European Game Day: 3-10-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 3 @ KalPa 0
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, SO, 18/18, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 32 GP, 20-9-1, 7 SO, 1.62 GAA, .936 sv%

Riku Helenius and JYP dominated the league's top team, KalPa, 3-0, to move themselves within an eyelash of clinching a first round playoff bye. Helenius posted his 7th shutout of the season and was named third star of the game. He is now second in the league in save percentage, first in GAA, and first in shutouts. His shutout mark is particularly impressive given he was in a tandem starter situation for much of the first half of the season. With 2 games remaining in the regular season, JYP's magic number is 1 point: 1 point gained or 1 point lost by 7th place Karpat, to clinch the opening round bye. They face Jokerit next on Tuesday.

KHL Playoff (Russia):
It's been all chalk so far in the KHL playoffs as all higher seeds have won in the Quarterfinal round, thus far. Novgorod knocked off Dynamo Riga 2-0 today in Game Seven to finalize the combatants in the Semis in the West. In the East, Magnitogorsk and Astana go in Game Seven tomorrow, after which we'll know who top seed Chelyabinsk will face in the Semis.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
Chelyabinsk Jr. 1 @ Novokuznetsk Jr. 5
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk Jr., 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 5 SOG
Regular Season totals (MHL): 41 GP, 11-20-31, +11, 66 PIM
Regular season totals (KHL): 10 GP, 0-0-0, +8, 4 PIM
Playoff totals (KHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

While the big club awaits for a Semifinal opponent, Nikita Nesterov was back with the junior team today in its 5-1 loss to Novokuznetsk Jr. He took a minor for slashing in the contest. The game was Chelyabinsk Jr.'s final contest of the regular season. The team did not qualify for the playoffs out of the Ural-Siberia Division, finishing 6th of 8 teams. Expect Nesterov to be a Black Ace and spot starter for the KHL side for the remainder of their playoff run.

KHK MVD Jr. 4 @ CSKA Jr. 5 (OT)
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., DNP
Regular Season totals (MHL): 23 GP, 24-19-43, +16, 40 PIM
Regular Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

In the "just not fair" department, CSKA, which was eliminated from the KHL postseason, sent former Blue Jackets first rounder Nikita Filatov down to the MHL today. All he did was post 1-2-3 to lead CSKA Jr. to a 5-4 OT win over KHK MVD Jr. Nikita Kucherov did not appear in the match. CSKA Jr. has qualified for the postseason, finishing 2nd in the Central Division, and will have the opportunity to defend their MHL title in the playoffs. One would think if they're allowed to play Filatov, they might have a really good chance to do just that.

SM-slutspel Quarterfinals (Sweden)
(7) AIK 3 @ (1) Lulea 6
Johan Harju, Lulea, 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM
Regular eason totals: 53 GP, 15-10-25, +12, 16 PIM

Johan Harju had a power play goal and even strength assist in Lulea's 6-3 Game One thumping of AIK. Game Two is Monday.