Steve Dangle of Leafs Nation spent part of his time during the lockout doing KHL highlights in English for the North American audience, and reminded me there was a bunch of Anton Belov video there. The hit above earned Belov a minor penalty and a 10-minute misconduct.
Lots of Belov in this clip, mostly skating around the offensive zone – he’s very active around the high slot in several scoring sequences here, and of course puts away a dynamite shot at a crucial time:
Belov scores Avangard’s first goal here; not much to say except that he obviously doesn’t mind jumping in on the rush:
Belov scores the critical goal to send the game to overtime here (also, fun footage of one of my favourites, Patrick Thoresen):
First, the caveat: it’s terribly dangerous to YouTube scout. It is, however, fun, so that won’t stop me.
I watched a bunch of video that isn’t included here – mostly clips of Avangard getting scored on in the post-season, and it confirmed an impression I’d had during the lockout: defensive systems in Russia just aren’t very tight. Some of that likely has to do with the bigger rinks, but some of it just seems to be playing style – shot-blocking doesn’t seem to be prioritized as much, and defencemen get beat 1-on-1 with greater frequency on goals than they do at the NHL level.
In Avangard’s case, Belov actually came across pretty well. His defensive game hasn’t exactly received rave reviews but compared to the mistakes being made by other players on the team he was brilliant. The one thing I did notice on a couple of goals was just that he didn’t take away time and space quickly enough on the shooter – either he didn’t get out from the net fast enough to cut down the angle or he took his man but wasn’t aggressive enough in handling him. Then again: every defenceman makes mistakes, and because it’s only the goals that get put in the highlight packages naturally it’s those mistakes that get highlighted, so it could be a case where Belov is fine in that department the vast majority of the time.
Also: if you missed it, right below this Jason Gregor has a great piece up on Belov, and Russian reporter Dmitry Chesnokov addresses some of these points. Be sure to check it out.
Don’t forget that it’s not too late to play StreakCred – the new playoff pool game from the Nation Network. You can win a trip for 2 to Oktoberfest in Germany among the awesome prizes up for grabs. Now it’s only $10 and a portion of the proceeds go to Edmonton Charities. Sign up here.
Recently around the Nation Network
Darren Dreger suggests that Roberto Luongo may not report to Vancouver next season if the Canucks can’t get a trade done this summer. From Canucks Army:
This sort of matches what Mike Gillis has said in the past. One way or another, Luongo won’t be back and that’s the one thing that all sides appear to agree on.
Click the link above to read the whole piece, or feel free check out some of my other pieces here:
- Report: Oilers interview Paul Maurice for coaching job
- Ten Points: The 2013 Draft prospect the Oilers aren’t talking about
- Is Antti Raanta the next Tim Thomas or Nicklas Backstrom?
- Will the Oilers sign Bernhard Starkbaum?
- Valeri Nichushkin just did the Oilers a huge favour
- Follow Jonathan Willis on Twitter!