Players of Interest Update: Oct. 20th, 2016
An interesting week on a number of levels four six players of interest… except for the one who had a very quiet and restful time of it indeed! For the others, there were ups and downs, dark clouds and silver linings, and everything in between. Read on!
- G Igor Shestyorkin (SKA St. Petersburg)
- Season to date (KHL): 16 gp, .940 sv%, 1.57 GAA, 5 SO.
- This week (KHL): Did not play.
Nothing to be concerned about here; SKA had only two games this past week, and decided to give Mikko Koskinen some work. The veteran Finn did well, too, stopping 41 of 42 shots, so we will see how the playing time is divvied up from here on in.
- D Kirill Koltsov (Traktor Chelyabinsk)
- Season to date (KHL): 21 gp, 7-2-9, +1, 4 PiM, 53 SoG, 19:14 ToI/Gm.
- This week (KHL): 2 gp, 1-1-2, +1, 0 PiM, 503 SoG, 19:05 ToI/Gm.
Koltsov did some important work for Traktor this week, as both his points came in a 3-2 victory over Avtomobilist that broke a five-game losing skid for the Chelyabinskers. They couldn’t follow up on that success, dropping their subsequent game to Amur, and have fallen to 12th place in the East Conference, albeit only three points out of seventh. For Koltsov himself, while nine points in 21 games is a nice enough total for a defenseman, it’s below what we’re used to seeing from him. He does, however, remain in a three-way tie for first in the KHL in goals by rearguards.
- D Adam Polášek (Sibir Novosibirsk Oblast)
- Season to date (KHL): 23 gp, 2-14-16, +6, 18 PiM, 40 SoG, 20:57 ToI/Gm.
- This week (KHL): 3 gp, 0-2-2, Even, 6 PiM, 4 SoG, 21:35 ToI/Gm.
Sibir worked overtime this week, as all three of their games went to extras. While the team’s 1-2 record for those contests is not great, they did succeed in taking at least a point off both SKA and CSKA, the latter of whom they defeated. Furthermore, the team has been devastated by injuries, with goalie Alexander Salák out for the season and leading scorer Maxim Shalunov now gone for awhile as well. So, acceptable results under the circumstances, and Polášek’s play-making contributions were very important. Those points, along with his early-season work in general, also earned the 25-year-old Czech a call from his country’s national team for the early-November Karjala Cup games, the first leg of the Euro Hockey Tour.
- F Anatoly Golyshev (Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg)
- Season to date (KHL): 20 gp, 3-6-9, Even, 6 PiM, 52 SoG, 17:43 ToI/Gm.
- Season to date (VHL): 4 gp, 1-0-1, Even, 0 PiM, 10 SoG, 17:05 ToI/Gm.
- This week (KHL): 3 gp, 0-0-0, +1, 6 PiM, 11 SoG, 21:48 ToI/Gm.
What are we to make of this week for Golyshev and his Avtomobilist team? Well, he was held pointless, and the Yekaterinburg side dropped two of three to fall to 14th in the 15-team East Conference. On the other hand, Golyshev was +1 for the week, bashed shots on goal at a pleasant rate, and was rewarded even amidst the scoring drought with an extra helping of ice-time. And for Avtomobilist there was a ray of light in today’s game, as they took a vital two points off of storied Dynamo Moscow in a shootout. Golyshev did not get an opportunity in said shootout, but did play a career-high 23:34 in the victory. So, perhaps it was a “glass half full” sort of week, but both player and team need to see some improvement in results fairly quickly, lest the season slip away from them.
- F Linus Omark (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
- Season to date (KHL): 23 gp, 4-20-24, -2, 14 PiM, 66 SoG, 18:28 ToI/Gm.
- This week (KHL): 3 gp, 0-2-2, -4, 6 PiM, 6 SoG, 18:35 ToI/Gm.
What a strange week it was for Mr. Omark. His two assists kept him atop the league leaderboard in that category, and he remains fourth in overall scoring. However, Omark has also now posted a “minus” in five straight games, which is a bit unusual, and those two assists represent his only points over that stretch as well.. My own suspicion is that he has been playing with a slight injury of some sort (he left a game early a couple of weeks ago). Back on the bright side, Salavat Yulaev have put their poor start to the season behind them, despite a shock loss to Kunlun Red Star Beijing on Wednesday. The Bashkir team is 8-4 over the last 12 games, and is holding steady in fourth place in the East.
- F Sakari Salminen (Jokerit Helsinki)
- Season to date (KHL): 21 gp, 3-12-15, +3, 10 PiM, 40 SoG, 17:29 ToI/Gm.
- This week (KHL): 2 gp, 1-0-1, Even, 0 PiM, 2 SoG, 14:53 ToI/Gm.
It was a week of ups and downs: it began with an excellent 4-1 win over Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, in which Salminen opened the scoring for his team only 38 seconds in. It ended, however, with more dropped points in a 3-2 overtime loss to HK Sochi, in which our man played a season-low 13:10, and that appears to have been coach’s decision rather than injury. While Salminen himself is doing just fine in terms of his scoring numbers, Jokerit find themselves battling, even at this early date, for their ticket to the playoffs; so far, the Finnish team lies in ninth place in the West, three points behind Vityaz Moscow Oblast for the last post-season berth.