Figure of the day
200 wins in Russian championships for Lokomotiv’s head coach Vladimir Vujtek (pictured). The Czech specialist his achieved his double century having been at the helm of three different teams over 312 games. Especially symbolic was that Vujtek reached this milestone with a victory over one of his former team, Dynamo Moscow.
Already ten games this season have served up a feast of eleven goals for delighted hockey fans. And today’s combatants, Amur and Salavat Yulaev, were the fastest scorers of the campaign, with all eleven goals on the board with just 41 minutes 52 seconds on the clock. Even this, however, did not break the KHL record: in the 2008-09 season, Barys and Vityaz shared 11 goals in just 30 minutes and 6 seconds.
Returning to the current championship, we should note that four of the aforementioned ten games featured Salavat Yulaev, but today was the first time Vyacheslav Bykov’s men lost out in an eleven-goal thriller. Previously, the men from Ufa had enjoyed 6-5 wins over Barys, Dinamo Minsk and Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Alexander Yeremenko kept goal in two of those victories and Vitaly Kolesnik in the other, but today at Amur both goaltenders had a spell between the pipes, and they shared the six goals evenly between them.
For the Khabarovsk men it was their second KHL encounter to feature 11 goals, and they enjoyed it a lot more than the first, one year ago, when the Far East club lost 3-8 to SKA.
From 0-2 to 7-2
The men from Dynamo Moscow have scored the first two goals in nine games in the current championship, and today was the first time they have gone on to lose.
It was also the ninth occasion that Lokomotiv began by allowing two goals, but it is the third time they have fought back to win.
As for Dynamo, today’s collapse was the first time this season and only the second time in KHL history that the Muscovites have conceded seven goals. The other occasion was back on the 21 November 2008, when they were unable to withstand an onslaught from Salavat Yulaev, and even then the Ufa side only managed the seventh goal in overtime.
Just in time, before the mini-break for New Year, Vityaz managed to lift themselves out of bottom place in the rankings concerning power play.
For total number of chances to make the man advantage count, the Chekhov side moved to 165, taking them just above Metallurg Novokuznetsk, while their haul of 26 goals (thanks to two scored today) lifts Andrei Nazarov’s team above Amur. We should mention that Vityaz’s power play percentage, 15.8%, is quite healthy, admittedly far behind the leaders on this score (Salavat Yulaev, with 24,5%), but also way ahead of the bottom club (Amur, 11.9%), giving the Chekhov side a respectable 13th place overall.
There is no catching Vityaz, however, when it comes to penalties, be it accumulated penalty minutes or number of times the Chekhov men are left short-handed, on which count their nearest rivals have found themselves a man short on 23 fewer occasions.
Kevin Lalande (Vityaz). Saved 36 shots out of 37 and helped his team end a losing streak of five games.
Marat Kalimulin (Lokomotiv). Supplied the pass for a goal and was rated the most valuable defenseman on the team, earning a +3.
Jaroslav Obsut (Atlant). Despite being on the losing team, he still managed to finish at a +3, and also spent over 23 minutes on the ice – longer than any other skater in the game.
Sergei Zinovyev (Salavat Yulaev). Scored two goals, set up one more, and won almost 60% of his face-offs.
Alexander Nikulin (Amur). Collected four points, with a goal and three assists, and merited a rating of +3.
Alexander Kalyanin (Lokomotiv). Hit six shots at goal, scored a double which included the game-winner, set up another goal and even managed a fight, before finishing at a +2.
Quotes of the day
“My biggest complaint is about our disorganized play in the first period: standing off is a luxury you can’t afford,” Torpedo head coach Vladimir Golubovich.
“As for the goals, I don’t put all the blame on the goalie. Besides, he saved us more than once,” Atlant head coach Milos Riha.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru