For just the fourth time in the 16-year history of the event, Team Russia won the Canada-Russia Series. Russia defeated Team QMJHL in overtime in the sixth game to take the series 3-2-1-0.
Goaltending was the strength for Russia in the series. They were outshot in four of the six games, including 70-42 in the two games against the QMJHL. Pyotr Kochetkov was the superior of the two goalies; in three games, he faced 91 shots and stopped 89 of them for a .978 save percentage.
That’s not to discredit what Blue Jackets prospect Daniil Tarasov did. He played well in all three of his games. He had two really strong games, allowing two goals on 23 shots against the WHL in Game 1, and two goals on 36 shots against the QMJHL in Game 6. His only below-average start was against the OHL in Game 3. Tarasov allowed three goals on 23 shots, and overall he had a .915 save percentage.
Tarasov is a big goalie and uses that to take away space for the shooter. He comes out of his crease and challenges oncoming shooters.
#CANvsRUS: More from Tarasov to keep the game 1-1. C Kirby Dach (Ranked No. 9) has a clear break from his red line but has to rush his shot because LHD Daniil Zhuravlev (COL) caught up to him.— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) November 6, 2018
Speed is the only thing keeping Dach in the lower half of my top 10. pic.twitter.com/895NH8TiDs
We see him in both clips here: the opposing forward has a break, Tarasov cuts down on the angle and fills up a ton of the net. He’s aggressive but not overly so where he’s flailing around to make plays. He’s composed in his net. However, he is not without his flaws.
#CHLvsRUS: I know goalies are taught to drop down in the reverse VH on these plays, but Antoine Morand (ANA 2nd/2017) finds the soft spot and labels one past DaniL Tarasov (CBJ 3rd/2017).— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) November 16, 2018
Team QMJHL leads Russia 1-0 in the 1st. pic.twitter.com/HaEMUK1Apx
That’s a shot he should probably stop. It’s a bad angle and it wasn’t even the best of shots. The good thing though is that stuff like that doesn’t appear to rattle him. He was able to settle down after that as Russia was able to come back and win.
He showed plenty of signs that he could be an NHL goalie. He still has room to grow and staying over in Russia will give him a chance to do so. He’s still very young and hasn’t even played in the KHL yet. If he keeps on this trajectory, he could be in the KHL next season. It’s pretty remarkable how far he’s come considering the lost season he had.
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