Mike Keenan is to goaltenders as Seinfeld's Mr. Pitt is to socks. The former long-time NHL bench boss is spending his days coaching in the KHL with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, who sit fourth in the East Division.
And while Keenan may be in new surroundings, he's still the same old "Iron" Mike.
During Metallurg's 5-4 overtime win over Ugra on Thursday, Keenan reminded us all about his history of impatience with goaltenders. With his team down 2-0 14 minutes into the opening period, he pulled starter Vasily Koshechkin in favor of Alexander Pechursky.
Well, that didn't quite work out as 3:16 later, Ugra went up 3-0 and Keenan decided to go back to Koshechki.
Metallurg would fall behind 4-0 before rallying for the win. Koshechkin would stay in the game.
In September, speaking with our own Dmitry Chesnokov, Keenan made it sound as if his Captain Hook days were a thing of the past:
“Probably not. The goaltending is different here. It is different from North America, because of the distance. Even talking to Pavel Bure he said I would make a good play here, but it is still too far to score. In North America you can make a play, shoot and score, because it is close. There is a difference in terms of the goaltending skill. Wasn’t Koshechkin voted an MVP last season? Another reason you won’t pull your goalie as much here is because there are 28 less games here. That’s a lot! 54 game schedule versus 82 – that’s a big difference. Sometimes you take a goalie out to give them some rest. But you don’t have to here because, for example, we don’t play a back to back game an entire season. That’s very, very different than the NHL.”
Never change, Iron Mike. Never change.
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