Crisis of SKA and CSKA

The second half of January was extremely unfortunate for the leaders of the Continental Hockey League.

Until recently, SKA, which seemed almost invulnerable, for the first time in 2023 suffered two defeats in a row, while CSKA lost in four meetings out of five and fell to fourth place in the West table, letting Torpedo and Lokomotiv go ahead.

It is noteworthy that it was Nizhny Novgorod and Yaroslavl that became the offenders of St. Petersburg in recent matches.

First, the wards of Roman Rotenberg unsuccessfully went to Yaroslavl, where they not only suffered an insulting defeat, but for the first time in the season they could not distinguish themselves (0:1).

Daniil Isaev repelled all 20 shots and left the gate intact, interrupting the impressive streak of SKA.

In the previous 77 games, the army team has consistently scored goals, and the last time they left the ice with nothing was on November 7, 2021.

After the Petersburgers could not cope with Torpedo, although Igor Larionov did not put in the trio of leading forwards - Alexei Kruchinin, Nikolai Kovalenko and Sergei Goncharuk.

Thus, it was CSKA that remained the only team that scored in every game of the current regular season.

But in the light of recent results, this is hardly very pleasing to Sergei Fedorov.

Starting from January 21, the red-blues were beaten not only by direct competitors (Dynamo, SKA and Torpedo), but also defeated by Severstal on their site.

And with the biggest score.

The hosts took the lead in the middle of the second period, but got four goals in return.

Two of them, however, flew into an empty net, thanks to accurate shots by Nikita Rozhkov with a difference of 24 seconds.

Because of this, Muscovites have seriously worsened their position in the table, which threatens to affect their prospects in the playoffs.

At the moment, in the first round, they are facing a meeting with Dynamo, with whom they upset each other twice during the regular season. 

Achievements of Yashkin and Nikishin

Unlike CSKA hockey players, the representatives of the second army club had at least a few reasons to be happy.

So, SKA scored 200 goals for the sixth time in a season and strengthened its leadership in the history of the league in this indicator.

In addition to him, this bar was submitted only to Salavat Yulaev (three times), CSKA (twice) and Lokomotiv (once).

At the same time, Dmitry Yashkin became the author of the anniversary goal, rising to second place among the most scoring legionnaires from the Czech Republic, taking into account the playoffs.

A native of Omsk chalked up the 109th accurate throw and bypassed Lukas Kaspar.

Above him, only Jan Kovař (129).

In turn, Alexander Nikishin set a new club performance record among defenders in one single regular season.

Previously, the legendary Sergei Zubov (42) owned it, but the young Russian managed to surpass his compatriot's achievement by three points already - 45 (9 + 36).

True, the best achievement in the history of the KHL is still far away.

Chris Lee hit 65 six years ago.

Among other things, Marat Khairullin and Nikita Gusev continue to please with productivity.

The first became the 12th player of St. Petersburg, gaining 50 points for the championship, and the second, for the fifth time, reached the mark of 20 goals.

And he only had 33 matches for this. 

Radulov's productivity and Biryukov's longevity

In addition to Gusev, Alexander Radulov also reached this bar, whose Ak Bars gradually overcame the crisis and climbed to second place in the East.

Of the last seven meetings, the wards of Zinetula Bilyaletdinov won six, and the newly minted captain scored 8 (3 + 5) points during this period and strengthened his status as one of the strongest forwards in the KHL.

The Kazan forward scored 20 times in the regular season for the eighth time.

Only Nigel Dawes (nine) and Sergey Mozyakin (ten) did it more often than him.

However, the most discussed was the behavior of Radulov in the "green derby".

First, he effectively left the power reception of Grigory Panin, after which he mockingly parodied the captain of the Ufa residents, and then started a brawl with Alexander Kadeikin.

But this did not help his team.

Ak Bars lost (1:2 OT), and Salavat Yulaev subsequently won two more victories in a row.

At the moment, only Torpedo can boast of a longer unbeaten streak (four meetings).

“What happened to me with Panin?

Nothing really happened.

It's just emotion, nothing more.

This is hockey, a game, no one wanted to concede, everything is fine ... In the second period, did you get excited, got into a fight with Alexander Kadeikin?

Yes, there was no fight.

Such a moment happened - we collided, he didn’t like something, I didn’t like it - we grappled.

It's hockey, not some non-contact sport.

At times like these, no one wants to give up.

I think the fans liked the game, and this is the most important thing, ”the Ak Bars press service quoted Radulov as saying.

The last week has become significant for other athletes as well.

So, Libor Shulak updated the performance record among the Admiral defenders (34), Reed Boucher scored 25 goals for the first time in the regular season, and Taylor Beck rewrote the achievement of Siberia.

Previously, not a single hockey player of the “snowmen” managed to get hold of 51 points.

So, he not only overtook Yori Lehter, but also broke into the first line in the scorers race.

The same Khairullin (50), Alexei Kruchinin (49), Vladimir Tkachev and Alexander Khokhlachev (both 48 each) breathe in his back.

At the same time, Sergey Shirokov, Vadim Shipachev and Evgeny Biryukov continue to chase the leaders in terms of the number of matches played in the Russian championships.

The first two have already held 900 meetings, and the track record of the third has 1,100 of these. The confrontation with Neftekhimik, which ended in the victory of his Salavat Yulaev (3:2 OT), became an anniversary.

At the moment, only six players went on the ice more often, and at the top is the unfading Danis Zaripov (1323).

Do not forget to remind yourself and the star goalkeepers of the championship.

So, "Amur" and "Admiral" got new record holders in terms of the number of victories.

In the first case, it was Evgeny Alikin (65), who surpassed Juha Metsola in this indicator, and in the second, Nikita Serebryakov (41), leaving behind compatriot Ivan Nalimov.

In turn, Timur Bilyalov took the clear second place in terms of the number of “crackers” among Ak Bars goalkeepers.

More often, only Emil Garipov (21) left his gate intact.

Fantastic comeback "Cupid"

It is noteworthy that it was in the confrontation between Siberia and Amur that another significant event took place.

In the first eight minutes, the guests conceded three times, but in the remaining time they made one of the brightest comebacks of the season (6:4).

Its main creator was Nikita Grebenkin, who not only designed the double, but also assisted Cameron Lee.

Thanks to this, the Khabarovsk team became only the fifth team in the current championship, which managed to win back from a score of 0:3.

Previously, Severstal, Spartak, CSKA and SKA showed character.

The significance of this triumph was added by the fact that the first and tenth teams of the Eastern Conference found out the relationship between themselves.

Sibir went on a series of four victories, during which they coped with Ak Bars and Metallurg, but could not restrain the outsider.

Both the general director of Amur Roman Kramar and the mentor of the Khabarovsk team Vadim Yepanchintsev were amazed by this, with difficulty explaining the transformation of the wards.

“Probably not much to say.

The fans and you saw everything perfectly.

Bad start.

From a score of 0:3 with the division leader, to recoup and win this match is worth a lot on our part.

We rebuilt, especially the second and third periods played correctly, played without fear, to attack.

We played creatively, scored good goals and won.

We are preparing for the next difficult match, ”the Championship quotes the coach.

At the same time, “Siberia” clearly did not have enough thrills received that day, so after that it missed the advantage twice more, however, already by two goals.

And if in the first of two away matches with Admiral this did not prevent Andrey Martemyanov's wards from achieving success in the shootout, then in the second, luck was not on their side.

12 minutes before the end of the third period, the team from Vladivostok "burned" 2:4, but managed to restore parity, and in overtime tip the scales in their favor.

Torpedo managed to create a similar one, which started extremely unsuccessfully in the confrontation with Dynamo Minsk.

In eight and a half minutes, Nizhny Novgorod conceded twice, but bounced back by the middle of the second period, and took over in the shootout.

Close to this was Spartak.

In just 80 seconds, the red-whites scored twice and moved the meeting into overtime, but they could not hold back Kunlun there.

Alexander Khokhlachev is to blame for this.

Forward earned two minutes for the bandwagon, and Cliff Poo converted the majority.

Three days later, Igor Grishin's wards, on the contrary, eliminated the breathtaking backlog themselves.

Having managed to miss three times in 149 seconds in the first period, they equalized the score.

However, they were again forced to experience the bitterness of defeat, this time they were “buried” by Ivan Didkovsky in regular time.