KHL April Update

Pat Quinn

2017-04-17

KHL GAGARIN CUP PLAYOFFS RECAP

Well guess who won the KHL championship last night, just in time for the KHL update (they must have known), it was won in five games by SKA Saint Petersburg. The team that finished tied for first in points with a loaded offense and stellar goaltending. See the brackets below:

 

CSKA was the other team tied for first in the KHL who were upset by the fourth place Lokomotiv, who went on to get swept by SKA.

 

Metallurg (MMG) was the top team in the East conference who cruised through the playoffs after cruising through the regular season.

 

There were zero upsets in the first round, unless you count a fifth seed beating a fourth seed as an upset. The disparity in this league between the top teams and the mid-teams are pretty large and unfair at times.

 

Players:

The line of Nikita Gusev, Vadim Shipachyov, and Evgeny Dadonov lead the way for SKA, combining for 62 points in 18 games, and finishing third, fifth, and sixth, respectively in playoff scoring (Forwards).

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">SKA Saint Petersburg won the Gagarin cup on the back of the most brilliant cooperative line in hockey. All year all playoffs and again today <a href="https://t.co/4l2ToPkNDj">pic.twitter.com/4l2ToPkNDj</a></p>&mdash; Bob Roberts (@BobRbrts) <a href="https://twitter.com/BobRbrts/status/853644418372558848">April 16, 2017</a></blockquote>//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js{/source}

https://twitter.com/BobRbrts/status/853644418372558848

Click the links incase I can't internet properly today. Thanks

 

Everyone should know the status of these three by now, Gusev likely has one more year in the KHL barring him buying himself out, which thanks to the NHL’s recent decision to not go to the Olympics, I find very unlikely. Shipachyov and Dadonov both could come over, as they have been highly scouted but the Olympic decision may keep them in the KHL for another season.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Talked to Evgeni Dadonov yesterday, he's not sure if he's leaving. But it looked like he actually wants to return to the NHL</p>&mdash; Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) <a href="https://twitter.com/IgorEronko/status/853991979956527107">April 17, 2017</a></blockquote>//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js{/source}

https://twitter.com/IgorEronko/status/853991979956527107

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Dadonov will go overseas, that's for sure. Next summer – the latest</p>&mdash; Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) <a href="https://twitter.com/IgorEronko/status/853992235330916355">April 17, 2017</a></blockquote>//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js{/source}

https://twitter.com/IgorEronko/status/853992235330916355

Side note: Igor Eronko is a must follow on twitter for Russian hockey news

 

Kovalchuk had ONLY nine points in 18 games for SKA, which is quite odd as you expect him to be in the tops of that league all the time, considering he finished with 78 points in 60 games this season. Something must have been up. Perhaps the low amount of ice time will sway him back to the NHL, but the hurdles become all 30 (31 now I guess) GM’s must sign off on his returning and he may want to dominate the Olympics for Russia as well. I would consider him a year away but his skills are starting to erode. Another former NHLer Datsyuk had eight poin