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Author: Alessandro Seren Rosso ( 09/20/2007
Super League Round 4: Torpedo (NN) vs. Spartak (Moscow) Scouting Analysis

2008 Super League

Super League Tour 4: A close look at the drafted and some undrafted players competing in the Torpedo (Nizhni Novgorod) vs. Spartak (Moscow) contest

Dmitri Sayustov (Undrafted), forward, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
Came from Metallurg’s system and is adapting well to Superliga's game...seems to have succeed in adapting to a new city... worked for the whole game, especially in the offensive zone... had one scoring chance at the twenty-fourth minute, when he took a loose puck and shot it low, with Simchuk having to make a good the first period he spent an entire shift in the defensive zone because his line was pressured by Pestunov/Zykin/Rybin's line and he was somewhat a weak point of the defence, letting opponents make almost all what they wanted...during the 29th minute he was iced on the powerplay: he brought the puck to the offensive zone and got the second assist for Potapov's 2-0 goal by serving Varnakov with a nice backhand pass... has some potential as he is a good offensive talent, with good stickhandling abilities and a nose for the pass...must improve his defensive play to be fully effective at the pro level.

Evgeny Lobanov (Undrafted), goalkeeper, Spartak Moscow
Used by Bragin after Torpedo's third goal, to replace upset Simchuk. This is his first season in the RSL after he spent 06/07 season on loan to Kristall Saratov, playing in the High League (Russia 2). He faced the first shot after less than two minutes and didn't control the rebound well, which started a little scramble between the players of the two teams. At the 37th minute the defence was caught out of position and he had to skate outside of the crease to deal with the puck. Weak clear attempt and so Torpedo has the possession again with Korolev trying to trick him out with a fake shot but he goes down and saves with the pad in butterfly style. At 39th minute he couldn't control the rebound again after a shot.  After fifty seconds in the third period he made a good save going down to cover up the open part of the net and managed to do it well. At the eighth minute of the third period he allowed Torpedo's fourth goal: once again the defence was badly positioned, especially Sapozhkov, and Yuri Dobryshkin (Atlanta Thrashers) shot a bit from the outside. He almost stopped the shot with the pads but the puck slipped under and trickled slowly into the net. He was a bit unlucky on this occasion, and the defence was put out of play with a neutral zone pass. At 55th he stopped by diving down again two breakaways by Levinskiy, displaying his good conditioning and good ability on low shots. He played a very solid game and with more defensive help he could have finished the game without allowing any goals. Like many Russian young goaltenders he must improve his rebound control and also has to gain some confidence because he looks scared to make mistakes as he knows that he is going to concede rebounds to the opponents.

Mikhail Yunkov (Washington Capitals) (Washington Capitals), center, Spartak Moscow
He played on a line with brother Alexander Yunkov and Roman Meleshko... played hard the entire game without much to show for it...played center and always passed the puck around well but could not create anything really dangerous...won a good number of faceoffs, especially in the offensive zone... had two scoring chances: on the 42nd minute he skated well into the zone and shot after Rybin's feed but his shot was not accurate and easily rejected by Salficky with the blocker. At 55th minute he made a great effort with an end-to-end rush concluded after he avoided a hit by a defender and shot the puck, but Salficky was stopping everything on this day...looked very good on defence and forced Torpedo players to make four turnovers throughout the game... also displayed good dedication even if his team in this game wasn't good at all.

Dmitri Pestunov (Phoenix Coyotes) (Phoenix Coyotes), center, Spartak Moscow
Pestunov has played a great game despite his team's hard loss. The gifted, natural playmaker has passed the puck around very well for the whole game, especially first passes to get out of the defensive zone in the fast paced fourth line composed by him, Zykin and Rybin. He was good during the penalty killing but once he asked for a line change in the wrong moment and he left the defence with three men on the ice. In that rush Torpedo scored their third goal with Levinskiy. His passing was very accurate and often created dangerous scoring chances. His playmaking ability is fundamental for his line's success. Can go far in the hockey world if he keeps playing like this, whic has been his best hockey in two seasons.

Vladislav Egin (Undrafted), right defender, Spartak Moscow
Paired with more expert Kukhtinov. Took an unnecessary penalty early in the game for being too aggressive leaving his team short hand.  Tries to be always aggressive, sometimes even too much. After the penalty he calmed down and started being less aggressive without being less effective. His defensive play was far from being perfect and he was outplayed for the whole match by Torpedo's forward Levinskiy, who was the best player on the ice. He was also outskated by him during Korolev's goal, Torpedo's first. Sometime later he tried setting up but his team has lost the puck because of his bad pass. He tried to participate in Spartak's offensive rushes but his skills aren't solid and he doesn't want to attempt anything more than basic defender-to-defender pass. Since Bragin doesn't use special teams he spent some time in the powerplay and he was used as the defensive defenseman, serving well his task but without trying to be a little creative with the puck. At the 34th minute he tried a big point shot but he wasn't aware of a defenseman standing in front of him. He played a bad game but he also somewhat displayed that he is an interesting prospect because of his physicality and awareness in defence, but he must improve his skating, positioning and overall hockey sense.

Alexei Zykin (Undrafted, played in NAHL), right wing, Spartak Moscow
Played with Pestunov and Rybin on Spartak's fourth line. This line showed good chemistry, also thanks to Pestunov's great playmaking. He was on the ice for Torpedo's first goal when his line was completely outskated by opponent's line for a quick counterattack goal. He had just one goal chance at thirteenth minute after Rybin's good pass but his shot went rejected by Czech Salficky, who played a great game. He did nothing worth telling for the remainder of the game but also did not stand out with any significant errors. Has the potential to become an RSL regular, but hardly will be anything more.

Related Player Profiles: . Y.Dobryshkin V.Egin E.Lobanov D.Pestunov M.Yunkov A.Zykin
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