"I still have to figure out who's who on this team – commented Heikkil? to Russian sports news website Championat.ru, - yet it's clear we're going to get hooked more and we'll have to designate a 'tough guy' within our team to be able to retaliate."
Notwithstanding Belov's witty attack on Yashin which knocked the former NHLer out of the game when it was still tied 1:1 and goalie Tom Lawson's heroics who made a few point blank saves on Yaroslav's forwards CSKA still lost due to unnecessary penalties which left the team 5 on 3 in overtime which led to Randy Robitaille's game winner.
The situation in the bottom half of the table is just as thrilling if not more. Apart from the clumsy Avangard, still trying to climb up from the 12th place, there's also Ak Bars which so far has been the biggest sensation of the championship. Zinetula Bilyaletdinov's team is not just not looking like the champion it was not so long ago, but it's not even giving the impression of a contender. Kazan had been on a 5 game losing streak at the start of the week and added two more with a 3:0 sweep from Severstal and a 2:3 home loss to Dynamo. The shutout in Cherepovets was marked by plenty of disciplinary action against Ak Bars which was expressing its frustration in rough play with 7 penalties, one of them a misconduct against just 1 of the hosts. All 3 goals, however, were scored on even strength with starter Vasily Koshechkin finishing the game but getting pulled out of the next one after Dynamo hammered him with 3 goals in two periods. Goaltending is not the only apparent problem in Kazan. Ak Bars, once able to convert almost a third of its powerplays, is only 15th in the league with a 10.7% conversion ratio. Coach Bill is now looking at a world of problems with his team already out of the playoff pool and facing tough opponents next week in HC MVD and Avangard in Omsk. Will they break the disastrous 7 game losing streak and get back on track or are we looking at another possible coaching change?