Trying to Rank the Top 5 Russians to Win the Stanley Cup

With the Stanley Cup Finals underway and a potential for four new Russians to be immortalized, we here at FRWG decided to take a look back to see how the comrades of yesteryear ranked amongst one another. Criteria included a minimum of 500 NHL games, at least one cup, stats of the non fancy variety, and a whole lot of eternal struggle.

Note this list is not set in stone and a will likely look very different following the conclusion of the careers of today’s Russian stars.

Here we go!
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“is party time now?” Projecting the 2014 Russian Olympic Team

 

Apparently, yesterday was the day all of hockey’s media decided to begin their predictions for the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia. From ESPN to Yahoo, both the USA and Canada has been the talk of the best international hockey tournament on the globe. Luckily, no one is yet talking about the hosts, the best national team in the sport, and the reason you all read this site.
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Comrade of the Night-Evgeni Malkin

Thursday night saw five different Russian NHL’ers light the lamp for their respective teams. While they were all important to the teams involved, one players performance stood slightly higher than the rest. Heading into Thursday’s match-up against the Rangers, Evgeni Malkin and the Penguins were coming off an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Islanders in the ever competitive Atlantic Division. Just 1:27 into the game, Simon Despres found Malkin with a pass near the far right circle which the 26-year-old center rocketed past Henrik Lundqvist’s 5-hole.
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Steel City “Steals” Kovalev

When Alexei Kovalev isn’t making millions of dollars or creating commercials or flying in his private jet, he certainly isn’t living up to his price tag at the NHL level.  Granted, the Ottawa Senators have been in a downward spiral since the season began and are now putting up a fire sale making way for their prospects to get their feet wet in the NHL.  Alexei Kovalev was the latest victim to Ottawa’s massive overhaul.  After signing a two-year, 10 million dollar contract, Kovalev has put up 76 points in 131 games for the Senators.  Compare this to a few seasons ago when he was a point-per-game player with the Montreal Canadiens and it is safe to say that Kovalev has been on a steady decline.
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Evgeni Malkin To Have Knee Surgery

On Wednesday, it was announced by the Pittsburgh Penguins that Evgeni Malkin has elected to have knee surgery to repair the torn ligaments in his right knee. Malkin, who was only just making his return to the ice from a different ailment, suffered the injury when Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers awkwardly fell on his knee during a February 4th game at the Consol Energy Center. Malkin then had to be helped off the ice and headed directly to the locker room, and it was later revealed he had torn both his ACL and MCL.

The Penguins are estimating his recovery time at six months, which effectively rules him out for the season and duration of the playoffs, but expect Malkin to be ready when training camp begins in September.
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Alexei Kovalev Becomes 3rd Russian to Score 1,000 Points in NHL


(Photo courtesy of Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

First it was Sergei Fedorov, a month later it was Alexander Mogilny, and tonight, well over six years since a Russian-born player reached the 1,000 career point plateau, Ottawa’s Alexei Kovalev joins an elite club. Kovalev scored a power-play goal midway through the first period(at exactly 10:00) to give the Senators the early lead. With the goal, assisted by fellow countryman Sergei Gonchar, Kovalev became the 76th NHL player to have his career points go into quadruple digits.

Kovalev fired a slap shot past Jonathon Quick after Gonchar’s shot bounced off a LA Kings defender for his sixth goal of the year. The shot was powerful enough to break his stick. Kovalev would add an assist on the game winning goal by Jason Spezza to earn the first star of the game. He becomes the second Senators player to eclipse 1,000 points with captain Daniel Alfredsson doing so exactly a month ago.
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Comrades of the Night-Alex Kovalev and Sergei Gonchar

For the first time in our short history we have two comrades of the night as two of Russia’s most seasoned NHL vets had a memorable night up in Ottawa. Prior to face-off, the Senators honored Sergei Gonchar on his 1,000th game in the NHL by presenting him with a plaque, a silver stick, and a portrait. A video was also shown of his career and the various teams he played for including Washington, Boston, and Pittsburgh respectively.

Gonchar becomes just the fifth Russian (and third Sergei) in league history to surpass the plateau joining the likes of Sergei Fedorov, Alexei Zhitnik, Slava Kozlov, Sergei Zubov, and teammate Alex Kovalev. Kovalev will soon surpass Fedorov for most all-time games for a Russian-born NHLer needing just 11 more games. After being criticized in the early going of the season by GM Bryan Murray, Kovalev scored two goals and added an assist en-route to a 5-2 Ottawa win.
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