Frölunda played two road games this past week and blew out Karlskrona 7-1 and followed that up with a satisfying 3-0 win over Skellefteå. Carl Grundström had an assist in both games, bringing his points totals to seven goals and four assists in 23 games.
Frölunda play five more games before the mid February Olympic break and seven after. They are in a good position for the playoffs, but they could make it better with some more consistent winning.
Lokomotiv played one game before the start of their longer Olympic break, and Yegor Korshkov wasn’t in the lineup. He is currently listed as injured, and I have no further information on that, but he’s got a long time to recover from whatever it is.
He was named by the IOC as one of the Russian players they were allowed to choose from to form a team, but he did not make the final cut.
Lokomotiv have two more games in late February/early March, and are in fourth spot in the West, one point behind Jokerit, who play three more games.
With those two more to play, Korshkov has 8 goals and 17 assists in 51 games or .49 points per game, just behind last year’s pace of .52.
When the playoffs come in March, he needs to be ready to make a mark.
HV71 played three games this week and Engvall played his usual fourth line minutes in all of them, notching one assist. He just keeps on keeping on very nicely.
He now has two goals and five assists in 19 games, and his team would probably like to pad their record with some more points to be assured of a good playoff spot.
Jesper Lingren did not follow up his good week with more points. He was scoreless in three contests (two wins and a loss). One game was the first ever Liiga game played outside Finland, as HPK and the Pelicans met in Estonia for a special game.
Lindgren has eight points in 42 games.
HPK only have 14 games left, and that’s not enough to make a move up into a playoff spot even if they have played better in their second half than their first. They are a very young team. Lindgren, at just 20, isn’t out of place having a big role on the team. He’s been getting great experience all season long, which was the point of the move to Finland, so the points might not impress, but he has succeeded at what he set out to do.
Nikolai Chebykin is on a scoring streak right now. His team played three games, won them all, and Chebykin had two goals and three assists on the week.
He now sits at seven goals and seven assists in 24 games for Dynamo St. Petersburg of the VHL.
It was another junior game, another assist for Bobylyov. He’s stuck like Chebykin was last year. Not really good enough for the VHL, something Chebykin has certainly overcome, not really fitting on the junior team. It’s almost February, which is the home stretch in Russia, and Bobylyov has played in 16 games, often very limited minutes.
In one game this week, Vladislav Kara’s team met Chebykin’s and they traded goals in the match. Chebykin came up the winner, but we should expect that, his team is the tops in the league.
Kara’s team is not nearly as good, but they do win occasionally. He had a goal and an assist on the week, bringing his season total to eight goals and five assists in 26 games or exactly .5 points per game. Last year, when he was only 18, his VHL production was less than half of that over 34 games. He’s progressed very well this year, and certainly seems on the cusp of competing for a KHL roster spot.
Persons of Interest
The Russian player pool is way too deep for a defensive defenceman who plays lower down a lineup to be in serious consideration for the Olympic team, so Ozhiganov was never considered for the team. His KHL team, CSKA, are right where everyone knew they’d be, in second place to SKA, and they are sending a clutch of players to the Olympics. Ozhiganov gets to rest up, and get ready to play in the playoffs in March.
With the Olympic breaks coming and seasons winding up, the European Report will take a break for the month of February. When early March rolls around, I’ll wrap up everyone’s regular season and give you an idea of what we can expect from the playoffs.