Review of 2017/2018. Ak Bars: Zaripov's return, and a third Gagarin Cup
KHL.ru begins its team-by-team review of the tenth season of the KHL Championship with a look back on how the campaign panned out for the men from Kazan, who last month became the first team in history to celebrate a third Gagarin Cup triumph.
Ak Bars. The 2018 champions, hero by hero
A champion team is not only an experienced head coach, a solid goaltender and a recognized sniper. The reason it is such a cliché to say, “Hockey is a team game,” is because it is true, and Ak Bars of 2018 is no exception to the rule. Every player in the Kazan collective contributed to the eventual victory, so we at KHL.ru devoted this page to all of the actors in the heroic Ak Bars drama.
A Picture of Success! Finest photos from Ak Bars night of triumph
This was what all that hard work was for. Those frantic and glorious moments after the final siren sounded the end of the 10th season of the KHL Championship, when the Ak Bars players knew they had done it. Mission Accomplished: a record-breaking third Gagarin Cup. The 1-0 win on home ice meant a 4-1 series victory over CSKA, and the celebrations could begin.
Refereeing Department on Cup-winning goal
Following Ak Bars forward Rob Klinkhammer’s goal in the 42nd minute of Sunday's match in Kazan – the goal which sealed victory for his team in the Gagarin Cup final series against CSKA - the visitors' bench appealed for a video review to ascertain whether the CSKA goalie had been blocked before the goal had been scored. As the video footage shows, there was no illegal impedence of the goaltender by the Kazan player, and as a result, the referee correctly allowed the goal to stand.
“Nothing is decided yet”. Players about Game 4
Ak Bars moved to within one victory of lifting the Gagarin Cup thanks to a 3-1 success at CSKA on Friday. But after the game, players from both teams were adamant that this final series is far from over, even if it could all be wrapped up in Kazan on Sunday.
Notes from the Underground: Gagarin on the Metro
As the action in final series switches to Moscow, the Gagarin Cup must also be in attendance. Following its travels in chauffer-driven cars in trucks, and on long-distance trains, for Game 3 the trophy chose for its method of transport one of the architectural wonders of the world – the Moscow Metro.
Refereeing Department on Kazan's goal and no-goal
In the 37th minute of Monday's match in Kazan, Game 2 of the Gagarin Cup final series between Ak Bars and CSKA, a goal from Kazan's Rob Klinkhammer restored the home team's lead, but the referee referred the episode to the video goal judge to ascertain whether Ak Bars had too many players on the ice. The video showed that no such violation of the rule had occurred, and so the referee awarded a goal.
Azevedo in pursuit of points record
Awaiting the winner of the all-army Western Conference final between SKA and CSKA are the men from Kazan and their in-form forward, Justin Azevedo. The Canadian has scored points in his last eleven games, which places him just one step away from matching the record scoring streak, jointly held by legendary pair. Sergei Mozyakin and Pavol Demitra, and provides us with the perfect excuse to look back at the best scoring runs over the League's 10-year history.
Ak Bars no-goal: why the ref was right
In the 21st minute of Friday's match in Kazan, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final series between Ak Bars and Traktor Chelyabinsk, the video goal judge reviewed an apparent goal by the home team. As the video shows, the Ak Bars player consciously directs the puck into the net with his left skate, and therefore, the goal was correctly struck out.
Refereeing Department clarifies disputed Ak Bars goals
In response to much heated debate over two controversial episodes from Tuesday's match in Magnitogorsk - Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-final series between Metallurg and Ak Bars Kazan - the KHL Refereeing Department has issued the following clarification in order to dispel any confusion regarding the officials' decisions in each instance.
Sibir's exploits and SKA's exits – 10 shock results from the playoffs
Springtime, if not quite here, is certainly already on the arrivals board, and for hockey fans it means the season of the playoffs. The knockout stage, of course, is designed to determine which team is the best of the best, but in this part of our series of trips down KHL Memory Lane, we focus on the outsiders who became dark horses – not those who meekly followed the script and went straight on vacation, nor even those who went down fighting in a blaze of glory, but those unfancied heroes who, over the past decade, have defied the experts and produced sensational wins over their illustrious opponents.