Ivan Nalimov after surrendering a goal from center ice. (via KHL/YouTube)
When a goaltender concedes a marker from center ice, it’s usually due to bad ice or a bouncing puck. For Ivan Nalimov, it was simply that the shot picked a corner about as perfectly as it could have been picked. Watch as Nalimov, a Blackhawks draft pick, gets beaten clean from center.
There aren’t many goalies who get through their entire career without surrendering a goal they would desperately like to have back, but when it comes to goals from center ice, usually a bouncing puck is to blame. Unfortunately, Ivan Nalimov can’t blame bad ice or a dipping and diving puck.
During a Wednesday night tilt pitting Slovan Bratislava against Nalimov’s Admiral Novokuznetsk, everything was going well for Nalimov. He had stopped all 11 shots he faced in the first frame and was halfway through the second period before a neutral zone faceoff gave him some trouble.
After a scrambled draw, Slovan’s Andrej Stastny threw the puck back to defenseman Michal Sersen who saw some daylight in the bottom right corner past Nalimov. The 29-year-old blueliner wound up and fired a cannon of a slapshot that blew right past Nalimov and into the bottom corner. Check it out:
One feels confident in saying Nalimov will likely never allow a goal that he wants back quite as bad as that one. Not only did the slapshot blow past him and into the bottom corner — it should have been an easy puck for the 21-year-old to redirect out of harm’s way — it went by him because he started to cheat out of his net before the shot even came from Sersen. That’s a pair of costly mistakes from Nalimov on one play.
Nalimov was a sixth-round selection, 179th overall, of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2014, but he hasn’t yet signed a contract with the club. Nalimov was a three-time Rookie of the Week in the KHL this past season and was named Rookie of the Month for October. After his blunder, it doesn’t look like he’ll be picking up any top goaltender honors to start the new KHL campaign.