Spartak's record streak and Torpedo's bad sticks

Spartak continues to delight its fans. Last Saturday, the Red-Whites won an important victory in the away match against Torpedo, which allowed them to gain a foothold on the first line of the Bobrov division. By the middle of the meeting, the Muscovites were leading 2-0 thanks to goals by Ilya Talaluev and Nikolai Goldobin, but Nizhny Novgorod equalized before the end of the second period. In the third period, Spartak shot on target more often than the opponent (16:11) and eventually achieved success: the decisive goals were scored by the same hockey players who became the authors of the first two.

After the match, the focus was not on the players or referees, but on the sticks. The head coach of the hosts, Igor Larionov, explained the high percentage of defects in his team's passes by the low quality of equipment.

"If it were Scotty Bowman, he'd be the sticks our defensemen play with... They wouldn't be in the locker room anymore. With thin hooks with fairly average ice quality — no one plays like that. If we talk about the NHL, then with such sticks... It's a crime that we get them, the guys play with them. I'm sorry. If we had a stock of high-quality equipment, I would put together a pack and give it to children, little boys, so that they can start playing hockey with them, because these are not hockey sticks for KHL players," the specialist said at a press conference.

The Spartak players had no complaints about the equipment, and there was no time to show them: immediately after Nizhny Novgorod, the Muscovites went to Sochi. In the matches against Dmitry Kokarev's team, the Red-Whites scored four points out of four and won for the seventh time in a row, which is the team's longest successful streak in the KHL. The last defeat of the Muscovites was dated October 2 - then they were upset by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (2:4).

Obviously, Alexei Zhamnov instilled in his wards a champion mentality, which they have lacked so much for many years. The bright and attractive hockey of the red and white is reflected in the numbers: in 21 matches, they scored 78 goals, more than all other teams in the league. After the second victory over Sochi, the Muscovites deservedly topped the KHL standings.

The main creators of success are the representatives of the attacking trio Goldobin - Poryadin - Morozov, who occupied the race of scorers of the league. At the same time, Nikolai managed to score 32 points, which is as much as 11 more than his closest pursuer. By the way, the last time the Muscovites' top scorer left the ice without scoring points was also in a match against the Railwaymen, shortly before the start of his team's winning streak. The audience appreciated the merits of the forward: Goldobin was among the first 16 participants in the KHL All-Star Game, gaining 2419 votes.

Khokhlachev walked over the car and began to score

In the East, Amur was in the spotlight. But not for hockey reasons, but because of the scandalous misconduct of Alexander Khokhlachev. After a home defeat to Ak Bars in a shootout (2:3), the striker walked on the roof of a car standing on the side of the road to loud indignation from the driver. The resonant video instantly spread across social networks and became the main topic of discussion for all KHL viewers.

An extremely unpleasant incident coincided with Khokhlachev's dry streak: the hockey player could not distinguish himself for 13 matches. Amur acquired the forward from Spartak as an established star and almost quadrupled his salary, but instead of a lot of goals and assists, they received a strange trick, for which the newcomer could well be prosecuted before the law.

As a result, the striker got off with an apology and a fine of 6.5 million rubles, and the monetary punishment can be canceled in case of a successful game of the brawler in the next matches. Thus, the away meeting with Traktor was of particular importance for Khokhlachev. And then the press service of Chelyabinsk added spice by publishing a parody video, in which the club mascot appeared in the role of an Amur player.

Initially, the forward trained in the fifth five and could not play against Traktor at all, but Andrey Martemyanov still included him in the third line. As it turned out, it was not in vain: in the first period, the hockey player scored the long-awaited puck with the help of a curious ricochet off the defenseman's skate. Amur won 3-2 and then went to Yekaterinburg to beat Avtomobilist 3-1. Khokhlachev scored an assist in the episode with the winning goal and slightly improved his reputation. At least, the governor of the Khabarovsk Territory, Mikhail Degtyarev, was definitely satisfied with it.

"Will there be any penalty or has he embarked on the path of correction? Khokhlachev is a great player, a fan favorite, he scores goals, creates the most dangerous situations. And the fact that he committed a disciplinary offense, he was fined, convicted, forgiven. It is better to jump rope, trampoline and trampoline," TASS quotes the chairman of the Amur Board of Trustees as saying.

Razin's Jubilee and Lie Detector for Anisimov

Andrey Razin has officially entered the cohort of the greatest coaches in KHL history: the Metallurg coach became the 15th specialist to reach the honorable mark of 200 victories. His success in the match against Avtomobilist was jubilee for him: Magnitogorsk defeated the opponent with a score of 4:0, scoring two goals at once in the minority, about 11 seconds apart.

This meeting was significant not only for Razin, but also for 20-year-old Ilya Nabokov, who made the first shutout in the history of playing in the league. The young goaltender continued to shine in the game against Traktor — he stopped 35 shots and in total did not miss five periods in a row. However, the goalkeeper could not help his team to extend the successful streak to four matches: in the third period, Vladimir Tkachev and Vitaly Kravtsov provided Chelyabinsk with a strong-willed victory.

On the same day, another team in the Eastern Conference broke a long series of failures. After six defeats in a row, Sibir beat Torpedo away in shootouts, but it was not without complaints from Nizhny Novgorod again. This time, the stumbling block was not sticks with thin hooks, but two controversial episodes that outraged the home fans.

The first occurred at the end of the second period: Nikolai Prokhorkin put out his knee and brutally knocked down Torpedo's top scorer Vasily Atanasov, for which he received only a two-minute penalty. The second happened about a minute later: the referees did not count the goal of Igor Larionov Jr., referring to the interference for the goalkeeper from Vladislav Firstov.

Torpedo fans even wrote a letter to KHL President Alexei Morozov, which was published by the Hockey Cream Telegram channel. In it, Nizhny Novgorod demanded the resignation of the league's chief referee Alexei Anisimov, having previously checked him on a lie detector.

But Igor Larionov Sr. this time attributed the defeat solely to the state of his team.

"I see the reason for the fact that we started winning every period and then allowed the opponents to catch up, in psychology. At 3-1, they shot themselves in the foot, making two penalties in a row or making mistakes in the middle zone, allowing the opponents to run one-on-one. Such matches emotionally burden the team. A minute before the end we lost in Yaroslavl, two and a half seconds we lost to Spartak, and [in this match] with 17 seconds left we allowed Sibir to equalize," the head coach of Torpedo said at a press conference.

One goal conceded for three CSKA goaltenders

After the defeat in the derby, the Army team hurried to rehabilitate themselves in front of the fans and won three victories in a row. The home series began with a match against Sochi, for which Ivan Fedotov, who conceded five goals from Spartak, was not included in the squad. Sergey Fedorov gave a mysterious explanation for the absence of the goalkeeper in the lineup.

"I thank everyone who discusses this topic. It really exists, but we probably need to clarify all our actions in Ivan's plan. Once again, everyone understands perfectly well where he was, how he was and what he did last season. That's what I'd like to call it. We have no complaints about Ivan, neither in terms of the game nor in the training process. Until December, this question will have the same answer that I have already given. I think that's fair. I don't want to waste either your time or mine," the head coach of CSKA said.

Fedotov's place in goal was taken by 20-year-old Dmitry Gamzin, who stopped 25 shots of the southerners and helped his team get two points (2:1). The young goaltender got off to an excellent start in the KHL: the Muscovites won three games in three games with his participation.

In the next game against Kunlun, Alexander Sharychenkov appeared on the last line, who did not concede a single goal at all. At the same time, his teammates scored seven, one of which took place after a long-range shot by young defender Matvey Shuravin. The 17-year-old hockey player was first proclaimed the youngest scorer in the history of CSKA in the KHL, but later the goal was taken away from him: it turned out that Vitaly Abramov was the last to touch the puck.

Ivan Fedotov took to the ice again only in the game against Lokomotiv, which also ended in a 3-0 shutout victory for the Muscovites. The goaltender stopped 24 shots and conceded for the second time this season. The main star of the meeting was striker Anton Slepyshev, who scored a brace for the first time since March.

The Army team did not allow the Railwaymen to rise to first place in the Western Conference, and they themselves share the fifth line with Sochi. Now CSKA is waiting for an away series with matches in Kazan, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and Novosibirsk. It will end with a new away game against Spartak, in which Sergey Fedorov's team will try to take revenge for the recent defeat.