G, Spartak, 3 G, 2 W, 1 shutout, 98.00%, 0.65 GAA
Spartak had a rocky start of the season, but last week, the Red-and-Whites were rock-solid and got points in all games, only losing to Lokomotiv after SO when Hudacek posted a career-high 48 saves. The Slovakian netminder returned to be his former self and was nearly unbeatable, posting a 98.00% saves percentage and allowing an average of just 0.65 goals per game. After the shutout in Yaroslavl (following a shutout in Minsk in last week’s closing game), Hudacek had another remarkable performance, saving 14 shots as Spartak defeated SKA with a 4-1 score in St. Petersburg. The Slovakian goalie played lights out three days later as well, when the Red-and-Whites had another 4-1 victory, this time against Sochi. Hudacek stopped 37 shots and cemented his status as one of the best goalies in the league. The Slovak netminder was awarded goalie of the week honors.
D, Amur, 4 G, 4 (3+1) points, +1
Amur’s captain was on fire in the Oct. 24 game against Ak Bars. Against his former team, the Czech blueliner posted a hat-trick in an incredible 7-1 triumph for the Tigers. Jordan, 30, is in his fourth season on the Amur river’s shores, was never known for his offensive play, but he found the back of the net so easily against Ak Bars that he almost looked like a consumed forward. Jordan also had an assist in Amur’s home loss against Traktor on Sunday. The Khabarovsk franchise is currently the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference — the playoffs are only a point ahead, the Tigers will try to roar their way to the postseason. Michal Jordan was awarded defenseman of the week honors.
D, HC Sochi, 4 G, 4 (1+3) points, +1
The Black Sea franchise didn’t have its best week, but the Swedish blueliner had a good one — in particular, when Sochi defeated Vityaz with a 5-2 away win. The 30-years-old defenseman finally posted his first points of the season, first assisting Dmitri Kolgotin’s double and then scoring a powerplay tally in the third period. Rundblad confirmed to be in good shape two days later when he had a helper in Sochi’s lone goal of the game, scored by Amir Garayev. Despite Rundblad’s efforts, however, Sochi is currently the second last seed in the Western Conference. The team has already changed its head coach, and it is needed much more to get back into consideration for postseason qualification.
F, Metallurg, 2 G, 4 (3+1) points, +1
The former Gagarin Cup champions are yet to find their best shape as Metallurg lacks consistency, but some of the players are having a great season, and one of them is Harri Pesonen. The Finnish forward was instrumental for Metallurg in the away game against Severstal on Friday. With the Foxes down by two goals in the third period, Pesonen netted a pair before Taylor Beck’s game-winner with less than three minutes to go. A couple of days before, Pesonen had another multi-point game, posting a goal and an assist in Metallurg’s 6-4 loss to Kunlun Red Star. The 32-years-old forward has finally got his motor going, and this is bad news for the other Eastern Conference clubs. Metallurg is currently the fourth seed on the East, and the Foxes will be a difficult client in the postseason.
G, Lokomotiv, 2 G, 2 W, 1 shutout, 97.73%, 0.48 GAA
After returning from his injury, the Canadian netminder is playing at an incredible level and is currently leading the league with a 96.4% saves percentage, four shutouts, and a fantastic 0.87 goals-against average. Pasquale started the week with a superb goaltending duel against Spartak’s Julius Hudacek. The Railwaymen got the best over Spartak only after SO, and Pasquale had 28 saves to complete his second straight shutout after a 15-save performance against Dinamo Minsk. On Oct. 24, Pasquale once again was instrumental for Lokomotiv as they defeated Neftekhimik with a 5-1 score in Nizhnekamsk. At the moment, Pasquale is a prime candidate for the KHL’s annual best goalie honors. Lokomotiv is the third see in the Western Conference, and the team led by Andrei Skabelka on the bench looks like a strong candidate for postseason success.
F, Jokerit, 2 G, 5 (0+5) points, +2
Last week, the American forward once again demonstrated an excellent eye for the pass, posting five assists in just two matches. In particular, O’Neill had an incredible set-up night in Nur-Sultan on Oct. 21, when he had four assists as the Finnish franchise rallied up and won after being down 4-0 with less than 17 minutes to the horn. O’Neill also assisted on David Sklenicka’s game-winner in OT. The 32-years-old veteran is now leading the league with 15 assists and a +18 rating. The Finnish franchise is currently the fifth seed in the Western Conference but only played 15 games so far due to the problematic pandemic situation.