The game in Yaroslavl brought together two teams finding life tough at the start of the season – albeit for rather different reasons.
While HC Sochi’s problems stem in no small part from a combination of an intimidating fixture list and the pressures of assembling a KHL team from scratch, Loko’s early-season slump came as something of a surprise after last season’s impressive run to the Conference finals.
That struggle cost Sean Simpson his job: the former coach of the Swiss national team lasted just nine games in his new job and, more pertinently, won just three of them.
With talk of Dave King returning to the club, Loko put those problems behind it on Monday with a 4-1 victory at home to Sochi. Admittedly it didn’t go smoothly from the start; the visitor scored on its first power play, Nikita Shchitov dismaying the home crowd with a shot from the blue line.
But once Yegor Averin tied it up early in the second there was no doubt about the outcome of this one. Geoff Platt emulate ...