Admiral, 2 G, 96.05 saves percentage, 1.49 goals-against average
For the second straight week, Olkinuora is among the top international action in the KHL. The gifted Finnish goalie is having a tremendous season with Admiral as he is backstopping the team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2017. Juho Olkinuora started the week with a tremendous, 45-save shutout against Barys in Nur-Sultan, a game that provided Admiral with two crucial points in the standings. Admiral won 0-1 in OT with a goal by Markus Ljungh, while the Finnish netminder delivered a perfect performance with a season-high in saves.
Dynamo Moscow, 3G, 3 (0+3) points, +2
The large-sized defenseman had a solid week, helping Dynamo winning two of three games. Michal Cajkovsky started the week with a stellar performance in the White-and-Blues 6-3 home win over Metallurg on Monday. The Slovakian blueliner posted a pair of helpers and ended the game plus-3, forming a superb defensive pair with the Finnish Juuso Hietanen. Two days later, Cajkovsky assisted Dynamo’s lone goal by Andre Petersson in the 1-2 home defeat in the Moscow derby against CSKA. In his third game of the week, Cajkovsky didn’t post any points, but he helped the White-and-Blues winning an important match against Kunlun Red Star in China. Dynamo is one of the top teams in the Western Conference, and Cajkovsky must go on this way to help his side reaching the playoffs with the home arena advantage.
Dinamo Riga, 3G, 7 (1+6) points, +1
The Latvian side had a positive week, winning two road games and losing at home to Neftekhimik by only one goal. Brandon McMillan was the best player in the team. The Canadian forward had two consecutive three-point games – against Traktor and Barys – helping his team to win, somewhat surprisingly, these games. In the first game, against Traktor in Chelyabinsk, McMillan was instrumental also on the dots, winning more than 70% of his faceoffs. Dinamo Riga’s #88 – who serves as an alternate captain for the team – also had a helper in Sunday’s game, but the team lost to a well-organized Neftkekhimik, who won in Riga for the first time since 2011. If McMillan and the rest of the team keep going on this way, it’s not too late for the Latvian side to try and save the season.
Dinamo Riga, 3 G, 6 (3+3) points, even
McMillan’s linemate Lauris Darzins had a stellar week as well, posting six points and two multi-point games for the Latvian team. The veteran forward was instrumental for Dinamo as they defeated Traktor Chelyabinsk, and he posted a pair of powerplay goals in the second period to lift his side to a three-goal lead. Two days later, Dinamo moved to Nur-Sultan, and Darzins had another multi-point game with a goal and an assist when the Latvian side got out of Kazakhstan with two more points in the standings. When the duo of McMillan and Darzins get its groove, it’s hard for the opposition to contain them, and this may be a good weapon for Dinamo Riga as the team fights for the playoffs.
Admiral, 3 G, 5 (2+3) points, +2
Admiral is on fire recently, and Markus Ljungh is one of the top contributors. After spending most of the first part of the regular season to adapt to his new team, the Swedish forward is now one of the hottest players in the Eastern Conference, having scored seven points in his last five games. Ljungh started the week scoring the lone goal of the match against Barys in OT to give Admiral its fifth straight win. Ljungh added a helper in the SO home loss to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl on Thursday, then delivered another top-notch performance on Saturday when Admiral defeated Severstal with a 5-3 score. This time, the Swedish didn’t post the game-winner but was instrumental in his effort as he posted one goal and two assists for his first three-point game of the season. Admiral’s season has been an incredible journey so far, and the best may be yet to come.