Highlights of the day
Minsk’s flying start
It is now four straight regulation time wins for Dinamo Minsk - the best winning streak in their KHL history. The men from Belarus have enjoyed a couple of episodes when they took points from four successive games: one in the first championship, consisting of two victories and two shoot-out defeats, and a better one last season, made up of four wins: two in regulation time, one in overtime, and one in the shoot-out.
This season’s exploits from Marek Sykora’s team are all the more remarkable in that only one of the four victories came at home.
Problems in defense
Salavat Yulaev today set a less enviable club record – allowing 10 goals in two games. The Ufa men’s worst defensive spell before this was 9 goals conceded over two games, which they have suffered twice – once in each KHL championship. It is also worth noting that the Bashkirian club had never before begun a KHL season with such a weakness at the back. In the first championship they allowed only 4 goals over the opening three games, and let in just 7 in three games in the second season. Another curious statistic: throughout the entire 2009-10 campaign, on only one occasion did Vyacheslav Bykov’s team allow the opposition to score five.
Two goals in two minutes
Tomas Rolinek of Metallurg Magnitogorsk needed only 2 minutes and 15 seconds to strike twice against Ak Bars. Even Rolinek’s lightning-quick double, however, is not even close to breaking the KHL record – if indeed it can be broken. Last season, Dmitry Tarasov of Sibir fired in two goals in just 31 seconds.
Figure of the day
1,695 days have passed since goalie Steve Valiquette (pictured) last kept a clean sheet in a Russian championship. The previous occasion when the current CSKA goalie was unbeaten in a match was back on January 26th, 2006, when keeping goal for Lokomotiv in a game against Spartak.
Vasily Koshechkin (Severstal). Kept his first clean sheet of the season, saving all 21 shots.
Petr Caslava (CSKA). Mission accomplished for the Czech defenseman – his team did not allow a single goal, and he finished the game with an efficiency rating of +2.
Yaroslavl Khabarov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk). Spent almost 20 minutes on the ice, and earned a +2.
Jeff Platt (Dinamo Minsk). Struck the game-winner for already the second time this season, and moreover has now scored points in five successive games.
Jakub Klepis (Salavat Yulaev). First he scored a late leveler, then sealed victory for his team in the shoot-out.
Denis Tolpeko (Dynamo Moscow). Had three shots at the target, one of which resulted in his first goal of the season.
Quotes of the day
“I had no idea what to expect from the team today: flights, the time difference – it’s not easy,” - Dinamo Minsk head coach Marek Sykora.
“We are averaging 35 shots per game. It’s hard to figure out where our attackers’ teeth have gone,” - Amur head coach Alexander Blinov.
“I’m not going to turn my back on our difficulties, and I’ll take the team training tomorrow,” - SKA head coach Ivan Zanatta.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru