KHL.ru continues with the online photo album of 2016-17. Today, we present the work of our finest photographers to illustrate Dynamo Moscow’s varied fortunes over the IX season of the Championship.
Sergei Oreshkin's players can hold their heads high when they reflect on the 2016-17 regular season, in particular their impressive run of form after the New Year break, when 14 wins from 16 games propelled them to third place in the Western Conference standings. And by no means all those victories were against struggling opposition: On the 18th of January, for example, Dynamo kept crosstown rival and eventual regular season champion CSKA off the scoreboard, and a solitary goal by Alexei Tereshchenko settled the encounter.
The Blue-and-Whites even administered the occasional hammering to formidable opponents. Traktor and Salavat Yulaev were each on the receiving end of a 6-2 defeat from the Muscovites.
Moreover, the two games which Dynamo failed to win were very hard-fought affairs. The final score in both games was 2-1, with Ak Bars Kazan and Metallurg Magnitogorsk the victors.
When the knockout stage began, Dynamo found themselves paired with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, and this Western Conference quarter-final series turned out to be one of the most evenly-matched contests of the entire Gagarin Cup playoffs. So slender was the gap in class that four of the five games had to be decided in overtime. Dynamo prevailed, however, and celebrated a 4-1 series win.
The omens were not good for the Conference semi-final, as the opponent – SKA Saint Petersburg – had eliminated Dynamo at the same stage in the previous season. History showed it could and would repeat itself, although Game 1 gave Dynamo fans real hope that revenge was indeed on the menu. A Maxim Karpov hat-trick gave the Muscovites a thrilling 3-2 victory in Petersburg.
But the men from the northern capital showed admirable resilience and ruthless efficiency. Dynamo were denied any further victories, and SKA stormed to a 4-1 series win.
Hockey is a team game, of course, and Dynamo managed to put together a fine blend of youth and experience. Nonetheless, a few individuals merit a mention. Most of the foreign imports justified the faith shown in them by the coach. Defenseman Juuso Hietanen, for example, scored 12 goals, and this gave the Finn joint second place (beaten only by Chris Lee of Magnitka) in the regular season rankings for D-men snipers.
Speaking of defensemen, it was also a great season for 35-year-old Ilya Nikulin.
And who could forget Andrei Kuteikin’s exploits in the playoffs? The blue-liner’s spectacular goals from the red line were enough to strike terror into the heart of many a watching goaltender, and made him the man of the moment in the early stages of the playoffs. Some fans even called him “Kutinator”
As for the last line of defense, the experienced Alexander Yeryomenko was as solid as ever.
At the other end, the most productive of the forwards was Martins Karsums, while the experienced Denis Kokarev and Alexei Tsvetkov also inflicted significant damage to the opposition defenses. Seasoned veterans like Alexei Tereschenko and Konstantin Gorovikov showed they had lost none of their edge.
And not all the glory goes to the Old Guard. As noted above, the Blue-and-Whites mixed youth with experience, and 23-year-old forward Artyom Fyodorov played a significant part in making Dynamo a force to be reckoned with over the campaign.
At the end of the season, however, the club decided to part company with Sergei Oreshkin, and installed his assistant, Vladimir Vorobyov, as head coach.
Throughout the season’s ups and downs, Dynamo could always rely on the sterling support from their army of fans, and the VTB Ice Palace was frequently filled to the rafters. In December, fans and staff of the famous old club - the first champion of the USSR - celebrated Dynamo’s 70th anniversary.