F, Salavat Yulaev, 3 G, 7 (3+4) points, +2
F, Salavat Yulaev, 3 G, 6 (3+3) points, +4
F, Salavat Yulaev, 3 G, 4 (1+3) points, +3
Salavat Yulaev’s Finn troika is now ruling the league. It was especially true in the Sep. 15 game against Torpedo, when the line scored five from six Ufa’s goals in the night. Teemu Hartikainen, who was just named the KHL’s best forward of the week, then scored Salavat Yulaev’s lone goal in the 1-4 defeat against Ak Bars, then had an assist as the Bashkirian franchise defeated Kunlun Red Star 3-2 SO in Mytishchi. Markus Granlund and Sakari Manninen also had two points each in the games against Ak Bars and Kunlun Red Star. Thanks to the Finns top line’s incredible efforts, the team led by Tomi Lamsa is now the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference — just one point shy of Avangard and Avtomobilist, who are currently topping the East with 13 points.
Last week, another Finnish player, Juuso Hietanen, was awarded Best Defenseman honors.
F, Ak Bars, 2 G, 2 (1+1) points, +1
It wasn’t the best week ever for Justin Azevedo, yet it was an important one as in the Sunday’s match against Sochi, the Canadian forward netted his 100th regular-season goal in the KHL. He then became the 60th player in the league’s history to score 100 goals in the regular season, but he only needed 376 games to achieve the milestone. If considering overall totals, Azevedo has 132 career goals, good for the 33rd place in the all-time standings.
Kazan is now the fifth seed in the East, but they are like Salavat Yulaev sitting at 12 points, just one point shy of the Conference’s leaders.
F, Dynamo Moscow, 3 G, 4 (4+0) points, +1
After a rocky start of the season, Dmitrij Jaskin and Dynamo Moscow are rebounding. The Blue-and-Whites are currently on a four-game winning streak, with Jaskin playing in grand style as he was doing last year.
After being silent in Dynamo’s 4-2 downing of Amur on Tuesday, Jaskin netted his second career treble when the team led by Vladimir Krikunov defeated Sibir 4-2 in Novosibirsk on Thursday. On Sunday, Dynamo thrashed Spartak with a 5-0 score. The forward opened the score in the first period with a powerplay goal assisted by D-men Juuso Hietanen and Michal Cajkovsky. Jaskin’s Dynamo is currently the fifth seed in the Western Conference with eight points in seven games.
D, SKA, 3 G, 4 (0+4) points, +2
The 26-years-old blueliner from Stockholm is having a tremendous second year in the league, with a highlight performance in the third week of play. The D-man started with an assist in SKA’s 3-4 defeat against Avangard, then had another helper when the Armymen defeated Spartak in Moscow with a 2-0 score.
However, his best game was yet to come. In a home clash against Torpedo, Lukas Bengtsson assisted both SKA’s goals as the team led by Valery Bragin rallied over Nizhny Novgorod after an early goal by newcomer Vadim Pereskokov. The defenseman is also leading SKA with 21 minutes and 16 seconds spent on the ice on average.
F, Kunlun Red Star, 2 G, 2 (2+0) points, −1
In the first game of his return to the KHL after representing Dinamo Riga in 2017-2018, Kristo posted a double. That night, however, the Chinese franchise lost to Avtomobilist in Mytishchi with a 2-5 score. The fast-paced forward showed great shape and excellent adaptability as he managed to score only two minutes after the inaugural faceoff.
However, in the second game of the week, the American forward was silent, but Kunlun gave Salavat Yulaev a great battle, capitulating only after SO. It will be a long season for Kunlun, but Danny Kristo can become one of its go-to players in the offensive zone when the team needs a goal in the critical minutes.