Result of the day
Barys Astana – Traktor Chelyabinsk 3-5. While there were more illustrious matches in day’s program, it is the Chelyabinsk club’s victory which catches the eye. Andrei Nazarov has had his full share of problems. In summer he found himself in conflict with the fans, then came the news of no increase in the budget.
This result ends a run of nine matches without a regulation time win, including a disastrous sequence of four straight defeats with a combined goal difference of 2:24
Hotheads, of course, quickly demanded the coach’s resignation, somehow forgetting that only two years ago Traktor was one of the league's most entertaining teams and consistently made it into the play-off zone. Give Nazarov his due: he kept his head when all around were losing theirs. He’s lost his nerve just once, avoiding the press-conference after the 0-7 defeat to HK MVD, but many others would have done the same.
In the day’s other matches, Ak Bars edged past Moscow Dynamo in overtime, 2:1, Salavat Yulayev also needed overtime to beat Avtomobilist, 4:3, Metallurg Magnitogorsk earned two points in Omsk, beating Avangard in a shoot-out, 2:1, Dinamo Riga lost at home to Lada Togliatti, 2:3, and Neftekhimik comfortably beat Dinamo Minsk, 4:1.
One third of attacking force
In the game between Ak Barc and Dynamo Moscow, the away side’s most active attacker was the defenseman, Denis Denisov, firing seven shots on goal, even more surprising given his team managed just 21 in total. Denis is second among Dynamo defensemen for shots on goal, but only fourth for success rate - 7% of his strikes resulting in goals.
Another step towards the record
Dinamo Minsk continue to add to their collection of goals conceded into an empty net. Neftekhimik’s Igor Polygalov became the seventh player to strike the puck into an unguarded Minsk goal. Dinamo need only to concede one more to equal the record, set by the Torpedo last year. As this season has not even reached the halfway point, it is not unthinkable that Torpedo’s ‘achievement’ could even be doubled.
Attacker Alexander Chernikov has become the first Lada player this season to make three assists in one match. All through his career, the forward has preferred to pass the puck than score himself. In 185 matches in the Superleague and KHL he has made 41 assists, considerably more than his 25 goals.
No shortage of short-handed goals
After Avtomobilist defenseman Vladislav Otmakhov scored against Salavat Yulayev, there remains only one club in the KHL still without a short-handed goal - Avangard. They could learn from Barys, who lead the way with 5.
Metallurg on best behavior
The Magnitogorsk team set a club record by losing only two penalty minutes in the game with Avangard - much less than in any of Valeri Belousov’s side’s games this season, the Ural men averaging over 13 minutes per game. And only three players are still yet to be penalized, although these have hardly featured this season. They are Evgeny Gladskikh, Jan Marek (has just featured three times following his injury) and goaltender Alexander Pechursky (one and a half period played).
Figures of the day
43 shots at the Avtomobilist goal by Salavat Yulayev.
27 minutes 5 seconds on the ice for Salavat Yulayev defenseman Dmitry Kalinin.
83.3% of 18 face-offs won by Riga Dinamo forward Janis Sprukts.
9 shots on the Traktor goal by Barys’s Kevin Dallman.
Ilya Proskuryakov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk). Not only saved 34 shots, but also was unbeaten in the shoot-out.
Deron Quint (Neftekhimik). One goal, one assist, a +1 and the most time in play for a defenseman – 18 minutes 48 seconds.
Vladislav Otmakhov (Avtomobilist). A short-handed goal, an assist, and a +2.
Alexander Chernikov (Lada). Three assists in one match.
Konstantin Kasyanchuk (Traktor). Scored a short-handed goal, made an assist, and finished the match with +2.
Alexander Radulov (Salavat Yulayev). Struck the winning goal in overtime and made two assists.
"We think Galimov shows more consistency in his play", – Ak Bars head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.
"It is terrible, having put in so much work, to lose to Moscow Dynamo and Riga Dinamo, especially the latter," – Neftekhimik head coach Vladimir Krikunov.
"It wasn’t easy for us today, since in the morning practice session we lost two players, and we had a young defenseman having to play in attack," – Avtomobilist head coach Marek Sykora.
"Professionals are different from amateurs in that this is our job, and we must give everything in every match," – Traktor head coach Andrei Nazarov.
"Maybe this defeat will put us in a better frame of mind," – Barys head coach Andrei Shayanov.
Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru