G, Avangard, 3 G, 3 W, 94.79%, GAA 1.67
After a rocky start of the season, Hrubec got the ball rolling and posted an excellent week for the Hawks. The Czech goalie started with a fantastic 36-save win over Avtomobilist, with only one goal allowed. On Oct 13, Hrubec led the Hawks to another critical win over an Eastern team, rejecting 24 shots as Avangard defeated Barys 4:1 after Oct 6 0:1 defeat. On Sunday, Avangard and Hrubec stretched their winning streak to four with a 4:3 win over Sibir, with the Czech netminder once again stopping more than 30 shots, recording 31 saves in his seventh win of the season. Avangard is now the sixth seed in the East, and Hrubec’s strong performance is much-needed to Bob Hartley to lead the Hawks to new heights. For his efforts, Hrubec was awarded Best goalie honors last week.
D, Traktor, 4 G, 4 (1+3) points, +4
A perennial KHL top-scorer among defensemen, Bailen had yet another strong week with Traktor, helping Chelyabinsk winning four in a row and scoring as many points, including netting the game-winner on Oct 12 against Admiral. The Southern Urals side is currently the top team in the Eastern Conference, and Bailen is a key member of its defensive corp. The prolific D-man, who will most likely hit 400 KHL games later this season, leads all the league’s blueliners with 18 (4+14) points. For the second time in his career, Bailen is fresh off the Defenseman of the week award.
F, Dinamo Minsk, 3 G, 5 (4+1) points, +4
Another hot KHL team is Dinamo Minsk. In October, the Belarusian franchise had a long winning streak before losing to Spartak on Oct 14 — but has already started a new one defeating Admiral three days later. Stromwall was instrumental for Minsk, posting his first treble in the KHL in Dinamo’s 6-5 OT win over Kunlun Red Star on Tuesday. Moreover, the flamboyant Swedish scorer assisted on Adam Almquist’s tally in OT. Stromwall also had a goal when Dinamo defeated Admiral on Sunday after taking advantage of a helper by his fellow Swedish countryman Mario Kempe. The former Sochi and SKA forward has now an impressive eight goals in ten games, and this is just the start.
G, Barys, 94.37%, GAA 1.85
The Finnish netminder was a shutout master last week, winning both series when he was involved — against Kunlun Red Star and SKA, respectively. The 30-years-old goalie had his first start last week on Friday, when he had 34 stops to help Barys overcome the Dragons. Then, he backstopped the Kazakh franchise to its first-ever road win over SKA with 33 saves. Both wins happened after SO, but they are still worth two points each in the standings as Barys is currently the seventh seed in the East — three points above the playoff line. Moreover, Ortio only needs six Ws to reach the 50-win mark.
D, Ak Bars, 3 G, 3 (2+1) points, +2
The American defenseman is starting delivering for Kazan — he scored twice last week, and added an assist when Ak Bars defeated Salavat Yulaev in the second Green Derby of the season. On Oct 14, Kazan didn’t manage to defeat Magnitka, but Kampfer opened the score in the first period after a feed by Canadian Jordan Weal. The veteran blueliner then scored again on Sunday, when Ak Bars defeated Amur 3:2 OT — Kampfer was the most-iced player of the night. The former Stanley Cup champion is currently on a four-game scoring streak and leads all Kazan d-men with 9 (3+6) points. He’s also logged the most time on ice among Ak Bars players, playing more than 21 minutes a night. Dmitry Kvartalnov’s men are currently in fourth position in the Eastern Conference, but the season is still young and there is time for them to recover.