Oleg Znarok’s star-studded Ak Bars roster when we visit Kazan on Dec. 19.
Unlike previous seasons, where there have been several breaks for Euro Hockey Tour international action, this season has just one pause for internationals. There will be no KHL play from Dec. 12-18 to enable team Russia and team Belarus to play some exhibition games. Immediately prior to that break, Chelyabinsk is set to host the All-Star Weekend on Dec. 10 and 11 (in the previous week, our friends at KRS Vanke Rays will likely be involved in the Women’s All-Star Game, which forms part of the same festival of hockey in the Southern Urals).
The regular season starts in Moscow on Sep. 1 when Gagarin Cup winner CSKA takes on runner-up Metallurg in the traditional Opening Cup curtain-raiser. The first stage of the campaign comes to an end on Feb. 26, with our guys traveling to Sochi to wrap up the initial phase. The playoffs are set to start in early March.