Result of the day
Lada Togliatti – Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 1-2. The Togliatti men continue to suffer. Their season has been one misfortune after another and now they find themselves down in the danger zone and face the risk of failing to make the play-offs. Lada have taken only four points from their last seven matches, have problems in the squad, still cannot decide on a goaltender, and are leaking goals.
In the Eastern Conference, the struggle for play-off places promises to be intense. The current top six have probably done enough, but for the remaining two slots a real battle is beginning. Perhaps only Metallurg Novokuznetsk, with their attacking problems, could really be excluded from the contenders, although Dmitri Parkhomenko’s side have 29 points, only 9 adrift of eighth place, and there is still a long way to go. The Novokuznetsk men will need to perform better than their rivals, however, and this will not be easy. In any case, it will be worth watching.
The day’s other matches produced the following results: Metallurg Novokuznetsk– Amur 2-3 OT, Barys – Salavat Yulaev 2-3 SO, Magnitogorsk Metallurg – Traktor 6-0, Torpedo – CSKA 2-4. It was not a good day for the hosts, with four out of five losing.
Defender more dangerous than the attackers
Metallurg Novokuznetsk defenseman Jiri Marusak is his team’s current leader for shots at goal, already firing in 83. To put this total into perspective it is worth noting that second place is occupied by Miloslav Horava, who has only troubled the goaltender 52 times, although Horava has played two games fewer.
Koshechkin breaks his record
Vasily Koshechkin has not conceded a goal for 139 minutes and 40 seconds of play, beating his personal best for the season by 7 minutes. Vasily is not far from the record for the current championship, set by his team-mate Ilya Proskuryakov. Ilya kept his goal intact for 175 minutes и 19 seconds.
Bulyin’s first battle
Metallurg Magnitogorsk defenseman Vladislav Bulyin has fought his first ‘proper’ battle of the season. Once, he tried to start a fight in a game against Dinamo Riga, but his opponent refused a bare-knuckle battle and fell holding his head, resulting in a 12-minute penalty for Bulyin. His confrontation with Martin Grenier, from Traktor Chelyabinsk, was fully-fledged, but also fully punished, with both players banished from the match. If the skirmish was judged as a boxing match, however, then the Chelyabinsk man would probably be awarded a narrow points victory.
Kozlov catches the leaders
Salavat Yulaev attacker Viktor Kozlov is now one of the League’s best players at scoring winning goals. He now has six in total, sharing top spot with Alexei Morozov and Maxim Sushinsky. Interestingly, Morozov and Sushinsky, together with Sergei Mozyakin, were last season’s leaders for dealing the decisive blow, scoring 9 winners each.
Barys defenseman Sergei Gimayev (pictured) is already in his eighth season in the top flight, but until this year had never managed more than one goal in a championship. This time he already has two in his account. Gimayev has appeared for Severstal, Sibir and Dynamo Moscow.
Lada have not beaten Neftekhimik since September 15th, 2007. Since that triumph, the two have met eight times, with Lada losing all of them, gaining just a single point for a defeat in overtime. The clubs seem to favor the score 2-1 to Neftekhimik, producing such a result three times since 2007.
Figures of the day
38 shots at the Metallurg Novokuznetsk goal from Amur players.
31 minutes 15 seconds spent in play by Peter Podhradsky, a personal record for the defenseman.
8 shots at goal by Novokuznetsk Metallurg defenseman Jiri Marusak.
70.6% of 17 face-offs won by Metallurg Magnitogorsk attacker Alexei Kaygorodov.
Vasily Koshechkin (Metallurg Magnitogorsk). Saved 25 shots in the game against Traktor.
Sergei Gimayev (Barys). Scored one goal, fired two shots on target.
Vitaly Shulakov (Amur). Spent just under half an hour on the ice, earning an efficiency rating of +1.
Alexander Radulov (Salavat Yulaev). Scored a goal, made an assist, and spent 20 minutes 28 seconds on the ice.
Vyacheslav Kulemin (CSKA). Made two assists in one match for the first time in his senior career.
Maxim Yakutsenya (Neftekhimik). Scored the decisive goal against Lada.
“We are always leaking goals; if not at the start, then at the end.” – Amur head coach Alexander Blinov.
“It’s a shame that, once again, the team could not produce a leader, someone who can inspire the others to follow him,” – Metallurg Novokuznetsk head coach Dmitry Parkhomenko.
“The goals we scored were not the prettiest, nor the best technique, but they are the goals you need to score in matches like these,” – Barys head coach Andrei Shayanov.
“I think our team needs to score more,” – CSKA head coach Sergei Nemchinov.
Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru