Continental Hockey League regular championship 2023/2024. One of the two matches opening the day and the continuation of the virtual fight for the play-offs in the East. Of course, both participants of this match have not yet lost their chances for the play-offs. But, realistically, only one team is still in the fight. Barys from Astana will be hosting Amur from Khabarovsk.
The club from Kazakhstan continues to struggle, hoping that somehow it will not end up at the bottom of the conference, but let's be honest, with the hockey Barys is presenting now – their chances are minimal. The team from Astana has seven losses in a row and only their last one, against Amur, was outside the regular match time. So effectively, Barys earned more points from the KHL for technical defeats by Sibir than it earned itself, a telling sign of the team's current form.
Barys currently is at the 12th spot in the conference, after 58 games it gained 45 points. These points were earned through 10 victories in regular time, nine beyond it and seven losses with one point. Barys lost the other 32 matches without any additional points. Barys is also the worst team in the East with 125 goals. In terms of goals conceded, Barys is second from the bottom – 177 goals.
Amur, it would seem, had all the chances for the play-offs, just win at least a couple of matches and everything would be fine, but no, Amur had already suffered six consecutive defeats in 2024 and only at the very end of their home series they managed to beat Metallurg with a score of 7:4 and break this horrific streak. Afterwards everything seemed to be headed towards Amur hoovering points from the teams lower than them in the standings. But so far it has had a tough time, with a loss to Sibir with a score of 3:4 in shootouts, then a victory over Barys only in overtime, with a score of 3:2. But if we look closer, five out of six possible points in the last three games are not the worst result.
However, the hockey of the Khabarovsk club leaves something to be desired. At the moment Amur is ninth in the conference, after 59 matches they have garnered 58 points. These points were accumulated through 18 victories in regular time, five beyond it and another 12 losses with one point. Amur lost the remaining 24 matches without additional points. It should be noted that Amur has risen a little in terms of goals, already fourth from the bottom with 136 goals. In terms of goals conceded, they are even better, fifth from the bottom with 160 goals.
Barys and Amur have had 44 matches against each other. In this confrontation, Barys has 24 victories, while Amur has 20 wins. This season the teams have only met once and Amur won 3:2 in overtime.
And here, of course, we take Amur's victory, as Barys is dreadful now, so the fact that the victory was only in overtime in the last match should only motivate Amur.
But I prefer the option with ITO2 (2.5) at 1.93. This is because Amur should become furious that they only scored two in the last meeting, as in the recent games they have managed to score much more.