The first month of the KHL’s regular season is coming to an end. There have certainly been some surprises amongst players and teams that have either showcased themselves to the best of their abilities or the other way around. This time – we will take a look at teams and players that have done well.
The best team in the east is Metallurg Magnitogorsk who lost a few key players during the off-season, Lias Anderson went to CSKA, Philip Holm departed to join Jokerit amongst others, however, the teams’ front office worked well to assure no holes would remain unfilled. Philippe Maillet and Josh Currie came over from the AHL, Denis Zernov and Brendon Leipsic were both acquired via trade. Nikolai Goldobin is still on the team and currently ranks second behind Maillet with 11 points (4G+7A) in eight games played. Metallurg itself currently sits at the top of the standings with a record of 8-1-1 after eleven games. The team’s no.1 goalie is Juho Olkinuora who has played seven games and currently averages 1.63 goals against and has a save percentage of .947%.
The best team in the west with little to no surprises is Dynamo Moscow – a team that has played spectacular hockey so far this season and has been one of the better playing teams in years. A big bunch of former players left during the summer – Dmitri Kagarlitsky and Michal Cajkovsky being the most notable names but the players they brought in instantly showed that Dynamo is going after big things. Eric O’Dell, Rob Klinkhammer, Slava Voynov are those that stand out the most but the key part during the off-season was the retention of Vadim Shipachyov who has been stellar. The Moscow side has played 10 games and earned 18 points. They currently sit in the second place in their conference with two games at on first place Jokerit team that has also two more points.
A goalie that has stood out and remained extra consistent compared to the previous season is Timur Bilyalov – a Russian goalie that has gathered NHL interest but has yet to suit up for a team in the world’s top league. The 26-year-old goalie has suited up for his team five times facing 108 shots on goal conceding only five times so far. While this seems already rather impressive after the math is all done he looks even better – he averages 0.97 goals against and has an SVS% of 95.4. His team Ak Bars Kazan currently holds 4th place in the eastern conference and that gives them just 7th place in the league standings.
Vadim Shipachyov has been lights out the best player in the league so far and although it’s super early into the season – it doesn’t seem like anyone will be able to beat him. Dynamo Moscow captain has played 10 games already this season and earned a grand total of 24 points, 9 of those points are goals but Vadim isn’t selfish, he loves to share which is why he has 15 assists. His best game so far this season has been against Spartak Moscow where he earned five points (1G+4A). Shipachyov plays in all situations and surely is the motor that helps the Dynamo team run smoothly.
Slava Voynov continues his trend – skip a season – tear it up on ice and in his second cycle of such a scenario he has been impressive. Just like Shipachyov he represents Dynamo Moscow colors. Although Voynov currently sits on injury reserve, he has still managed to dress for eight games and has been a huge part of the leadership group and team’s success. Statistically, he’s doing good as well – 11 points (2G+9A) as well as a positive rating of +4.