F, Ak Bars Kazan, 3 G, 2 (1+1) points, even
D, Barys Nur-Sultan, 2 G, 2 (2+0) points, +3
One of the top imports ever to play in the league, Nigel Dawes swapped teams and cities this offseason, moving from Yekaterinburg to Kazan. The veteran forward posted an assist in the Opening Cup game against CSKA, won by Ak Bars in OT, then was silent as Kazan was shut out as Vityaz grabbed an unexpected 4-0 away win. However, two days later, Kazan won another big match as they defeated SKA with a 3-2 score. In OT, Dawes, who had five shots on goal that night, needed less than a minute to decide the game’s fate. After a shot that went wide of the net, Stephane Da Costa picked up the puck and sent it to Dawes again, who didn’t miss from close in, defeating Alexander Samonov glove-side. The OT winner was Dawes’ 268th goal in the league.
Darren Dietz, a defenseman from Medicine Hat, is also regularly among the leaders in scoring for his team. The Barys’ blueliner posted two consecutive goals for the Kazakh franchise, including the game-winner in the season opener against Dinamo in Riga.
Two days later, Barys moved to Minsk, but the result was different as Dinamo defeated the Kazakh franchise in OT. However, Dietz’s contribution didn’t change as he scored the 4-4 goal late in the third period. Moreover, the D-man finished the week with a plus-3 rating.
G, Avtomobilist, 2 G, 98.4%, 0.50 GAA, 1 shutout
The Czech goalie started the season with the right foot as he posted a tremendous 62 saves out of 63 shots in the first two games. Moreover, in the game against Spartak, Jakub Kovar posted his 38th career shutout.
This kind of performance is a further testament of Kovar’s position as one of the league’s top goalies, and his shutout streak is now at more than 90 minutes.
Magnus Paajarvi Svensson
F, Lokomotiv, 2 G, 4 (2+2) points, +3
The Yaroslavl-based franchise had a tremendous start of the season, getting rid of Spartak and Amur at home with nine scored goals. The Railwaymen’s highlight player was Magnus Paajarvi Svensson. The 29-years-old forward had a three-point performance in the opener against Spartak, netting a powerplay goal in the second period that eventually became the game-winner. Then, he assisted both Korshkov’s tallies in the third period.
Two days later, Lokomotiv had another W, this time over Amur. The Railwaymen had a more challenging time finding the opposition’s crease, yet they scored two, with one coming from Paajarvi’s stick.
F, Avangard, 2 G, 2 (2+0) points, even
It can be said that Reid Boucher is already doing what he was signed for: scoring goals. Moreover, he’s not limiting to mere goalscoring, but he netted two consecutive game-winners, if that’s not enough, in his first KHL games. The 27-years-old native of Michigan started the season in style, scoring the lone goal in the derby against Sibir, finishing a powerplay stint set up by Corban Knight and Sergei Tolchinsky. On Sep. 5, Boucher repeated himself with a first-period powerplay tally against Dynamo Moscow. Despite the early time, it was the game’s last goal and the deciding one. If Boucher continues scoring at this pace, he will be a prime candidate for the goalscoring crown, and Avangard, a contender in the Eastern Conference.