|2008 Super League|
Super League Round 7: Interesting game in Novokuznetsk, multiple prospects skate for both teams.
Eight prospects participated in the Metallurg Nk - Torpedo Super League round 7 game. Unfortunately, Dmitry Sayustov was a healty scratch for Torpedo and Valery Zhukov was injured. Also for Metallurg Nk there was Sergei Bobrovsky in goal, replacing Sergei Gaiduchenko (Florida Panthers).
The game starts with Metallurg Nk attacking, while Torpedo covers well the backline and tries quick counterattacks, somewhat similar to Metallurg Mg's style played by Kanareikin. At the sixth minute Korolev rushes into the zone, dribble past one defender and backhands itv, but Dushan Salfitsky covers the shot well. The home team pushes, searching for the go-ahead goal and one minute later Mikhailov draws a penalty. On the powerplay Viktor Alexandrov is the obvious playmaker and passes to Podrahsky. With a fake shot he forces the opponent to dive and try to block the shot, and then skated around him. He then shoots from outside and the shot seems wide but behind all the defenders Mikhailov pops out and deflects it into the net. Nice goal and smart play by Mikhailov.
But after the goal, the game slows down a lot, as both teams play conservative hockey. Metallurg because they are ahead, and Torpedo because the team looks for the counterattack. At fifteenth minute Torpedo got another powerplay opportunity and things got dangerous at 16th, a great save by Bobrovskiy but again from long range. Finally one minute later torpedo arrives in front of Bobrovskiy with a great team play concluded by Alexander Shinkar (Toronto Maple Leafs), but again the young home goalkeeper slides and saves. Torpedo back again on the powerplay because of a questionable play by overly aggressive, by Artem Ternavsky (Washington Capitals). Nothing happens through the penalty and we arrive at the first horn. Not such a good game. The two teams play conservative hockey, leaving little space for the single players to shine.
At the fourth minute of the second period, Torpedo ties the score, on a powerplay of course, with a goal very similar to Metallurg's one: Poddyakon fakes a shot and then shoots from the point, Levinskiy deflects it in. The only difference is that Levinskiy was in front of the net and he scored because of bad defense, as he was left unmarked by Korolev. Goal by Mikhajlov was smarter. After the 1-1 goal the game opens up and Denis Kazionov (Tampa Bay Lightning) has a good chance with a highlight reel end-to-end rush, but Salficky plays it well and makes a save. At the eighth minute Metallurg goes ahead with a very nice top shelf shot by Alexandrov. After it, it's again a bad defensive play to allow Metallurg Nk to go ahead by two goals: Gorshkov gives the puck to Sergei Krivokrasov in front of the net for an easy goal. Torpedo tries to react and, after a good pass by Egor Shastin (Calgary Flames), Varnakov has a good chance but Bobrovskiy stops it in a butterfly. Nothing major happens until the second horn. Not a great game, Torpedo is playing a very bad game and Metallurg isn't playing as well as they played against Lokomotiv.
Two minutes into the third period Alexandrov scores again with a quick shot after a pass by veteran Khasanov from between the net. After the goal Torpedo replaced Czech Salficky with veteran Tsarev. The game is virtually closed...but at the 50th minute Alexandrov scores again: after a nice pass by Mikhajlov he cracks in the off zone and with a blast scores on Tsarev. Hat trick for him! Hats off! The game though still going on and in the garbage time Torpedo manages to cut down the disadvantage with a nice goal by Korolev, that in the slots puts the puck over the diving Bobrovsky. During this action, young Dmitri Klopov (2008 elegible) got his first RSL assist, in his debut. Congratulations to him as well!
Alessandro's prospect of the game: Viktor Alexandrov (St. Louis Blues)
Impossible to pick another player. He scored a hat trick, added one assist and was dangerous all the time. He started the year in great shape and if he keeps playing in this style he can even become the surprise of the season. He manages to be very good also in defense, with his aggressive style of playing in the own end of the rink.
Honourable Mention for Sergei Bobrovskiy
Alessandro's worst prospect of the game: Denis Stasyuk
The big sized winger has played a bad game. He didn't do anything ugly or to detriment of his team but in this game he did really almost nothing.
Viktor Alexandrov (Right wing)
What other grade could a player take when he scores three goals and an assist? He plays on the second line with Mikhailov and Khasanov, serving as both playmaker and sniper. Firstly he has scored a great goal with a top-shelf shot just after a good stickhandling effort. Then he scored in the first shift of the third period...and again midway through it! Hat trick. Great game. He improved his selection of shots, also moving his pass:shoot ratio more in balance. He is in a career season, it seems. Hopefully he can have this kind of shape for the whole year.
Sergei Bobrovsky (Goalkeeper)
He played very well, but this was quite an easy game for him. In the first minutes he only had to do a couple of routine saves. Torpedo mostly tried long range shoots, especially during the first period, not hard to deal for him. He also showcased his good athleticism and conditioning, displaying very good lateral movement speed. Bobrovsky looked though a bit uncomfortable with the stick, while playing the puck out of the crease. Had no fault on the first goal, since a player was in the slot during the powerplay and was supposed to be cleared, or at least covered, by your own defender. In the second goal he went down too quickly, but he was relaxed since it was the 55th minute and his team was up by four goals. Overall, he played a very solid game with only one lapse and a couple of very good saves.
Denis Kazionov (Left Wing)
He only stood out in this game in the 2nd period, when he made a lightning end-to-end after Stasyuk's faceoff win, but Saflitsky stopped him nicely. Impressive speed and acceleration. Drew a penalty in the third period because of another quick rush stopped irregularly by Shaldybin, but he did too little to consider this game a good one. Only average, at best.
Konstantin Glazachev (Right Wing)
He plays in the third line with Lapenkov and Orlov, displaying good chemistry with the first. He tried hard all game long, fighting along the boards and winning also some of the pucks. He also played on the penalty killing unit, showing his desire and motivation. But for him (and for almost all other prospects of this game), is valid what said for Kazionov: he did too little to consider this game a good show of his ability, but he does deserve credit because he really showed dedication.
Denis Stasyuk (Right Wing)
Played on the second line, with Alexander Tatarinov (Phoenix Coyotes) and Kazionov. He took the first shot only after thirty two minutes. He didn't play his best game ever, but he displayed his smartness at the 35th when he put down Zevakhin who was all alone in front of his goalkeeper. His line struggled to build something in the offensive zone.
Artem Ternavsky (Defender)
The sized defenseman didn’t get much time to showcase his talent. He throws the body around a lot when he plays and he sometimes is even too aggressive. He also took an avoidable penalty. He had only a couple of chances to display his big slapshot, both after a nice pass by Alexandrov during two different powerplays. He has to improve his overall play as he seems to rely primarily on his physicality and his strong shot from the point.
Dmitri Klopov (2008 Elegible)
He got iced only after torpedo's fourth goal, and this was his very first game in the RSL. He got one assist and this means a lot in my opinion, because he demonstrated he's not out of place. He also drew a penalty that drove to Torpedo's second goal. His talent is out of discussion, he was a member of team Russia that won the last four nation tournament in Tyumen. He is quite good sized but has to work on his balance on skates and his physical strength. He also looked a bit out of shape.