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From a Finnish defenseman making a fast start on his return to the KHL to a veteran coach leading his new charges up the table, it’s been a good week for people taking on new roles. And we’ve seen more club records for Avtomobilist and Spartak in another high-scoring week of hockey action.

Lehtonen settles in fast

Life in the KHL clearly suits Finnish defenseman Mikko Lehtonen. After two successful spells with Jokerit, he returned to the league in the colors of SKA and wasted no time in making an impact. The 27-year-old two-way D-man had a goal and two helpers on his debut, playing a big part in a 5-1 win over SKA. Since then, he also played in further road wins at Dinamo Riga and Dynamo Moscow.

Lehtonen strikes on KHL return. October 25 round-up

A change is as good as a rest?

When Swedish forward Anton Wedin left Sibir after scoring just two points in 14 games, nobody was greatly surprised. When he arrived at Dynamo Moscow, though, eyebrows were raised. But he seems to be settling in well. In his third game for the Muscovites, he scored his first goal for the team. That goes with an assist against SKA in his previous game, meaning he’s matched his total for Sibir in just three games in Blue-and-White. However, there’s downside: so far, both points have come in Dynamo defeats.

Nazarov takes effect

Sochi’s new head coach Andrei Nazarov seems to have found a way to turn the team’s fortunes around. The Leopards won all three games last week and have now taken at least a point from each of the last five. That is good enough to move off the foot of the Western Conference. Chopping and changing the coaching staff is, at best, a high-risk strategy, but this time it seems that the Sochi management are reaping the rewards.

Big day for Avtomobilist

Avtomobilist’s 8-0 victory over Kunlun Red Star on Sunday set a new club record in the KHL era. Previously, the club had posted seven-goal margins, with an 8-1 success against Slovan in 2013 and, more recently, a 7-0 triumph against Red Star last season. Stephane Da Costa posted his 300th KHL point in the rout of the Chinese team, while the unfortunate Dragons slipped to the heaviest loss in their history.

Shirokov’s swift scoring

Spartak captain Sergei Shirokov led from the front in his team’s 5-3 victory over Torpedo. Not only did his hat-trick turn a 1-3 deficit into a winning lead, it was also the Red-and-Whites’ quickest treble in the KHL. From making it 2-3 to potting the empty net goal that sealed the deal, Shirokov needed just 15 minutes, 36 seconds. Team mate Alexander Khokhlachyov previously held the record on 16:22.

Dietz the avenger

When Barys went to Admiral, Mark Verba was a constant thorn in the Kazakh team’s side. He delivered six hits in the game — one more than the entire visiting contingent between them — and eventually incurred the wrath of Darren Dietz. The Barys captain eventually decided to take matters into his own hands, kicking off the fight of the week in the KHL. Barys won the game 4-1.

Agostino talks up Nemirovsky’s coaching

Torpedo’s uneven start to the season has some pundits questioning whether head coach David Nemirovsky is the man for the job. But there’s little doubt within the camp, according to summer signing and leading scorer Kenny Agostino. The 19-year-old American forward, who has 19 (12+7) points this season so far, is full of praise for the man in charge. 

“He has a great hockey mind and I think his systems work,” Agostino said in an exclusive interview with “And then, I think he’s just a good person. He’s easy to talk to, which I think is an underrated quality in this day and age. He has an open door policy ... and you don’t feel that you’re being told what to do all the time. It’s encouraging to play for a guy like that. You’re going into every game together.”

The Faceoff: Kenny Agostino

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