Continental Hockey League regular championship 2023/2024. The eighth match of the game day brings us an intriguing clash between two hockey giants: the incredibly defensive and systematically disciplined Dynamo team from Minsk will take on the highly creative and attacking Spartak team from Moscow, at home.
Okay, as we approach the end of the year, I must confess, I am not a fan of Dmitry Kvartalnov's game strategy. Frankly speaking, I don't get his game plan, particularly how he envisages winning through his strategies. So far, this season, my assertion that Dynamo's performance has been abysmal is panning out. One could argue that expectations for Dynamo Minsk were, perhaps, higher than reality. As it stands, Dynamo Minsk seems to be struggling not to slip out of the playoff zone, with clear ambitions to climb the ladder. After the break, for instance, Dynamo won just one meeting, the very first one against Vityaz, followed by three consecutive losses, the last being against Vityaz again, who were bottom of the league table at the time of the game.
Currently, Dynamo Minsk stands eighth in the conference, having gathered 40 points from 42 games. These points came from 13 wins in regular time, five in extended time, plus another four losses fetching them a point each. The remaining 20 meetings ended in losses for Dynamo Minsk, sans any additional points. Their goal-scoring has been dreadful, with just 108 goals, a fourth-place from the bottom, while their defensive performance is slightly better ranking sixth in the conference with 114 conceded goals.
Currently leading the Western conference, Spartak surprised everyone by completing their transfers prior to the deadline, in the pause or even earlier. For instance, they announced Ilya Kovalchuk's arrival well in advance, while Mikhail Maltsev joined Spartak during the break. Post-break, Spartak has played four games, managing seven points out of eight. Their only loss came in the last match against Torpedo, suffered in a penalty shootout, with a score uncharacteristic for Spartak this season – 1:2. Now, Spartak lead the conference, accumulating 63 points from 45 matches.
These points came from 26 regular-time wins, three beyond it, and another five losses which still earned them a point each. The remaining 11 games ended in losses for Spartak, no bonus points there. Spartak is the highest scoring team in the West – with 164 goals. However, their defensive performance is dubious, ranking fifth from the bottom with 123 goals conceded.
Forty fixtures have taken place between Dynamo Minsk and Spartak. Spartak has won 22 of these encounters, with Dynamo Minsk winning only 18. This season saw Spartak overpower Dynamo with a score of 4:2.
Looks like the bookmakers have settled now. Considering current form, it makes sense to bet on Spartak for they are undoubtedly stronger.
If you prefer not to bet on the outcome, a standard option typical for Spartak this season would be to take a TO (5.5) at 1.90. Spartak tends to both score and concede lots of goals, so six goals in a match is not a stretch for them.