F, Vityaz, 3 G, 6 (3+3) points, +2
The Moscow Region club had a rather demanding week ahead. Yet, they managed to turn difficulties into success, winning two away games of three and losing to Salavat Yulaev only by one goal, scored in the third period’s dying time. One of the top players for Vityaz was Justin Danforth. The Canadian forward, in his debut season in the league, was instrumental. He started the week assisting Mattias Tedenby’s tally in the first period in the 3-4 OT win over Avtomobilist. Then, he was clutch again two days later, posting a double in the 4-1 win over Metallurg. In Ufa, Vityaz didn’t manage to catch another win, but Danforth recorded three points in Saturday’s roller-coaster.
F, Vityaz, 3 G, 6 (2+4) points, +2
The veteran forward, who moved to Vityaz in the offseason after representing Spartak in 2019-2020, also had a breakout season in the team’s away trip. Daugavins started the week in style, scoring in OT in Yekaterinburg after a long solo effort to give Vityaz two critical points in the standings. After posting a helper against Metallurg, Daugavins was in fantastic shape again as he posted a goal and a hat-trick of assists in the rich-in-goals clash between Vityaz and Salavat Yulaev. The Latvian is currently the sixth scorer in the league, with 11 (4+7) points in nine played games.
F, Vityaz, 3 G, 4 (2+2) points, +2
If last week Salavat Yulaev rocked the league with its imports, this time it was Vityaz’s turn. Like Danforth at his debut in the KHL, the Swedish forward had an intense week, with four points in just three games, finally seeming to have found his groove. Tedenby started the operations with a first-period goal against Avtomobilist off a feed from Danforth. Two days later, the Swedish scorer assisted his Canadian linemate in the third period in the away win over Metallurg. On Saturday, Tedenby had another two points, first assisting Danforth in the opening stanza, then scoring himself in the third period. Despite the loss against Salavat Yulaev, Vityaz seems in great shape — especially its top line — and is currently the eighth seed in the Western Conference. This is certainly encouraging for the team, looking to clinch postseason qualification for the third season in a row and the fourth time in five years.
G, Dinamo Minsk, 3 G, 3 W, 91.1%
The Czech veteran had a rocky start of the season, yet Dinamo Minsk’s head coach Craig Woodcroft kept on starting him between the piping. It looks like the coach starts being right, as Furch is now gaining pace for the Belarusian franchise. The Prague native won three games of three last week, allowing less than three goals in the Sunday’s SO win over Traktor just for the second time this year. Moreover, on Friday, Furch had a season-high 39 saves as Dinamo posted a 4-3 away win in Yekaterinburg. With this kind of numbers, it looks like Minsk may count on strong goaltending for the season despite the rocky start.
D, Dinamo Minsk, 3 G, 2 (1+1) points, +5
It was relatively a quiet week for the American forward, who finally opened his goals account in the KHL in Monday’s 5-4 home win over Sibir. On Sep. 25, Menell had yet another assist as Dinamo defeated Avtomobilist, feeding a tally by Shane Prince. The American defenseman was silent in the third game of the week. Eventually, he was named the best blueliner of the week and is currently leading the league in assists by a defenseman, being tied with Charles Genoway and Emil Djuse for the most points by a blueliner. The Belarusian franchise is currently the third seed in the Western Conference, and it looks like they are here to stay.