Kontinental Hockey League Play-off 2014

Kontinental Hockey League Play-off 2014

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Players: 26

MyFairBet Admin

07-Mar-2014

01-May-2014

The 2014 KHL Play-off season will be certainly very exciting. Which team do you favour to win the Gagarin cup this year?

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Information about 2014 KHL playoffs tournament

The KHL play-off, also called the Gagarin Cup playoff, concludes the season of one of the best hockey leagues in the world. This year, the KHL play-off will begin on the 6th of March 2014 and it is expected to end on the 30th of April 2014 (depending on the number of games having to be played) with the Gagarin Cup being handed over to one of the finalists.

The KHL playoff structure

The 2013/2014 KHL season play-off will be already the sixth time that the best 16 teams of the KHL regular season, eight from the Eastern and eight from the Western Conference, qualify to fight for the Gagarin Cup. The qualification for the play-off is determined by the conference standings of the KHL participants, the first two places in each conference are reserved for the division winners from the regular season. The play-off consists of the conference quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals and Gagarin Cup finals. All four play-off rounds are played on the best-of-seven series basis.

In each round of the KHL play-off, the highest remaining seed in each conference is matched against the lowest remaining seed. The higher positioned team benefits from home ice advantage. In the Gagarin Cup final series, home ice is determined based on points gained in the regular season. Each best-of-seven series follows a 2–2–1–1–1 format - the higher-seeded team plays at home for games one and two (plus five and seven if needed), and the lower-seeded team is at home for games three and four (and if necessary, game six). During the first three rounds of the KHL play-off, home ice is determined by seeding number within the conference, not position on the bracket. In the Gagarin Cup finals, the team with better seeding number receives the home ice advantage. If the seeding numbers are identical, the regular season record is taken into account.

The 2013/2014 KHL season playoff participants

As of 25th of January 2014, eight teams have a guaranteed place in this season’s KHL play-off - top two teams from each division, including SKA Saint Petersburg, Lev Prague, Barys Astana, Salavat Yulaev Ufa, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, AK Bars Kazan, Dynamo Moscow and Donbass Donetsk. Four teams have already lost their chance to make it to the play-off, the remaining fifteen teams will yet have to fight for the “ticket” to this season’s KHL play-off.

The previous winners of the KHL play-off and the Gagarin Cup include AK Bars Kazan in seasons 2008/2009 and 2009/2010, Salavat Yulaev Ufa in season 2010/2011 and Dynamo Moscow in seasons 2011/2012 and 2012/2013, thus Dynamo Moscow is the current Gagarin Cup holder and defender.

About the KHL

The Kontinental Hockey League is an international league with teams from eight countries participating in the competition. The beginning of the KHL dates back to the 27th of March 2008 when the Hockey Federation of Russia (FHR) officially handed over all rights to stage the national championship to the KHL as a follower of its predecessor – the Russian Super League. The KHL was founded with the goal of promoting development of hockey in Russia and as well as other countries across Europe and Asia.

The KHL seasonal program is divided into regular season (54 games - two games against every other team in the league on home and away basis) and play-off series. Teams are awarded 3 points for a win in regulation ("W"), points for a win in overtime ("OTW") or a penalty shootout ("SOW"), one Point for a loss in overtime ("OTL") or a penalty shootout ("SOL") and zero points for a loss in regulation ("L").

The KHL teams in the season 2013/2014

In the season 2013/2014 the league consisted of twenty eight clubs, from which twenty one come from Russia and Belarus, Latvia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Croatia are each represented by one team. Nevertheless, this is likely to change in the future, as the KHL is planning to expand further, especially in the Asia region. The KHL teams are divided into two conferences – Eastern and Western and four divisions (Bobrov division, Tarasov divison, Anatoly division, Chernyshev division) which are named in honour of famous former players and coaches - Vsevolod Bobrov, Anatoly Tarasov, Valery Kharlamov and Arkady Chernyshev.

  1. Bobrov Division (Western Conference): CSKA Moscow, Dinamo Minsk, Dinamo Riga, Lev Praha, Medveščak Zagreb, SKA Saint Petersburg, Slovan Bratislava.
  2. Tarasov Division (Western Conference): Atlant Moscow Oblast, HC Donbass, Dynamo Moscow, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, Severstal Cherepovets, Spartak Moscow, HC Vitayz.
  3. Kharlamov Division (Eastern Conference): Ak Bars Kazan, Avtomobilist Yeakaterinburg, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, Traktor Chelaybinsk, Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk.
  4. Chernyshev Division (Eastern Conference): Admiral Vladivostok, Amur Khabarovsk, Avangard Omsk, Barys Astana, Metallurg Novokuznetsk, Salavat Yulaev Ufa, Sibir Novosibirsk.

Currently the oldest team in the KHL is the Slovakian participant Slovan Bratislava, which was founded in 1921. The oldest Russian teams are CSKA Moscow, Spartak Moscow, Dinamo Moscow and SKA Saint Petersburg, all founded in 1946.

The KHL trophies and awards

The trophy for the winner of the KHL play-off is called the Gagarin Cup and is named after the first human in space – cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, considered one of the symbols of the Russian nation. The cup is made of silver with gold plating and weighs about 18kg. Similarly to the Stanley Cup (trophy for the winner of the NHL), name of the winning team and its players are engraved on the cup after the finals. Moreover, the Gagarin Cup winner is also awarded the KHL Champion title and the Russian Champion title, even if the team doesn’t origin in Russia.

The most successful team of the regular season is awarded the Kontinental Cup, the winners of the conference finals receive the Eastern Conference Champion Cup and the Western Conference Champion Cup. A special award – the Opening Cup is granted to the winner of the first game between the Gagarin Cup winner and the runner-up of the previous season. In the season 2012/2013 the KHL introduced the Cup of Hope, which is awarded to the winner of a so called “consolation tournament” of the teams who did not qualify for the play-offs. On top of that, the KHL players are individually awarded 23 trophies in various categories.

 

Source of illustration picture: © Lsantilli - Fotolia.com

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