Great goals, spectacular saves, and crunching hits, starring Boris Sadecky, Nikita Bespalov and Ondrej Vitasek – the KHL is proud to bring you the best moments from the regular season of the tenth Championship.
We open the Top Ten goals with a bit of magic from – Who else? - Pavel Datsyuk. None will forget Philip Larsen's solo effort in the match with HC Sochi. The Salavat Yulaev D-man left all five opposition skaters in his wake before scoring. Avtomobilist forward Anatoly Golyshev is next with a delicious individual goal, finishing with aplomb after bedazzling the defenseman. Sibir might not have made the playoffs, but the Novosibirsk Men gave us no shortage of sparkling goals, including this one from the powerplay unit. Back to Salavat Yulaev for the next strike – the quickness of Teemu Hartikainen's hands deceive the eye.
We start the top five with Valentin Pyanov of Avangard, who picked up a serious injury at the start of the season but still managed to produce one of the year's finest goals. Then we have that grand Granlund goal by CSKA's Sergei Shumakov. Third best came from Jiri Sekac of Ak Bars, with an elegant lift over the goalie into the roof of the net. In runner-up spot is Gilbert Brule of Kunlun Red Star, who seems to be after Datsyuk's “Magic Man” monicker with a dazzling run and deft finish against Metallurg, but our best goal of the first stage of the 10th Championship was scored by Boris Sadecky – surely one of the brightest moments in Slovan's long and glorious history.
SKA's promising young 'keeper Igor Shestyorkin begins our countdown of the best saves of the regular season, ruining the plans of Avangard forward Andre Petersson, and this is followed by an appearance from a very frequent feature of these listings throughout the campaign - Amur's Juha Metsola. In this case, however, the goalie was beaten, but forward Kirill Rasskazov came to the rescue (and might have pondered a change in position). Then we have Vasily Demchenko of Traktor, denying SKA with a fine reaction stop. Spartak goalie Nikita Bespalov is a regular in the weekly Top Tens, and he makes more than one appearance in the best of the regular season laureates, starting with this tricky double save against the Petersburg Army Men. Next is Dmitry Shikin (HC Sochi), who must have feared the worst when he was lying on the ice while the forward was lining up the shot, but he conjured up a very good recovery save.
We begin the top five with yet another save by a skater – Slovan defenseman Ivan Svarny – who showed commendable alertness to rescue his team and break Vityaz hearts, while no doubt capturing those of the Bratislava Boys. Salavat Yulaev's forwards were in similarly confident mood bearing down on the Sibir goal, but Alexander Salak had other ideas. Our bronze medal save of this regular season goes to another masterpiece from Spartak's Bespalov, and the Slovan forward still cannot believe he did not score. Avangard's Dominik Furch got the better of formidable Ufa attacker Linus Omark. Will he foil the great man again during this year's playoffs? The gold medal save goes to none other than Nikita Bespalov. His third and finest stop in our Saves of the Regular Season came against Neftekhimik.
Ivan Vorobyov of HC Sochi gets our Hits of the regular season under way with a fine windmill to deposit his opponent on the bench, followed by Darren Dietz of Barys – the Canadian showed his displeasure with a Dinamo Minsk break by introducing the trespasser to the boards. The listing for the eighth, seventh and sixth-placed efforts sounds like a Dumas novel – the Three Muscovites. Maxim Tsyplakov (Spartak), Evgeny Artyukhin (Dynamo Moscow), and CSKA's Maxim Shalunov all demonstrating a mastery of the physical intervention.
Into the top five with Jan Kovar of Amur, effectively halting SKA's Alexander Barabanov. And in fourth place is Barys forward Anton Sagadeyev, ably patrolling the neutral zone and keeping Vityaz forward Borna Rendulic in check. Nikita Nesterov of CSKA has earned a reputation as a fearsome defenseman, and he showed why against Jokerit. Andrei Zubarev of SKA produced the second-best hit in our Hit Parade, but the finest physical challenge of a very tough season was a mammoth hit from one of the “Mammoths,” namely Ugra D-man Ondrej Vitasek.