D, Neftekhimik, 3 G, 4 (2+2) points, +7
Neftekhimik is in good shape as the team is trying to catch up with its rivals in the Eastern Conference as the playoffs approach, and D-man Ryan Murphy was outstanding last week for the Wolves. The 26-years-old from Ontario is having a tremendous season in Nizhnekamsk, and last week was probably the peak of it. Murphy started the week with a three-point performance in Neftekhimik's 4-3 win over Lokomotiv, scoring a goal and assisting another two, including the game-winning one. After a silent game in a precious 4-0 home win over Metallurg (but with the blueliner ending the game with a +2 rating), Murphy scored again on Saturday as the Wolves skated past Admiral with a 6-1 score. The Canadian is currently tied with Damir Sharipzyanov on top of the Neftekhimik's scoring rankings among defensemen with 23 points. Interestingly enough, only four forwards scored more than them. Neftekhimik is currently battling for the last playoffs spot in the Eastern Conference, and the race is still open to any end.
F, Dinamo Minsk, 3 G, 4 (2+2) points, +1
Dinamo Minsk is having a bad season, but there are a few players who are nevertheless playing well. One of them is American forward Shane Prince. At his second season in the KHL, he found his groove in Minsk, where is playing with much more profit than in Novosibirsk last year, and has amassed so far 26 (10+16) points in 51 regular-season games – not a terrible loot playing for a team who won just ten games this year. Prince and Dinamo Minsk started last week defeating Dinamo Riga on the road, with the forward assisting on Ryan Spooner's goal in the second period. After staying silent in a 1-4 loss to Lokomotiv, Prince had another strong performance in a busy 4-6 loss to Avtomobilist on Saturday. The American forward posted a double, scoring his ninth and tenth goals of the season, and assisted on Francis Pare's opening goal in the first frame. Dinamo Minsk lost all the chances to get to the postseason, but Prince is getting ready for the next season in the best possible way.
F, Jokerit, 3 G, 5 (3+2) points, even
The Finnish player was probably the best for Jokerit last week, scoring points in all three games and being the game-winner in the clash against Traktor. Against the Ural franchise, Savinainen first tied the game up in the second period, then had a two-on-one breakout with Brian O'Neill while killing a penalty whistled against Sami Lepisto, and buried the chance with a fast one-timer that won the game for Jokerit.
Two days later, Savinainen scored again – and again with Jokerit down one man – in the victorious road game against Avtomobilist. On Feb. 15, Jokerit faced yet another Ural team when Metallurg visited Helsinki, but this time they lost 3-4 SO. Savinainen had yet another excellent performance, scoring a goal in the first period and picking up an assist in the middle stanza. Jokerit will be a tough team to beat in the playoffs, and Savinainen is one of its players in better shape.
F, Dynamo Moscow, 1 G, 3 (3+0) points, +3
Dynamo Moscow played only once last week, but it was worth it as they put on a show against Dinamo Riga, winning 7-6 OT in one of the most eventful games of the season. Jaskin was silent until midgame when he picked up his first of the night, allowing the Muscovites to cut the gap to one goal. Then, he scored again at the 51st minute after a big assist by Vadim Shipachyov, putting the White-and-Blues temporarily ahead by one goal. Dinamo Riga tied the game back with a last-gasp goal, but in OT, the Shipachyov and Jaskin won the game for Dynamo. The White-and-Blues are currently the fourth seed in the Western Conference, and it will be hard to stop them – especially after picking up Teemu Pulkkinen at the trade deadline.
G, Ak Bars, 2 G, 1 W, 95.55%, 0.97 GAA
The Swedish goalie had a fantastic showing last week, even if he only played twice. Reideborn started the week with a strong performance against Avangard. Adam stopped 28 shots, but it wasn't enough as the Hawks got the upper hand with a SO goal by Taylor Beck. Four days later, on Feb. 15, Ak Bars played better and defeated Spartak with a 4-1 score, with Reideborn once again providing fantastic goaltending to give Kazan a better chance. At his first season in the KHL, Reideborn is forming a strong goaltending duo with Timur Bilyalov – the two are among the best in the league. They are helping Kazan in topping the Eastern Conference standings as the team prepares to revenge last year's first-round sweep.
D, Dinamo Riga, 3 G, 4 (1+3) points, even
The Latvian D-man is progressing year after year, and this time established his record for points scored in the KHL with 13 (5+8). Unfortunately for Balinskis, however, Dinamo Riga is not having a good season, as the team will again miss the playoffs. The Latvian blueliner started the week scoring Dinamo's lone goal in the 1-2 home defeat against Dinamo Minsk. Two days later, Dinamo lost again 1-2 at home, this time against Ak Bars, with Balinskis assisting on Andris Dzerins' marker in the first period. On Feb. 15, Dinamo Riga faced Dynamo Moscow at home, and he replied to Jaskin's hat-trick with a pair of assists – including one on Meija's last-gasp goal – and reliable, 23-minute performance on the blue line. Right now, Dinamo Riga lost all chances for a postseason appearance, but the Latvian players are preparing for the upcoming IIHF World Championship in Switzerland.