On the move
The hockey world’s attention today was not only focused on events out on the ice, but also in the clubs’ offices, as the close of the January transfer window at 24:00 Moscow Time edged ever nearer.
Of those players that were successfully traded before the deadline, some will be getting to know their new team’s territory, while others will be hurrying to join their new comrades on the road, but the shortest move was surely that made in Novokuznetsk by Metallurg’s top scorer Alexander Golovin (left of photo), who after the game simply needed to move from one changing room to the other, as he had joined the visitors, Spartak.
Interestingly, in this game Golovin managed to score against his future employers, although they are sure to forgive him as his goal was not enough to prevent the Muscovites securing all three points to book their berth in the play-offs.
Severstal can still boast of being one of only three teams left in the League which has not suffered a defeat in a shootout, as the Cherepovets men notched their third series win of the season. All three featured Josef Straka, while Yury Trubachev and Ondrej Nemec have been called up twice and Alexei Tsvetkov has taken part in one. Nemec has failed to score with both his attempts, but the remaining trio has a deadly return of five goals from six shots (with the sole mishap by Straka). Between the pipes, the Cherepovets specialist is Vasily Koshechkin – on duty for all three series, saving seven attempts out of eight.
As well as Dmitry Kvartalnov’s outfit, the other teams which have yet to lose a post-game shooting duel are the men of Nizhnekamsk (2 shootout series) and Novosibirk (4); moreover, Neftekhimik face a visit to Cherepovets in three weeks’ time.
Remember that no team in either of the previous two KHL championships has ever gone an entire season unbeaten in shootouts.
Figure of the day
46 shots at the Amur goal from the Severstal players. The Khabarovsk defensemen have quite often allowed their opponents to give the goaltender such a torrid time: on 17 occasions in the current championship the Amur netminder has faced a bombardment of 40 shots or more, and twice the total has exceeded the half century: Alexei Murygin saved 50 shots out of 52 from Avangard, and Yann Danis stopped 46 from 52 against Salavat Yulaev.
Jakub Stepanek (SKA). Saved 33 shots out of 34.
Anton Belov (Avangard). No points, but was rated the most valuable player in the game, earning a +3.
Alexander Budkin (Spartak). Started with an assist, and then scored the goal which sealed victory and secured his team’s place in play-offs.
Oleg Gubin (Spartak, right of photo). Scored a double and won over 66% of his face-offs.
Alexander Nikulin (Amur). His figures matched those of Gubin: more ice time than all but one of his fellow forwards, two goals, and over 66% of face-offs won.
Jaromir Jagr (Avangard). Scored one goal and assisted on two more.
Quotes of the day
“Firstly, the guys didn’t go to pieces after quickly going 0-2 behind, and secondly, we can be proud of the hockey we played after that,” Sibir head coach Andrei Tarasenko.
“Today we sealed the exchange deal where we get Alexander Golovin for Mikhail Ryazanov and we’re still working, there’s still time, and I think we’ll get another defenseman. Ryazanov is a great pro; we’re getting a quality player so in a swap we have to lose a quality player. But his problem is that for a month he’s been recovering from injury,” Spartak head coach Andrei Yakovenko.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru