Continental Hockey League regular championship 2023/2024. The seventh match of the game day and another series of confrontation between two elements, attack and defence. Creativity and system. Torpedo in Nizhny Novgorod welcomes Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
Interestingly, many had written off Torpedo before the start of the new season. Andrei Kozyrev has cascaded into a solo career in Severstal, and it seemed to many that Torpedo will now collapse with a maximum fight for the playoffs. But at the present time, Torpedo is vying for a home stage in the first round of the playoffs. Moreover, they look pretty good recently, losing only once to Spartak in the last eight meets, amassing 14 of a possible 16 points. After the break, they won three out of four meets.
Additionally, they strengthened their arsenal during the deadline by landing Madison Bowey. Currently, Torpedo is in the fifth line of the league table, gathering 57 points after 44 matches. These points are attributed to 23 victories in regulation, five beyond that, and a single defeat in the overtime. The remaining 14 meets were lost by Torpedo without any extra points. When it comes to the number of goals scored, Torpedo ranks fifth in the league chart with 128. The situation on the goals conceded is a bit better - the third line with 100 goals.
Yaroslavl club, in fact, is not far away from Torpedo although they added only one defeat in seven matches, and Lokomotiv won the remaining six. Interestingly, Lokomotiv lost just like Torpedo, their first match after the break going down 0:1 to Severstal. The main difference is, unlike Torpedo, Lokomotiv did not strengthen their squad at the deadline, meaning they have to dig into their internal resources. Their play is frightening at times, making watching their matches simply impossible, but the style of hockey currently yields results, making it difficult to critique Lokomotiv.
Now, Lokomotiv is on the third line of the league table, after 42 matches they have mustered 59 points. These points are the result of 24 victories in regulation, four outside this limit, and three defeats with a single point. The remaining 11 matches were lost by Lokomotiv without additional points. Meanwhile, Lokomotiv is the best team in the West in terms of goals conceded - 79. The situation couldn't be much different with its goals scored - third from the bottom and 106 pucks.
Between them, Torpedo and Lokomotiv have played 52 matches. Out of these, Torpedo has won 25 games and Lokomotiv has triumphed in the remaining 27. This season, Torpedo edged it 3:2 in a penalty shoot-out.
And here Lokomotiv is as the favourites for this match with odds at 2.45. In contrast, the odds on a Torpedo victory are 2.70. My proposition here is to go for a Torpedo victory, as their current form seems a notch above.
There is a more reliable option, specifically TU (4.5) for 1.86. Indeed, this season both teams are more renowned for their defence rather than attack.