Barely a month into the season, and two KHL coaches have already left their posts. Most dramatic was Dynamo Moscow coach Sergei Kotov, who resigned after a dismal 4-2 home defeat to Severstal Cherepovets, only to be urged to stay in his post by the players. A back problem finally persuaded the club to let him go, and bring in former CSKA player Andrei Khomutov (pictured) in his place.

An improvement on last year's semi-final spot is demanded at the Luzhniki, especially after the exciting signing of Detroit Red Wing Jiri Hudler - who tallied 69 points in last year's NHL. But Khomutov, a three-time Olympic champion with relatively little coaching experience, has a tough task coaxing some consistency from a Dynamo side which Kotov found looked awesome on paper but all-too-brittle on the ice. A fearsome attack, led by the league's top point-scorer Mattais Weinhandl, was too often let down by a shoddy rearguard - as the team demonstrated in Khomutov's second game in charge, going down to newcomers Avtomobilist despite taking the lead in Yekaterinburg.

Meanwhile, in distant Khabarovsk, Amur parted company with Anatoly Yemelin with their team rooted to the foot of the table. No replacement has yet been appointed, but the new guy had better be a keen flier - from their home in Russia's Far East Amur will total 110,980km to fulfil this season's fixtures.


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