Players of Interest Update: Sept. 8, 2016
Time once again to check in with our team of interesting players for 2016-17, and we discover here that goals were at a bit of a premium for the guys over the last seven days. However, some interesting things did occur, and we will start with a redemptive game for our young goalie. Read on…
- G Igor Shestyorkin (SKA St. Petersburg).
- Season to date (KHL): 2 gp, .839 sv%, 4.28 GAA.
- This week (KHL): 1 gp, .955 sv%, 1.00 GAA
Credit to SKA; they tossed Shestyorkin right back into the fray for the next game after his disastrous season debut against Ak Bars Kazan, and the youngster responded with an excellent performance against Lada Tolyatti, stopping 21 of 22 shots. He should get more work in the next couple of weeks, too, as the St. Petersburg team’s regular starter, Mikko Koskinen, will be away on World Cup of Hockey duty with Team Finland. SKA’s next game is a huge one, on the road against CSKA Moscow on Friday, and it will be interesting to see whether it is Shestyorkin or Yevgeny Ivannikov who gets the start.
- D Kirill Koltsov (Traktor Chelyabinsk)
- Season to date (KHL): 6 gp, 4-0-4, +4, 2 PiM, 20 SoG, 20:08 ToI/Gm.
- This week (KHL): 2 gp, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PiM, 9 SoG, 22:10 ToI/Gm.
We may insert the standard caveats about early days and small sample sizes here, but Koltsov is currently in a 14-way tie for second in the KHL goals-scored race. And he could have had more this week, too; he fired seven shots on goal against Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk, only to see them all fended away by goalie Alexander Sharychenkov (Koltsov’s lone marker this week came in Traktor’s subsequent meeting with Jokerit Helsinki). Traktor did lose both their games this week (the Ugra encounter went to a penalty shoot-out, in which Koltsov did not take part), but we can’t really blame our man for that; his 20 shots on the season put him sixth in the league among defensemen in that category. Next up for Koltsov and his team is a visit from Dinamo Riga on Sunday.
- D Adam Polášek (Sibir Novosibirsk Oblast)
- Season to date (KHL): 5 gp, 0-5-5, +2, 4 PiM, 6 SoG, 20:27 ToI/Gm.
- This week (KHL): 2 gp, 0-1-1, -2, 2 PiM, 2 SoG, 20:30 ToI/Gm.
Polášek’s second week for Sibir was not as good as his first, as he recorded only that single assist and went -2. It was tough few days for his team as well, as they dropped a pair of games and were out-scored 7-2. However, we should not read too much into it just yet; road games against Dynamo Moscow and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl were never going to present an easy time of it. We will see if Polášek and Sibir can get things going again at home on Friday against Medveščak Zagreb.
- F Anatoly Golyshev (Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg)
- Season to date (KHL): 7 gp, 1-4-5, -1, o PiM, 14 SoG, 16:18 ToI/Gm.
- This week (KHL): 2 gp, 0-3-3, +1, o PiM, 3 SoG, 16:31 ToI/Gm.
After a slowish start with only two points in first five games, Golyshev broke out with a three-assist performance against Salavat Yulaev Ufa last Friday. They were necessary assists, too, as Avtomobilist ended up winning 4-3 via the shootout. A quiet game, with zeroes pretty much across the board (he had one shot), followed for Golyshev against Ugra. Avtomobilist are a respectable 4-3 to start the season, and return to action on Sunday with a trip to Kazakhstan to face Barys Astana.
- F Linus Omark (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
- Season to date (KHL): 7 gp, 0-5-5, -1, o PiM, 20 SoG, 17:32 ToI/Gm.
- This week (KHL): 3 gp, 0-2-2, -1, o PiM, 12 SoG, 19:51 ToI/Gm.
First the bad news: Omark’s goal-less streak now stands at 15 games going back to last season’s playoffs, and he was even foiled on both his shootout attempts this past week. Even worse, Salavat Yulaev went 0-3, and have won only twice in seven games to start the season. Not what the doctor ordered, at all.
The good (or at least better) news? Two of this week’s three losses came via shootout, so at least some points were obtained. And Omark broke a mini-slump of three games without points by posting two assists in today’s 3-2 loss to Jokerit. The goals will come, too, as the 29-year-old Swede has been blasting away at the net at a decent rate to start this season. Finally, Salavat Yulaev got off to a dire start in 2015-16 (they were 2-5 after seven games in that campaign as well), and ended up in the Conference Final — something Omark himself pointed out in an interview this week. Early days yet!
- F Sakari Salminen (Jokerit Helsinki)
- Season to date (KHL): 5 gp, 0-3-3, +2, 4 PiM, 6 SoG, 15:52 ToI/Gm.
- This week (KHL): 2 gp, 0-1-1, +2, 2 PiM, 0 SoG, 14:53 ToI/Gm.
Well, that +2 in two games this week looks nice, as does the fact that Jokerit won them both coming out of a short schedule break to allow the team’s Danish players to take part in Olympic qualifying games. On the other hand, Salminen should probably be shooting a bit more; he was held shot-less in both games this past week. All-in-all, it was a mediocre little stretch for him, although certainly not a terrible one.