The greatest goals, the most spectacular saves and the hardest hits: KHL.ru brings you the best action from the ninth week of the Championship.
A superb display of courage, athleticism, and skill ensured that this week’s numero uno is Alexander Semin of Metallurg Magnitogorsk. He received the puck out wide in his own zone, set off into enemy territory and surged inside, past one Amur defenseman, then a second, then collided with a third, but somehow managed to slap the puck home while falling to the ice. The best goal of the week from one of the finest players in the world.
In a similar vein, Dinamo Riga’s American forward Patrick Mullen received possession in his own zone and charged forward on a solo break, seemingly oblivious to the Spartak D-men’s frantic attempts to intercept him, before coolly slotting the puck under the goalie. A wonderful effort, and fully deserving of second place in this week’s compilation.
In third place is Valery Nichushkin’s super finish to a sublime combination. Jan Mursak found himself behind the goal, facing the boards and the subject of considerable attention from the Novokuznetsk defense, but he skated a graceful arc around the goal and threaded a pinpoint pass to Nichushkin who was lurking unmarked at the far post. The 21-year-old made no mistake with the finish.
Young Lokomotiv forward Yegor Korshkov might well have already been planning his goal celebration when he found himself one-on-one with Barys netminder Henrik Karlsson, but the experienced Swede found time to produce a rapid reaction save. It still needed the timely intervention of defenseman Dmitry Grents to stop the puck from crossing the goal line, but this super stop earns third prize.
Having shared with Grents the bronze, Karlsson also takes this week’s silver, and this was certainly all his own work. The hapless Dynamo forward is probably still wondering how he failed to score. The answer: flawless positioning and great agility from Karlsson. See for yourself.
This week’s gold goes to Amur’s Juha Metsola, and there was more than a touch of magic about the Finn’s exploits here. Traktor forward Alexander Chernikov was about to routinely tap into an empty net when Metsola, with a desperate acrobatic lunge, somehow got the tip of his stick into the puck’s path and swiped it away to safety. Few wizards’ wands have produced such magic, and only a brave man would bet against this save appearing in the Best of the Season list.
Neftekhimik defenseman Evgeny Ryasensky decided to halt his opponent’s progress by use of his hip. It worked out as planned, and there’s no need to ask the Slovan man whether he felt it. And while many of us claim we feel we have run up against a brick wall at times, the metaphor is especially apt for the unlucky Barys forward who collided with Dynamo Moscow’s formidable Canadian Mat Robinson. First place, however, goes to CSKA defenseman Konstantin Alexeyev. Sibir forward Artyom Voroshilo decided that a foray along the boards was the best route to goal, but Konstantin spotted the danger, and as they say in the cowboy movies, “headed him off at the pass.” Crunch!