PuckDaddy- The KHL’s Gagarin Cup playoffs are at the conference semifinal stage and one player has stood out, not because of how many goals he has, but how he’s scored them.
Andrei Kuteikin is a 32-year-old defenseman currently playing for Dynamo Moscow. He’s won the Gagarin Cup twice before with SKA St. Petersburg and Salavat Yulaev Ufa. He has three goals this postseason, which ties his career high. All three has been fired from center ice, which should be a heads up for any goalie next time they see him carrying the puck through the neutral zone.
There is nothing more to this than a hard, relatively accurate slap shot, some piss poor goaltending, and an asinine amount of luck. I know that. You know that. Andrei Kuteikin knows that. His teammates know that. His coaches know that. His opposition knows it. Their coaches know that. Every person that has absentmindedly watched merely five minutes of hockey in their life knows that. Hell, I bet even the puck bunnies waiting outside the locker room for some Russian lovin' know that.
That doesn't mean that the result of the rockets he's been launched into the back of the net from 105 feet out won't have an effect on how he'll be defended going forward. No matter how unlikely a repeat occurrence is, you simply can't be the team that sits back while a player scores his FOURTH goal of the playoffs from the red line. As the old saying goes, "once is chance, twice is a coincidence, and the third time is a pattern". The person that authored that quote didn't even go up to four because they didn't think anyone would be stupid enough to let themselves get fooled more than three times. I don't care if your whole damn team - including the goaltender - sells out on a shot fake and lets Andrei Kuteikin limp wrist one into an open net from just inside the blue line, because at this point that would be less embarrassing than looking bewildered if (when?) he smokes a historically harmless shot through every line of your defense...AGAIN.