Malkin Shines the Brightest as Russia Basks in Gold

(courtesy of Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

The big red machine is back. In what was a case of Déjà vu for many, yesterdays 6-2 thrashing by Team Russia against an inspired Slovakian team was an ode to the Soviet times. Back then Russia was not only the most feared country in the world but also instilled fear on their opponents on the ice. You won’t find the legendary names like Tretiak or Kharlamov on the backs of today’s squad but with their performance throughout this tournament these players have the ability to become something better.
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Russia Heads to Sweden in Search of Gold (Updated)

(courtesy of the Russian Hockey Federation)

It’s come to our attention that we somehow overlooked this years upcoming IIHF Men’s World Championships. With that, let’s take a quick look at the Russian roster and the tournament which officially starts on Friday. Russia arrives in Sweden hoping to capture any kind of silverware as last year they were bounced by eventual champions Finland before losing to the Czech’s in the bronze-medal game.
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Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s History Will Not Stop

(Photo courtesy of hclokomotiv.ru; translates to “Our team, forever”)

The headline you see above was a direct quote issued by the president of the KHL, Alexander Medvedev, as he and other officials, both hockey and government, arrived to the city of Yaroslavl amid the tragedy that has sent waves throughout the sporting world and front pages across the globe. From the hundreds of Lokomotiv fans gathering for candlelight vigils to the arrival of President Dmitry Medvedev, the city has been in thoughts of many and in the hearts of millions.

From a Russian hockey standpoint, many of the players both here in America and back in the KHL have connection to the club whether as opponents on a yearly basis or growing up with some of those who perished. From the biggest names in the sport such as Alexander Ovechkin who played with Alexander Galimov, the lone survivor of the Lokomotiv roster, in 2005 at the World Juniors, to alumni and fans in 10 countries which have lost their hockey heroes and icons.
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Dueling Russians

This year’s NHL draft brings about a lot of talent, as it does year after year.  However, the crop of Russian players is not as copious as years past (most noticeably the 2010 NHL Entry Draft).  You will not find the likes of a Burmistrov, Tarasenko, Kuznetsov, Kabanov, Galiev, or Kitsyn.  But a new breed of Russian hockey player is quickly coming into the fold.  The two notables in this year’s draft are, the OHL’s, Vladislav Namestnikov and Alexander Khokhlachev.  Most likely first or second round draft picks, these two Russians have taken the next step in achieving their dreams of playing in the NHL by coming across the ocean from Russia to play in the top junior league in the world.

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Boxing with the Stars Continues with Devils’ Kovalchuk


(courtesy of Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

There is much to be said about the current state of the New Jersey Devils as it appears the franchise is headed for their first season without a playoff berth in 13 years. With the firing of rookie coach John Maclean just days ago, the lack of defense in front of veteran Martin Brodeur and the team’s new poster boy for it’s misery, Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils have become the laughingstock of the NHL.

Fans and critics alike have pointed fingers to the contract that was given to Kovy over the summer which will make him a Devil for the rest of his career. The whole “with great power comes great responsibility” spiel has been bestowed on the sniper as his big money contract warrants him to carry the team on offense. While the team spirals out of control it seems most have put the blame on Kovalchuk while ignoring other ridiculous contracts the team has to honor(Brian Rolston anyone?)
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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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Comrade of the Night – Pavel Datsyuk

Datsyuk dances with Corey Perry (AP)

There isn’t much that Pavel Datsyuk can not do. A seasoned veteran and four-time Lady Byng Award recipient, Dats has been a model of consistency for the Detroit Red Wings since the lockout. Our second straight Comrade of the Night from Yekaterinburg, Datsyuk’s skills were on full display in Detroit’s home opener against the Anaheim Ducks.

Five minutes into the 2nd period, he scored a trademarked Datsyuk goal – one that makes your jaw drop in amazement, “How did he just do that?” – to give the Red Wings a 3-0 lead. Detroit’s top unit was seemingly able to skate circles around the statue-esque Duck defenders as partner-in-crime Henrik Zetterberg took the puck at the blue line and passed it rather innocently down to Datsyuk, who was parked several feet to the left of Jonas Hiller. Instead of taking the pass, Datsyuk somehow calculated the exact perfect angle to redirect the puck through Hiller’s 5-hole, leaving everyone at JLA clueless.

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