KHL goaltender makes huge stick save on attempt at wide-open net

Jared Clinton
Konstantin Barulin (via KHL/YouTube)

When you’re one of the top netminders in the KHL throughout your career, it’s expected that you’ll make some unthinkable stops. But even Konstantin Barulin had to be surprised by his lunging paddle stop on Yuri Babenko in KHL action Monday.

In third period action between HC Sochi and Dynamo Moscow, with the score deadlocked at two apiece, Babenko was the recipient of a glorious opportunity. A shot from the blue line was deflected on its way in and ended up coming to a stop right on Babenko’s stick with Barulin scrambling to regain position in his net. With Babenko thinking he had an entire cage to shoot at, he fired a backhand along the ice which was turned away miraculously by Barulin: Read more

Former Kings defenseman Slava Voynov set to join KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg

Jared Clinton
Slava Voynov (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has taken the first steps toward signing a contract in the KHL after not having played a professional game in almost one year’s time.

According to’s Alexander Rogulev, Voynov has decided to request a transfer from Traktor Chelyabinsk to SKA St. Petersburg, where he will join former NHLers Ilya Kovalchuk, Dmitri Kalinin, Anton Belov, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Evgeny Artyukhin.

“(Voynov has) decided to play SKA, due to the fact that the club will compete for the Gagarin Cup,” Voynov’s agent Ravil Iskhakov told R-Sport. “This will help Voynov prepare for matches for the national team of Russia. At the moment, the general manager of SKA Andrew Tochitskii (is) in Chelyabinsk and in talks with Traktor on the exchange of rights (for Voynov). When these conditions are met, (Voynov) will be able to sign a contract with SKA.” Read more

KHLer flies through entire opposing team before tucking home gorgeous goal

Jared Clinton
Maxim Kazakov (via KHL/YouTube)

If you’ve never heard the name Maxim Kazakov before, you wouldn’t be alone, but the 22-year-old Russian left winger is doing his best to change that this season.

Through 14 KHL games this season, Kazakov, who plays for Mettalurg Novokuznetsk, has notched seven goals and 13 points, which makes for the first time in his career that he has eclipsed the 10-point plateau in the KHL. Suffice to say, he’s en route to setting some personal bests in the primarily Russian league.

No matter how many goals he scores in 2015-16 while setting his career high point total, it’s hard to imagine Kazakov will best his tally from Sunday’s contest against Ak Bars Kazan. Late in the first period, Kazakov flew down the ice, burst past four Kazan defenders and tucked the puck home after making Ak Bars netminder Jussi Rynnas bite hard on a backhand. Read more

KHL player makes no-look, behind-the-back pass for gorgeous assist

Jared Clinton
Evgeny Bodrov (via KHL/YouTube)

Everyone has heard of a goal scorer’s goal, but Spartak Moscow center Evgeny Bodrov dished out a playmaker’s assist in KHL action over the weekend.

With Moscow up 2-0 over Slovan Bratislava nearing the midway mark of the third frame, Bodrov circled behind the net and drew Slovan’s Anatoly Protasenya below the goal line. With Protasenya playing loose coverage and giving Bodrov space, the 27-year-old Russian pivot spotted defenseman Chay Genoway streaking in from the blueline.

As Genoway cut towards the net, Bodrov took his eyes off of his teammate, took a stride towards the corner and threw a no-look, behind-the-back pass that landed right on Genoway’s tape for an easy tap-in. Take a look: Read more

Dany Heatley joins German team, Martin Erat inks deal with KHL’s Omsk

Jared Clinton
Dany Heatley (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Dany Heatley may have played his final game in the NHL.

It was announced Thursday morning that Heatley has signed a contract with the Nuremberg Ice Tigers of the German DEL. The contract will carry the 34-year-old through to the end of the DEL season, and Heatley is expected to be in the lineup as soon as Sunday when the Ice Tigers face the Hamburg Freezers. While he plays for Canada nationally, Heatley is German-born, so the DEL presents an opportunity for him to play in what is technically his home country.

“Dany Heatley is one of the largest commitments in the history of the DEL,” said Ice Tigers sports director Martin Jiranek. “We are very pleased and happy that he has chosen to play for the Ice Tigers in Nuremberg. We have been in contact with Dany for more than a month, he is friends with several players with us. He does not come for the money, he comes because he wants to play in Nuremberg.” Read more

Evgeni Malkin would love to face Sidney Crosby with the World Cup on the line

Ryan Kennedy
Evgeni Malkin (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

It hasn’t even been a decade yet, but Evgeni Malkin has assembled a very impressive career. He’s won the Calder, Art Ross, Ted Lindsay, Hart and Conn Smythe trophies, been a multiple first-team all star and won a Stanley Cup. He doesn’t have an Olympic gold medal, but a World Cup of Hockey win with Russia would work in the short-term.

Read more

KHL president says game between Gagarin Cup and Stanley Cup champions has been discussed

Jared Clinton
Ilya Kovalchuk (via KHL/YouTube)

Fans wanting to see Ilya Kovalchuk take on NHL competition once again could be doing so if the league and the KHL can strike a deal to face each other in an exhibition outing, something that is a possibility, said KHL president Dmitry Chernyshenko.

According to Sport-Express’ Igor Eronko, Chernyshenko has said that a game pitting the Gagarin Cup winning club — the KHL’s post-season champion — against the Stanley Cup champions in what would likely be a one-game showdown. The idea for the champion vs. champion game, said Chernyshenko, is being discussed with NBC. Read more

KHL goaltender bats puck out of mid-air for early save of the year candidate

Jared Clinton
Barry Brust stops Colby Genoway in KHL action (via KHL/YouTube)

If there has been a save early this season that perfectly represents what goaltenders are capable of, this stop by Barry Brust is it.

During a Sunday tilt between Brust’s Slovan Bratislava and Medvescak Zagreb, the 32-year-old netminder made the kind of save that will remain on his personal highlight reel forever. Following a blast from the blueline, the puck deflected off the stick of Zagreb’s Colby Genoway and was sent flipping through the air towards Brust’s goal.

In one motion, Brust swept his stick over his head, smacked the puck and sent it sailing wide of the net. Read more