Dinamo Minsk look to improve season
Dinamo’s 2019-20 season downfall was probably the worst that the club has seen in years. The team has kept its faith with coach Craig Woodcroft and is hoping to see a lot of change in this season as they aim to bring themselves back into the playoff mix.
Things didn’t really start tough for the team last season. At least it was not that bad compared to their finish. Dinamo lost its first three opening games of the season before coming up with three straight wins despite beating Jokerit in a 5-0 thrashing.
All of those looked like signs that the club would compete at the highest level. By the end of September 2019, the team was nearly able to secure a playoff spot. It all went wrong after that, and 11 straight losses saw them fall off for playoff contention. They did have a brief revival in November, but everything was just a broken hope as they lost 12 straight after that.
By the start of this year, the team clearly knew that they were no longer eligible for the playoffs. It was the first time that the team didn’t see themselves in the postseason since 2017. All the remaining motivation was just to finish ahead of Dinamo Riga for the bottom spot of the table.
That task proved to be a tough job for the team. Woodcroft’s team had a miserable campaign and it was definitely a learning experience for them on the bright side. He aims to make the playoffs this time.
With the coach still at the helm for the team, he knows that there would be a lot of things to improve. Although he was handed with a tough job to revive the team in the offseason along with a reduced budget, they are still in the right position to make a strong run this year.
The additions of Vladislav Kolyachonok, Ilya Solovyov, Ivan Lodnia and Stepan Falkovsky will surely play a big role in their development this year. They might just have a lot of firepower to consider themselves a contender in the Gagarin Cup.
Ryan Spooner remains to be the top ace for the team. He did drop 37 points last year coming off 10 goals and 27 assists while playing 43 games for the struggling club. That just means a lot for the team that has worked hard to acquire all the pieces needed for a big playoff push this year.
With a lot of challenges to face this season, the club’s faith in Spooner seems to be firm. Woodcroft hopes to make a stand and prove himself and the rest of the team that they deserve the second chance they are getting this season.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores