Alexander Romanov, CSKA, KHL, Russia
Russia sent a young team to the Beijer Hockey Games in Sweden, and the journalists were scratching their heads after the last game, when the Czech Republic scored in the dying seconds and won the game in a shoot out, trying to remember when Russia last lost all three of their games in a four nations tournament.
The pressure was on coach Alexei Kudashov and manager Roman Rotenberg to explain the failure and the strategy behind the tournament.
Romanov was a bit up and down, and he confirmed to Eyes on the Prize that the tournament had been a step up from the KHL level. It is easy to understand the Russian as the only time that CSKA risks being outplayed in KHL is when they face SKA St Petersburg, but here the team faced a steady bombardment of hits and shots, especially the first 10 minutes against Finland.
Finland’s captain, Jere Sallinen said it was perfect as it was “playoff hockey out there,” and Russia’s team wasn’t prepared for it.
For Romanov’s development, it was a good tournament, he got to play on the penalty kill, and while there were some communication and counting errors (as seen bellow) Romanov was there to learn from it.
The Russian defence loses a Swedish player, something that is to be expected in a short tournament with new players.
A big mistake from Romanov happened after the zone entry before Sweden’s third goal. While he uses his skating and mobility to gain entry to the zone, the short pass is intercepted and looks a bit casual. He then glides back to his own end to see Sweden score. The pass has to be better. This is an area you don’t want to lose the puck and Romanov needs to be more secure. Granted he hasn’t gotten a lot of chances to play offensively in CSKA but this shows that at a higher level Romanov will have a few things to learn.
Still Romanov showed he can play at this level, more often than not he was in the right lane, and he finished the tournament with a neutral plus/minus rating. Every scout, coach and journalist I spoke with said the same thing, they all love his play, but there is an uncertainty if he can step into an NHL role next season.
There are no stats regarding time-on-ice from the Finland vs Russia game, so the TOI for this week and the tournament is counted over two games, while the rest of the stats are over three games.
Jesse Ylönen, Lahti Pelicans, Liiga, Finland
With the season that Jesse Ylönen is having, where he has to work hard for every little bit of success, it was no surprise that he missed his penalty shot against Sport.
it was a week that you’d rather forget as Pelicans lost to Kärpät with 8-1, showing how far it is between the top team and the teams in the bottom of the table.
In the second game of the week, as Liiga doesn’t break for the international tournament, Pelicans lost on penalties to Sport after they allowed the tying goal with 13 seconds to go.
Arsen Khisamutdinov, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (KHL) / CSK VVS Samara (VHL), Russia
With KHL shutting down due to the international break, many players took the chance to have a week off with family in preparation for the upcoming playoffs. Khisamutdinov didn’t get that chance, he was sent to VVS Samara to play two games where he logged heavy minutes; over 20 minutes a game.
In the first game, he was -2, but the team ended up with a loss. In the second, the game was tied 0-0 at the end of regulation and overtime. Khisamutdinov scored on his shootout attempt, however his teammates could not convert and it ended up being a shootout loss for the Stars of Samara.
Frederik Dichow, Malmö U20, SuperElite / Malmö Redhawks SHL, Sweden
No games for Frederik Dichow this week due to the international break.
Mattias Norlinder, Modo, HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden
Injured - Day-to-day, and did not play last week. He should return to the ice shortly.
Joni Ikonen, KalPa, Liiga, Finland
Injured, has been out since the start of the season - could make a return with KalPa if the team reaches the playoffs.
Jacob Olofsson, Skellefteå AIK, SHL, Sweden
Injured - Out for the season with a shoulder injury that will require surgery.