G, Traktor, 2 G, 2 W, 95.59%, 1.50
The Czech netminder was instrumental for Traktor last week before the New Year pause, and the Chelyabinsk side clinched a playoff spot as the second team in the East after Metallurg. The Czech netminder started his week with a 19-save performance in Traktor’s 4:2 win in Sochi. He then had another superlative performance when he posted 46 saves as Chelyabinsk downed the Hawks with a 3:1 score. It was Will’s second most-saves performance in his KHL career after rejecting 51 shots in a 2:0 shutout victory over Amur on Oct 7.
Thanks to his efforts, Will was awarded Goalie of the week honors.
D, Jokerit, 2 G, 5 (2+3) points, +4
Holm had a tremendous week for Jokerit the last time around, posting five points in just two games — both won by the Jokers. The Swedish defenseman, in his third year in the KHL, recorded a five-point performance in Jokerit’s 7:1 thumping of Kunlun Red Star. Holm opened the score after just two minutes of play, then made it a 4:1 game, netting his tenth of the season. He also assisted on Nicklas Jensen’s game-winner in the middle stanza. Holm then logged almost nineteen minutes of ice time when the Jokers triumphed in Moscow over CSKA with a 3:2 score. For his efforts, Holm was awarded Defenseman of the week honors, and, winning in Moscow, Jokerit climbed up to the third place in the Western Conference standings.
D, Ak Bars, 2 G, 2 (1+1) points, +2
In his only third game in the KHL, Barberio opened his goal-scoring account in Ak Bars’ 5:1 win in Yekaterinburg. Late in the third period, Artyom Lukoyanov worked a puck around the right boards. Then, Ak Bars’ captain Danis Zaripov picked it up and skated to the slot. There, after a swift maneuver, the veteran faked a shot and moved the puck to the left to a rushing Barberio. The defenseman only had to bury the chance on a fast close-range one-timer. Earlier in the opening frame, Barberio had his first KHL point in Mikhail Glukhov’s 2:0 tally. The Canadian d-man was a deadline strengthening for the Kazan franchise, and it looks like the investment is starting to pay off for Ak Bars.
F, Vityaz, 2 G, 4 (1+3) points, +3
Vityaz’s season has been rocky so far, but the Finnish imports had a tremendous year — including Miro Aaltonen. The veteran of five KHL seasons recorded 36 points so far — he’s on pace to at least surpass his 2018-2019 42 points, his second-best career performance. The Finn productive forward posted a hat-trick of assists on Dec 30, when Vityaz came out of Sochi with a 4:3 win — Aaltonen also assisted on Stepan Starkov’s game-winner late in the third period. Earlier in the week, he won the game for Vityaz against Severstal tallying his ninth of the season in OT for Vityaz’s 3:2 win. It’s now probably too late for the Moscow Region franchise to think about a postseason qualification — Vityaz is currently the 11th seed in the West with a 13-point gap on Dinamo Minsk — but the Finns definitely had a fantastic season.
F, Jokerit, 2 G, 3 (3+0) points, +3
The Danish scorer is constantly one of Jokerit’s top scorers, and this year is no exception. Jensen has already netted 15 goals, and is vying to improve his record of 21 tallies from 2018-2019. The Danish international had his second career hat-trick when Jokerit downed the Dragons with a big 7:1 home victory — including the game-winner. Jensen is currently leading the Jokers for goals scored and is trailing only Brian O’Neill in the scoring charts.