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Matvei Michkov was left out in the KHL today

In recent weeks, Matvei Michkov has been the talk of the KHL. The young man is scoring by the ton, and he’s scoring some magnificent goals, all the while learning to play center.

All in all, there’s a lot to be positive about.

However, over the past few games, we’ve noticed that the youngster’s playing time has been plummeting. Remember that in his team’s last game, he was benched for a blunder.

He had only played eight minutes in the previous match. That gave him 13 minutes in two games.

Obviously, they want him to learn the hard way. He won’t have everything cooked up in his mouth, and we know that in Russia, youngsters often have to work very hard for playing time.

Just think of Alexander Romanov, who was barely used in the KHL because he was a youngster and limiting his playing time was a form of pressure tactic to keep him out of the NHL.

And even if the situation isn’t exactly the same, Mishkov is in the process of suffering the wrath of his coaches as well. After two games in which he hardly played at all, he was left outright today.

That’s the risk of playing a player in Europe.

Even so, these are still warm-up games, so now might be a good time to send a message to the youngster. If it puts the knife between his teeth before the season starts, it’s not a bad thing.

But clearly, he’s going to have to work for his playing time this year. No matter how good he is, mistakes won’t be tolerated.

Incidentally, David Reinbacher’s team, EHC Kloten, were also in action today, but Reinbacher wasn’t in uniform either. In his case, however, it’s not a disciplinary measure: he’s probably preparing for the next camp.

We suspected that he would play his team’s first two preparatory games (which he did) without necessarily playing the others. In the end, he may already be in Quebec to prepare.

In short, we’ll be watching to see what the next few games have in store for Mishkov, but clearly, his KHL coaches are going to teach him the hard way. It’s up to him to force them to give him ice time.

Breaking news

– Now for your questions.

– Emil Heineman would like to play at the Bell Centre this year. But he’ll have to deal with congestion up front to get there.

– It’s understandable.

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