No, it’s not October yet and the NHL season is still more than a month away. However, that we’re approaching the end of August means the KHL season has begun. And it only took one day for SKA St. Petersburg netminder Mikko Koskinen to make a point blank stop that will be remembered all season.
With the score knotted at 0-0 with little more than six minutes remaining in the first period, CSKA Moscow worked the puck in behind the St. Petersburg goal and the SKA defense collapsed on the attacking forwards. That’s when Alexander Radulov snuck into the empty room in front of the net and was given a golden opportunity on the doorstep — a golden opportunity that was snatched away from him by the quick glove hand of Koskinen.
That Koskinen made the save — one that seemingly surprised himself, if you watch his reaction — is one thing, but that he showed it off with the ‘Statue of Liberty’ flair is another. Radulov looked shocked he has missed the opportunity and Koskinen made sure Radulov knew he had. Talk about rubbing it in.
But making a point of showing off the save against Radulov, the KHL’s 2014-15 MVP, probably wasn’t the smartest move by Koskinen. Less than one minute into the second frame, Radulov exacted his revenge with the game- and season-opening tally on a patient backhand move after finding open space behind the St. Petersburg defensemen.
The season-opening game between Moscow and St. Petersburg took overtime to solve. One of CSKA’s off-season acquisitions, Geoff Platt, scored the winner in the extra frame.