Train without a driver
Lokomotiv’s Kai Suikkanen is the latest coach to lose his job – the ninth already this season. The Yaroslavl management announced that they have terminated the contract of the specialist from Finland, whom they appointed during the pre-season. The team is currently second in the Western Conference table, six points behind the leaders. It is worth noting that last year, under Kai’s fellow Finn Kari Heikkila, Lokomotiv also occupied second place after 21 games, but with one point fewer. The club’s biggest win of the Suikkanen era was 6-1 against Vityaz, and the heaviest defeat was 1-6 at the hands of Salavat Yulaev.
SKA’s Evgeny Nabokov becomes the 25th goaltender this season to boast at least one shutout. Nabokov’s clean sheet today was also the first of the current championship for Petersburg’s army men, ending a run of 31 games (stretching back into last season) in which they had allowed at least one goal.
Today’s 0-7 thrashing was Amur’s heaviest defeat in the team’s KHL history. The Far East club had twice previously been on the receiving end of a 1-7, from Lokomotiv in the first championship and Avangard in the second. However, their defense has seen worse days: last season Amur lost 5-8 to Barys and 3-8 to SKA. Today was also the sixth time in the current campaign that the Khabarovsk men have failed to score.
Figure of the day
Exactly 182 minutes – that is how much playing time goalie Stefan Liv chalked up without allowing a single goal, which means that the Sibir man is just 24 seconds short of this season’s record set by CSKA’s Steve Valiquette.
Stefan Liv (Sibir). Saved 36 shots, helping his team to its fifth straight win.
Ilkka Heikkinen (Sibir). In more than 20 minutes’ playing time he made one assist, scored the game-winner and earned a rating of +1.
Johan Fransson (SKA). Scored a double and finished a +2, having spent 22½ minutes on the ice.
Evgeny Ketov (Severstal). Despite playing on the losing team, he scored two goals and merited a +2.
Petr Cajanek (SKA). Topped up his account with three points: a goal and two assists. Hit three shots at goal and won 7 out of 13 face-offs.
Kirill Knyazev (Spartak). His only shot at goal found the net and brought victory to his team, and earned him a +1 rating.
Quote of the day
“Yes, we are way down in the standings, we have a lot of minuses, but we’re still working on it and we’re not losing heart. We have a mission – to get into the play-offs, and the team will be striving for that,” Amur head coach Sergei Svetlov.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru