Khabibulin Absent From Practice 4th Straight Day: Begin The Stirring


December 9th is the last time anyone saw Nikolai Khabibulin.

Khabibulin was last seen in the blue paint at Rexall Place, or on your TV screen.  Some newspapers had his picture in the sports section on the 10th, but the last time anyone seems to have seen Nikolai Khabibulin the person was on the ninth. Khabibulin had just finished winning his tenth game of season, helping the Oilers dispose of the Colorado Avalanche 4-1.

He hasn’t been at practice since.

So what’s going on with the resurgent Russian?

Seen him around? Photo courtesy Shannon Stapleton / Reuters


1.95 GAA

.933 SV%

There’s not a chance I expected Nikolai Khabibulin to have the season he’s had so far.  Compare his numbers this year with his numbers from 2010-11:

  • he’s got ten victories so far this year, he had ten all of last season
  • Current SV%:  .933.  Last year’s cumulative SV%:  .890.  Granted, he played in many more losses last year, but his current SV% reflects that he’s saving 43 more shots per thousand, or around 20 more goals so far this season.
  • He’s got a pair of shutouts.  He’s been a deciding factor for this team in more than a couple of games so far this season – in a good way.

Needless to say, it brings some concern that he’s been off skates for the last four days, and no one has said much.  He looked to be in fine shape in his last game, one that saw him turn aside 28 of 29 total Avalanche shots.

Here’s hoping it’s not his back.  Or his groin.  Both of those are bad.  Don’t want those.

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