Great goals, spectacular saves and the hardest hits, starring Nikita Tryamkin, Georgy Berdyukov and Jan Kolar – the KHL is proud to bring you the best moments from the third week of the tenth Championship.
It is never a good idea to lose possession in the vicinity of your own net, and it is doubly unwise when Linus Omark is on the prowl. Vityaz made just such a fatal error against the Ufa team, and the Swedish magician gratefully gathered the puck, bided his time, and provided the killer pass to Finnish forward Teemu Hartikainen.
In fact, this was a week of sublime assists. Witness Avandgard's Martynov in Bratislava setting up 20-year-old forward and Rookie of the Week Dmitry Zhukenov for his first KHL goal, plus Barys's Vey to Dietz, Neftekhimik's Sergeyev to Sexton, Sochi's Garbutt to Padakin, and a wonderful combination from the Sibir powerplay unit.
But there were heroic solo strikes, too, such as the goal from Avtomobilist forward Evgeny Chesalin, who left four Amur players in his wake before firing home from close range, and it was his team-mate, defenseman Nikita Tryamkin, who in the match against Ak Bars clinched our Goal of the Week title with the kind of darting, dashing run which evoked memories of Summit Series star Alexander Yakushev.
All the skills in the goaltender's arsenal were on display over these past seven days. Traktor's Pavel Francouz showed admirable coolness to produce a double save to end a frantic melee around his goal. The Czech netminder has featured in all three Top Tens of the new season.
In contrast, young Sergei Kudryavtsev of Barys was only playing in his second KHL match when he stood his ground in the face of a one-on-one duel and produced a superb stop to thwart Salavat Yulaev danger man Linus Omark. Another youngster making his debut in our Saves of the Week was Dynamo Moscow's Ivan Bocharov, who took on the role of immoveable object to deny the star-studded offense of crosstown rival CSKA.
Anton Todykov of Vityaz took the honors for the finest acrobatic display with a marvelous stick save against Sibir, but all factors considered, the best save of Week 3 came from Amur defenseman Georgy Berdyukov, with his desperate, sliding rescue when all seemed lost. Such athleticism and reaction speed would surely delight any goaltending coach.
Many predicted victory for CSKA in the Moscow Derby but the contest was much closer than most pundits predicted, thanks in part to spirited resistance in the physical battles. Our list features mighty hits from Denis Kazionov on Greg Scott, Evgeny Artyukhin on Artyom Blazhiyevsky, and last week's winner Martins Karsums on Alexei Marchenko. Amur defenseman Georgy Berdyukov has been multi-tasking, producing our save of the week in addition to patrolling the rest of the ice, and he makes our “hit list” with a crunching challenge on Avtomobilist's fearsome forward Alexei Mikhnov, a man more accustomed to being the enforcer, not the recipient. Dinamo Riga's Canadian defenseman Karl Stollery put a stop to Evgeny Ketov's blindside break in very forceful fashion, but our winner this week is Berdyukov's team-mate at Khabarovsk, Jan Kolar. The defenseman from the Czech Republic makes two appearnaces in this week's list, and takes the gold medal for the impressive way he informed Avtomobilist forward Alexander Torchenyuk that he was not allowed to trespass in Amur's zone.