Daniil Apalkov (via YouTube)
Some players turn it up come playoff time. Daniil Apalkov may just be one of those players. Watch as he toe-drags past a defenseman, embarrassing him before rifling a seeing-eye wrist shot into the top corner.
No matter how nice a goal may be in the regular season, there’s something more special about highlight reel fodder coming in the playoffs. Just ask Daniil Apalkov.
In the first round of the KHL’s Gagarin Cup playoffs, Apalkov embarrassed a defender in the kind of way you might only expect in a video game. Apalkov broke into the Dynamo Moscow zone with his Lokomotiv Yaroslavl down 7-2, faked to the inside, toe-dragged the puck around defenseman Mat Robinson and unleashed a laser of a wristshot past Alexander Lazushin.
The 23-year-old Apalkov hasn’t been a standout in the KHL, but it’s clear he has all the offensive skill in the world with this move. It was his second goal of the postseason for Lokomotiv and his fourth career playoff tally.
Even though they were thoroughly beaten by the third-seeded Moscow in game five, Yaroslavl, the sixth seed, is still in the series, trailing 3-2 in the opening round. Game six of the series goes Saturday.