F, Vityaz, 2 G, 4 (2+2) points, +3
Mostly thanks to his Sunday’s performance, Kaspars Daugavins is now the top scorer in the league. The veteran forward first helped Vityaz defeat Avangard on Oct. 1 (SO) and then put on a show on Saturday against his former team Dinamo Riga. Vityaz got the best over the Latvian franchise with a 6-1 score, and Daugavins tallied two and had a pair of helpers for a sound home win. The 32-years-old veteran scored four points for the second time in his latest three games.
G, Jokerit, 2 G, 1 W, 92.65%, 2.45 GAA
The Swedish goalie, in his first year in Helsinki, finally started gaining pace. At first, he had a 27-save performance in Balashikha, as Jokerit gained one point losing to Avangard in OT. Then, in his second game of the week, he had a fantastic 36-save win over Lokomotiv in Yaroslavl, providing excellent goaltending and a chance to reach victory that Jokerit didn’t waste. After missing a few games due to their quarantine, the Finn franchise is currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference, and the Helsinki side still has games to recover.
D, Traktor, 2 G, 4 (1+3) points, +2
Traktor lacks some consistency this year, but the Chelyabinsk side seems to have found its pace in the most recent games. Nick Bailen certainly helped Traktor last week, in particular in the game against Dynamo Moscow. On Oct. 1, the American-born defenseman netted the game-winning goal in the third period with a huge one-timer from the blue line. Traktor’s alternate captain also assisted on the team’s opening goal by Lukas Sedlak in the first stanza. Two days before, Bailen had a pair of helpers as Traktor defeated HC Sochi in a tense away game with a 4-2 score. The Chelyabinsk side is currently the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, and Bailen is among the top-scoring defensemen with 8 (4+4) points in 12 games.
F, Jokerit, 3 G, 5 (4+1) points, +4
Jokerit had a tremendous week, winning two games of three and losing to Avangard only after OT. One of the best players for the Jokers was Niklas Jensen. The Danish international, a formidable goalscorer, found the opposition’s crease in all the games, starting with a double in the week’s first game against the Hawks. Two days later, Jensen found the season’s fifth goal against Severstal in Cherepovets after pickpocketing defenseman Vadim Kudako in the offensive zone. On Oct. 3, Jokerit had a huge win in Yaroslavl, with Jensen netting the game-winner deflecting a shoot by Marko Anttila in the second period’s tail. Jokerit is gaining pace, and it won’t be easy for the other Western Conference’s contenders to contain them. Because of his efforts, Jensen was awarded forward of the week honors.
F, CSKA, 2 G, 3 (2+1) points, +3
The Canadian forward had a bit of a slow start of the season, with only two points in the first five games. However, last week something happened, and Leipsic found his groove. He had three points in two games, including a double in the fantastic Moscow derby won by CSKA with a 5-4 score. With the teams tied at four, Leipsic — who already had a tally in the second period — got the full advantage as the puck ricocheted on Sergei Shirokov’s legs to win it all for the Red Army in the third period. Two days later, in CSKA’s 4-2 away win over Avangard, the Canadian forward assisted Nikolay Goldobin’s first snipe of the season, and the eventual game-winning goal. The Red Army is now marching on the top of the Western Conference standings with 21 points in 12 games.
F, Ak Bars, 2 G, 3 (2+1) points, even
After a fantastic performance in the Opening Cup victory over CSKA, the Frenchman kind of slowed down his production, scoring only one assist in three games, then missing almost twenty day of actions. However, after his return, his production skyrocketed. Da Costa started strong with a goal and an assist against Torpedo. In the 2-4 loss, the 31-years-old forward first netted his second goal of the season in the first period, then assisted Nigel Dawes’ tally in the second period. Two days later, Ak Bars suffered another loss, but Da Costa was the last to surrender, scoring the game’s last goal in the 3-4 loss. At this point, Kazan is in a three-game losing streak, but when Da Costa is in this kind of shape, anything can happen. Ak Bars is currently the second seed in the Eastern Conference, trailing Avangard by only two points.