How are the Russians returning from America? Valiev made the commentator laugh, Sheng is almost in the VHL
Every year, Russian players return to the KHL, who for various reasons did not manage to play in North America. For such hockey players, relocation gives them the opportunity to reboot and make a new round of their careers. We will tell you how things are going with the Russians who returned to Russia on the eve of and during this season.
Almost two weeks after the start of the season, Artyom, who played five not very successful, to put it mildly, matches on loan at Metallurg during the previous championship, having failed to gain a foothold in Calgary (only one game in the NHL), returned to Magnitogorsk, signing full contract. The one-year agreement is bilateral in nature – Artyom still needs to get in shape in order to try to oust someone from the Olkinuore-Koshechkin duet. So far, the game of the main goalkeepers does not make the coaching staff need to turn to Zagidulin’s services – the 26-year-old goalkeeper has never even appeared in the application of the “steelworkers”.
Statistics: 1 match
The day after Zagidulin’s transition, CSKA made another comeback by signing a two-year bilateral contract with the club’s pupil Vladislav Kotkov. The oversized forward (194 cm, 95 kg) pleased with his performance in the main junior league of Quebec, scored in his debut match in the AHL, but, having managed to play one more game there, San Jose was put up for a draft refusal.
Perhaps returning to his native club will help Kotkov to reach a new level. After two matches for Zvezda, Vladislav made his debut in the KHL in yesterday’s meeting between the army team and Traktor, but spent only five minutes and eight seconds on the ice, so it’s too early to judge his game.
Statistics: 9 matches, 4 (1 + 3) points, “-3”
The decision of “sharks” to put another Russian, Ivan Chekhovich, on the draft of refusals, was quite unexpected. After an excellent stretch in Torpedo, the striker returned to the location of San Jose, took part in four games in the NHL and even managed to score the first point with an assist.
In this situation, the citizens of Nizhny Novgorod reacted with lightning speed, returning Ivan to their ranks on a permanent basis. But it is still far from the previous performance. Chekhovich’s bunch with Andy Mili and Damir Zhafyarov did not give such results as in the previous season, so in the last matches the first two play in a link with Daniel Zaar. But this does not help yet. Even despite the large amount of playing time, Ivan is of little use and, like all Torpedo, is not impressive.
Statistics: 9 matches, 2 (1 + 1) points, “-1”
Vitaly was expected to have a brighter start – he showed himself excellently at the pre-season tournament in Sochi, where he was recognized as the most valuable player. There, Abramov played mainly with Lukash Sedlak and Nikita Tertyshny or Tomas Gika, but at the beginning of the regular season, Anvar Gatiyatulin uses him in a third combination with Alexei Byvaltsev and Kirill Kapustin.
The results of “Traktor” do not seem to suffer from this – the Chelyabinsk team started the season well and are among the leaders of the East, – but this clearly beats Vitaly’s attacking potential. In a company with far from the most creative players, he periodically strives to create something extraordinary on his own, such as an attempt to throw in the lacrosse style at Severstal’s goal, but so far he has only two effective actions.
Statistics: 7 matches
Before the start of the regular season, in an interview with Championship, Pavel called the upcoming season decisive for himself, but so far things are far from favoring the 22-year-old striker. Sheng has already played one more match for Sochi than last fall, but, like then, he still has not scored a single scoring point.
Pavel is practically invisible on the court – he rarely throws and sharpens the game, does not act in the best way on the face-offs. As a result, the playing time is falling rapidly. If in the first matches Sheng got 14-15 minutes on the ice, then in the last three everything is really bad – 3.32 and minus in the game with SKA, 11.05 in the meeting with Ak Bars and 6.46 and minus in the match with Moscow Dynamo”. The forward urgently needs to improve the quality of the game, otherwise the links in the VHL cannot be avoided.
Stats: 5 games, 87.7% RP, 4.06 KN
Ivan has not distinguished himself by reliability in four matches in the farm club “Chicago” “Rockford”, he is still not asked to return to the “Admiral”, where the goalkeeper had the best performance in his career. Although it is also not worth hanging all the dogs on him – the defense of the Far Eastern club does not allow Nalimov to be out of work for a long time.
Despite this, the last match can be recorded by the 27-year-old goalkeeper. In the game against Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Ivan replaced Nikita Serebryakov with a score of 0: 4 at the end of the first period and conceded only one goal after 15 shots. Not to say that the “steelworkers” put a lot of pressure on Nalimov, but this game can instill a little confidence in the goalkeeper.
Statistics: 1 match, 1 funny interview, “+1”
After the missed season 2020/2021, Rinat still returned to his native land from the abyss of oblivion, in which he was stuck during his stay in the AHL. The pupil of Ak Bars made his debut in the KHL in a match with Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo and earned a plus by being present on the ice while Dmitry Kagarlitsky scored the first goal in the Kazan club and the only one for the Tatar team in that meeting.
However, Valiev was not remembered for this at all. During the first break, the defender gave all hockey fans one of the funniest moments of the current KHL season. During the flash interview, Rinat uttered phrases with a clear American accent, which amused the match commentator Roman Skvortsov, who immediately parodied the manner of speech of the 26-year-old player.
By the way, that game is still the only one for Valiev this season. The defender did not appear on the ice again.
Statistics: 6 matches
Vasily is not doing well in Spartak yet. In the first match of the season, Ponomarev got the longest playing time – 7.52. In five more meetings, the 19-year-old striker spent no more than three minutes on the ice, and in his last game to date in the KHL with CSKA he left for only one 12-second shift, after which he went to the Resurrection Chemist.
“Ponomarev needs playing practice. The desire is huge, but so far he has not succeeded. Somewhere, sometimes he is overwhelmed by emotions, he makes unnecessary mistakes. This will come with experience, we will slowly let him down, ”said the head coach of the red-and-white Boris Mironov.
Statistics: 6 matches, “-2”
Alexander, like the rest of Lokomotiv, is not getting off to a good start to the season. Yelesin is not always a part of the team and is not as reliable as expected of him. In the match with Vityaz, for example, he swiftly ran to the attack, when the railroad workers had not yet really left their zone, and allowed Daniel Odette to easily break into the final third of the site and give a pass to the winning goal of Niko Oyamyaki.
However, the dedication to the defender cannot be denied. Even despite the limited playing time, Alexander is the leader of the team in strength techniques and is in the top 3 leagues in this indicator.
Stats: 3 games, 96.7% RP, 0.92 KN
After an unsuccessful trip to Canada, Vasily returned to the KHL to play the role of Shimon Grubec’s replacement in Avangard Omsk. The Russian sat on the bench for almost seven matches, but at the end of the game with Metallurg he came out for the final 10 minutes and 42 seconds and has not left the goal frame since then.
The reason for this is Demchenko’s incredibly reliable ribbon play. The 27-year-old goalkeeper did not allow Avtomobilist’s hockey players to return to the game with the score 2: 1, and in the next game he completely “dried up” Moscow “Spartak”, reflecting 32 shots on target. And in terms of the percentage of reflected shots, and in terms of the reliability coefficient, Vasily is ahead of all the other goalkeepers in the league. However, in fairness, he spent much less time on the ice. Therefore, its ability to maintain such a level over a long period still needs to be tested.
Statistics: 6 matches, 4 (3 + 1) points, “-1”
It was expected that after returning from Columbus, Mikhail will be one of the main stars not only of CSKA, but of the entire league, but in reality things are a little different.
So far, Grigorenko is gaining effective points exclusively in the majority, but upon returning to the squad after an almost two-week absence due to damage, he looks much more useful and effective overall. Perhaps that is why he began to get more playing time. The attacker of the army team needs to slightly tighten up the implementation – then CSKA’s rivals will definitely have a hard time.
Statistics: 10 matches, 9 (1 + 8) points, “-1”
Almost not a single productive action by Grigorenko was without the participation of Nikita Nesterov. In two cases, the defender’s passes were preceded by goals from Mikhail, in another one they together assisted Sergei Plotnikov. Unlike the former Blue Jackets striker, Nesterov played all 10 CSKA matches on the ice, and during this time he managed to score a few more points, as a result of which he shares the second place among the army team scorers with Konstantin Okulov.
At the same time, Nikita is noticeably superior to the rest of the team’s players in playing time. In Moscow, he is clearly more trusted than in Calgary. This is reflected in other, not very pleasant statistics. Nesterov takes first place in CSKA in penalty minutes (14), and also shares the “championship” in terms of “minuses” with Anton Slepyshev and Lukas Vallmark – each of them has already accumulated seven of them.