Great goals, spectacular saves and the hardest hits, starring Valentin Pyanov, Ilya Yezhov, and Konstantin Pushkaryov – the KHL is proud to bring you the best moments from the very first week of the tenth Championship.
It might surprise some that our first top ten has none of the “Usual Suspects” - Sergei Mozyakin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk – but there is still no shortage of sublime skill from this week's goalscorers. See Kunlun's Brandon Yip scoring while balancing on one leg, or Neftekhimik's Robin Hanzl using his stick like a a pool cue to stab the puck home, or Amur's Vladislav Ushenin skating a cheeky arc to score from between two Salavat Yulaev defensemen. Finally, our pick of the week - Avangard's Valentin Pyanov producing an unstoppable shot straight from the face-off. Watch, and watch again.
The new season had scarcely reached its first weekend when several goaltenders had already shown the kind of grit and determination more characteristic of the playoffs. Mikhail Biryukov of Vityaz fearlessly used his head to beat away a powerful shot, while young Vasily Demchenko of Traktor has made such rapid progress that not even Magnitogorsk's formidable first line can faze him. Gagarin Cup winner Mikko Koskinen cemented his “immovable object” status in a one-on-one duel, and another Vityaz netminder, Igor Saprykin, produced a terrific reaction stop which had his opponent shaking his head in disbelief. The gold medal, however, goes to Neftekhimik's Ilya Yezhov for a heroic double save to deny Admiral.
At last, it's time for the tough guys to show their mettle. In the battle of the army clubs, SKA's Sergei Plotnikov decided CSKA's Matt Robinson should test the resilience of the boards, and another Red Army man, Sergei Svetlakov, felt the full force of Dynamo's Martins Karsums, but top of our “hit parade” for week 1 was this almighty check on Riga's Gunars Skvorcovs by his fellow forward, Konstantin Pushkaryov of Barys.