Take your partners…
With the final day of the regular championship we can take a look at all the pairings for the first round of the Gagarin Cup and we see that even in the KHL some things never change: Ak Bars will face Barys for the third season running. Both previous series ended with Ak Bars romping to a 3:0 triumph.
Dynamo Moscow and Dinamo Riga were paired together in the first KHL championship with the Russians emerging victorious, also with a 3:0 whitewash.
SKA and Spartak met that same year, and the Muscovites proved the strongest in all three games.
As for Avangard and Neftekhimik, they went head-to-head in the previous championship, and this series also finished 3:0, with the Nizhnekamsk men progressing.
It is the first time in the play-offs for Dinamo Minsk and, of course, the KHL new boys Yugra.
Radulov surpasses Mozyakin
Salavat Yulaev’s Alexander Radulov (pictured) can celebrate becoming the regular season’s highest scorer, with a total of 80 points (20 goals and 60 assists) from 54 games. Alexander has also set a new KHL record: the top spot in the first two championships went to Sergei Mozyakin, who notched 76 and 66 points respectively.
In contrast, the title of top sniper has changed hands every year. This time it goes to Roman Cervenka with 31 goals – the lowest total to date. Jan Marek in the first championship and Marcel Hossa in the second both needed 35 goals to become the League’s most lethal marksman.
Figure of the day
500 games in national championships for 45-year-old referee Sergei Karabanov, the most experienced official in the KHL. He reached the milestone with today’s game between CSKA and Salavat Yulaev, and Karabanov can continue his career at the top level for another four and a half seasons.
Key players of the regular season
Dominik Hasek (Spartak). Kept his goal intact in 7 games, the highest total of the season.
Karel Rachunek (Lokomotiv). The highest-scoring defenseman, with 46 points from 50 outings.
Deron Quint (Traktor). Scored 21 goals, more than any other defenseman.
Alexei Morozov (Ak Bars). The most valuable player of the season, earning a rating of +27.
Jeff Platt (Dinamo Minsk). Shares with Roman Cervenka the honor of scoring the most game-winners (7), helping his team claim a play-off spot for the first time.
Pavol Demitra (Lokomotiv). In his debut season in the KHL he played in every game and assisted on 43 goals.
Quote of the day
“I was worried that Metallurg would thrash us here, because our games with Traktor and Salavat took so much out of us, the players and all of us were really drained. Apart from that, if you remember, I said that making the play-offs called for a little celebration,” Dinamo Minsk head coach Marek Sykora.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru