“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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Alexander Ovechkin named captain of Capitals

oviecaptain
(Courtesy of Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post )

Prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, the Washington Capitals announced Alexander Ovechkin would be the team’s newest captain after the departure of Chris Clark to Columbus.

Ovechkin becomes the team’s 14th captain and the first European-born one and will most likely remain captain until his contract expires in 2020-21. He becomes the third-youngest captain at 24 in the NHL behind Jason Toews, 21 and Sidney Crosby,22.

Ovechkin becomes the seventh Russian-born player to captain an NHL team joining the likes of Alexei Yashin (Ottawa & Islanders), Alexei Kovalev (Montreal), Pavel Bure (Florida), Alexander Mogilny (Buffalo), Alexei Zhamnov (Chicago), and Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta).

Kovalchuk and Ovechkin are the only two active captains and both will be essential to Team Russia next month in Vancouver. Ovechkin was voted unanimously by his teammates and was greeted to applause when it was revealed.

Ovie was originally offered the captain’s ‘C’ three years ago but declined due to a poor grasp on the English language. Now three years later the face of the Capitals franchise is the voice of reason on and off the ice.

Below are videos of Ovechkin putting on the jersey for the first time followed by his post-game interview on the captaincy courtesy of the NHL and NHL.com.

Further below you will find a video to a famous Russian song that translates to captain, captain smile! which could not be more appropriate for the newest Capitals captain who has hockey’s most recognizable smile.

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Comrade of the night-Alexei Kovalev

90960651PM017_PHILADELPHIA_(Courtesy of Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

After failing to score in 16 games before recording a hat-trick against the Carolina Hurricanes on December 12th, Alexei Kovalev snapped his latest goal drought, this one for ten games, by netting four goals against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night.

Kovalev, who also added an assist, got on the board twice in the first period and then again in the third. He would score on both Michael Leighton and then Brian Boucher who came in relief. Kovalev became just the fifth Senator in team history with a four-goal game. Kovalev now has 12 career hat-tricks. Below are all four goals courtesy of the NHL and NHL.com

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Comrade of the Night-Evgeni Malkin

article_15204_1(Courtesy of The Hockey News)

On Wednesday night with Team Russia GM Vladislav Tretiak in attendance Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin recorded his fourth career hat-trick again the Ottawa Senators.

Malkin became the second Russian this season to record a hat-trick after Alexei Kovalev of the Senators recorded one two weeks ago.

Malkin had only two goals in his previous 10 games and was held off the score sheet in each of his past two but had his first multiple-goal regular-season game since March 17 against Atlanta.

His performance will most likely be noted by Tretiak who probably has Malkin on his roster already seeing how he is the leagues reigning Conn Smyth winner.

Each goal came per period two of which were assisted by Sidney Crosby. This is Malkin’s second COTN nod of the season. Below are all three of Geno’s goals courtesy of the NHL and NHL.com

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Comrade of the night-Alexei Kovalev

Hurricanes Senators Hockey(Courtesy of The Canadian Press/Pawel Dwulit)

On Saturday night in Ottawa Alexei Kovalev became just the 82nd player in NHL history to reach the 400 career goal plateau. Kovalev notched three goals on the night against the lowly Carolina Hurricanes halting a 16 game skid without finding the back of the net in the process.

Kovalev got the Sens on the board in the first period redirecting Nick Folignos pass behind Manny Legace. Career goal 400 came with the score tied 2-2 in the second period with Kovalev’s shot deflecting off Carolina defenseman Jay Harrison’s skate.

He would add an empty-net goal to cap off his hat-trick and sealing the victory for the senators. Kovalev became the first Russian to record a hat-trick this year, his last one came in 2003 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Congrats to Alexei on his achievement and as always his comrade of the night nod.

Below are all three of Kovalev’s goals all courtesy always of the NHL and NHL.com

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