Frölunda had a light week with only two games, an overtime win and a loss. Carl Grundström is playing third line right now, and doing his usual thing of shooting a lot from in close. He added no points in these two games, however.
They have 14 games left before early March, including a 14-day break for the Olympics. Grundström is now at 7 goals and two assists in 21 games.
Lokomotiv played three games this week, a win, a loss, and an overtime win. They’ve clinched their playoff spot, so this is mostly just filling time until the season is over. They might think they can catch Jokerit for third place in the West, but they’re too far back.
In the overtime win, a wild 6-5 affair where the lead changed hands several times, Yegor Korshkov had the distinction of being the only player on the team not to get a shot on goal. He did have two assists, however.
He’s playing second line by number of shifts, but third line by number of minutes, so it’s clear that his line is not trusted or relied on, and they are playing very short shifts. This is particularly true in close games. The coach sees them as offence only.
He has eight goals and 17 assists in 51 games played. Lokomotiv have three more games — one on Monday, one next Saturday and one on March 1.
With the SHL taking a mini-break to allow the Champions Hockey League semifinals to be played, HV71 only had one game this week, a 5-4 overtime win where the teams traded goals back and forth.
Pierre Engvall had no points and played his usual fourth line minutes, which is good since the game was close. He had one shot on goal. He seems to have cemented a role as a reliable depth player who will ocassionally add points.
After a lot of games that seemed like they were nothing but a struggle for Jesper Lindgren, he had one of his best weeks of the season.
HPK played three games, had two wins and one loss, and Lindgren had two assists, including the primary on the late tying goal in one game, and a goal to open the scoring in the next.
Lindgren now has two goals and six assists in 39 games, and a Corsi For percentage of 46. Bear in mind, though, that the best player on his team has 51%, and there’s only one forward line that manages to stay above 50.
Dynamo St. Petersburg had one game, a 9-1 blowout of the lowest ranked team in the VHL. Nikolai Chebykin had one goal (to make it 5-1) and one assist on the seventh goal his team scored. He’s now up to five goals and four assists in 21 games for this team.
Bobylyov, who is still 20 and just qualifies for junior hockey, was sent down to the MHL for one game and got two assists. Meanwhile his VHL team played three games and won them all. To say he’s struggling to find a place he fits is an understatement.
Bars Kazan only played one game this week, and they were shutout. He has 11 points in 23 games, and he averages 17 minutes per game.
That’s all for this week.
By next Sunday the KHL regular season will be essentially over, and the long wait for playoffs begins. The SHL is moving into the stretch drive, with the teams we’re concerned with having a virtual lock on playoff spots. HPK in the Liiga is definitely not a good team this year, and is looking more to stay above relegation than to rise to playoff level. The VHL will continue until the third week of February, when their regular season closes.
All European league playoffs will be finished before the end of April, and the 2018 World Championships begins May 4 in Denmark. With this being an Olympic year, a lot of countries may send junior or U25 development teams to Worlds.
KHL contracts run to April 30, so any players the Leafs might want to sign like Igor Ozhiganov are not available until that time.
The KHL and Lokomotiv are starting to negotiate extensions for players, but as of now Yegor Korshkov is only under contract to this May 1.