Result of the day
CSKA Moscow - Atlant 2:3. Three years ago, Nikolai Borshchevsky unexpectedly climbed into the driving seat at Lokomotiv Yaroslav with only one day to prepare for a hard-fought 3-2 win over Lada Togliatti. Now history repeated itself – another fixed-term appointment, and another tough 3-2 win. Out of the frying pan, into the fire. Typical story, isn't it?
It will be interesting to see how Borshchevsky works with the team, and how he might change their style. Most experts felt that previous coach Fedor Kanareykin assembled a fairly good squad of players but couldn’t put them together properly – leaving the team struggling for form. In his first match Borshchevsky didn’t shuffle the line-up, and his players said there were minimal tactical tweaks. But the new coach of the Moscow Region side believed that the players needed to share a will to win and an understanding that they were all in the same boat and had to pull together for success.
But, to the best of our knowledge, his single day of preparation was not spent taking the team to the psychiatrists. Basically not much has changed at Atlant – simply that, unlike in earlier games, the team took its chances and scored important goals to beat CSKA. In time it will become clearer whether the team’s owners have made the right appointment.
In the other games of the day, Torpedo Nizhny Novogorod beat Severstal Cherepovets 6:4, SKA St. Petersburg won 4:1 at Vityaz Chekhov, Lokomotiv needed a shoot-out to see off Amur Khabarovsk 4:3 and Spartak Moscow shut-out goal-shy Metallurg Novokuznetsk to win 3:0.
Leading from the back
Atlant defenseman Andrei Zubarev scored his fourth of the season to become the most productive of his team’s rearguard – and equal his personal best. Zubarev has notched four goals and three assists in 20 games, equaling his return from two seasons ago.
Denis Peretyagin, at the tender age of 18, made his first appearance in the KHL – but his debut for Severstal was hardly a success. The Cherepovets team lost 4:6 to Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, and the youngster conceded two goals after replacing starting goalie Sergei Mylnikov on 24:45. Peretyagin has made 21 Youth Hockey League appearances this year, conceding an average of 3.17 goals per game.
Ending the drought
Andrei Zabolotnev’s goal for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod was his first since January 28, 2008, when he scored for Dynamo Moscow against Ak Bars Kazan. Since then the defender’s blank sequence stretched 43 matches and involved spells at three teams – Spartak, Severstal and finally Torpedo.
Fighting clear of the pack
Picking up another 31 minutes of penalty time in Vityaz’s 1:4 defeat to SKA St. Petersburg, Darsy Verot increased his grip on the ‘toughguy’ title. He has spent 177 minutes in the sinbin – in just 14 games. Second place among the players who attract the officials’ attention is MVD’s Filip Novak – but his 76 minutes is less than half Verot’s total.
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl set a club record in the championship when they picked up just four minutes of penalty time in their game with Amur Khabarovsk. Ironically, they also managed a short-handed goal, with Zbynek Irgl converting a penalty shot on 3:21. Loko are among the cleanest teams in the league – on average they pick up barely 13 minutes per game.
First clean sheet
Spartak’s 3-0 win over Metallurg Novokuznetsk was their first clean sheet of the tournament, while keeper Dimitrij Kotschnew became the 16th goaltender to enjoy a perfect game. Metallurg Magnitogorsk’s Ilya Proskuryakov has been hardest to beat, getting four shut-outs so far.
Spartak fired 38 shots at Metallurg Novokuznetsk.
Atlant striker Sergei Mozyakin had seven shots on goal.
Defender Konstantin Korneyev spent 25 minutes 15 seconds on the ice for CSKA.
CSKA forward Mark Hartigan won 80.8% of his 26 face-offs.
Torpedo scored four goals from eight shots at Severstal goalkeeper Sergei Mylnikov.
Vityaz picked up 80 minutes of penalties in the game against SKA.
Dimitrij Kotschnew (Spartak) – made 18 saves to keep his first clean sheet of the campaign
Sergei Zubov (SKA). Produced two assists and spent 22 minutes 52 seconds on the ice against Vityaz.
Andrew Zabolotnev (Torpedo). Scored his first goal for the club, and finished the match with the positive rating.
Dmitry Afanasenkov (Lokomotiv). He scored two against Amur, and finished with a +2 rating.
What they said …
"It doesn’t seem to me that we were badly prepared physically or emotionally. We just made too many mistakes." - CSKA head coach Sergei Nemchinov.
"I don’t want to recall the past." - Atlant head coach Nikolai Borshchevsky, answering a question about the similarities between his first match for Atlant and his debut at Lokomotiv.
"We tried to play as best we can. Maybe at times we weren’t helped by the goalkeeper." - Acting head coach of Severstal Dmitry Kvartalnov.
"Our performances in the first period have already become notorious. But today, thank God, we won!" – Torpedo head coach Sergei Mikhalev.
"We were prepared for a rough game from Vityaz, so from the beginning of the game we were strong enough not to respond to the aggression of our opponents and avoid it." – SKA coach Barry Smith.
"I can’t condemn Alexei Krivchenkov, despite his two fights. It’s part of hockey." – Metallurg Novokuznetsk coach Dmitry Parkhomenko.
Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru