Milestone Night in Anaheim For Pavel Datsyuk

(courtesy of The AP)

In a game where his line mate stole the show with a four-point night, Pavel Datsyuk reached two career milestones not too far from “Where dreams come true.” The 34-year-old center notched a goal and two assists just up the road from Disneyland in both scoring caterogories. Datsyuk broke a 1-1 tie with his 10th goal of the year and the 250th of his career.

He would add his 22nd helper on the season on Justin Abdelkader’s hattrick goal, while also reaching the 500 mark on his career. In 762 games played, Datsyuk has notched 751 points which translates to an average of 98.5 point percentage for his NHL career. This doesn’t come as a surprise however, since Pavel is Russian after all and currently sits 10th all-time amongst his countrymen.
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Comrade of Opening Weekend-Vladimir Tarasenko

(photo courtesy of Chris Lee/St.Louis Post Dispatch)

With all eyes on the class of 2012 for the opening fixtures of the shortened 2013 season, it was one player from the class 2010 that stole the show. Making his NHL debut for the St.Louis Blues two years after being selected 16th overall, 21-year-old Vladimir Tarasenko scored not one, but two goals, in his first game in a Blues uniform.
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Nabokov Shows Commitment to Isles with New Mask

(courtesy of Ingoalmag.com)

The 2010-2011 season for Evgeni Nabokov was a disaster of epic proportions. Having signed a four-year $24 million contract with SKA St.Petersburg of the KHL before quitting just months later, Nabokov appeared headed back to the NHL. He was on the cusp of joining the Detroit Red Wings before he was scooped up by the goalie-happy New York Islanders.
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(Updated Again) Despite Signing with Wings, Nabokov Claimed by Islanders


(UPDATE Again) The Islanders have since suspended Nabokov for not reporting to the team. There have been reports of the goalie actually hanging up on GM Garth Snow having mistook him for a media outliet before having his agent return his call for him. Owner Charles Wang has also attempted to reach the netminder to no avail. So as this stalemate stands the Islanders can appeal to have Nabokov suspended through next season so stay tuned to the newest debacle on Long Island.
(UPDATE): Just a few hours after being claimed by the Islanders, word got around that Nabokov would not report to the Islanders. This could determine any future Nabby plans on having in the NHL if he doesn’t change his mind. New York is not obligated to do anything and this could just be a stalemate for both parties. It’s clear they intended for having him with the team but it appears Nabokov envisioned playing for a contender when he left the KHL last month.
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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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Slava Kozlov Joins KHL’s CSKA Moscow


(Courtesy of Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

It appears Slava Kozlov’s storied NHL career has come to an end as the 38-year-old winger has signed a one-year deal with his former Russian club CSKA Moscow of the KHL. Kozlov’s now former club the Atlanta Thrashers opted not to resign the veteran who had spent the last seven years with the team where he scored 145 of his 356 career goals.
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FRWG Heads to Vegas


(Courtesy of LasVegasLasVegas.com)

On Wednesday, the NHL will honor it’s best at the annual award show at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Yours truly will be on hand for FRWG’s first big league event and will hopefully be able to land a few minutes with the athletes that matter most to you.
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Ovechkin named player of the month, Semin honorable mention, Malkin’s Trickey

article_20139_2(Courtesy G Fiume/Getty Images)

The month of January has been very good to the Washington Capitals who are on the verge of breaking a franchise record for consecutive wins that has stood for 26 years. Fittingly Alexander Ovechkin, who was named captain on January 5th, had his best month of the year notching 9 goals, 26 points for a plus-16.

With Ovechkin’s new captaincy, Washington has surged to the top of the Eastern Conference with 80 points while making their Southeast lead a joke leading the Florida Panthers by 23 points.

While all the attention as usual was focused on Ovie, Washington’s other Alex(Semin) had himself a big month finding the net 11 times for 23 points in the month’s 15 games. Semin finished the month on a nine-game point-scoring streak earning himself honorable mention from the league.

The timing couldn’t be any better for Russia’s top forwards with the first game against Latvia just 15 days away.

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Without making a separate post for a lone highlight we decided to include Evgeni Malkin’s shootout goal from yesterday’s 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings just to get you excited for the Olympics a bit more. Jimmy Howard as you can tell was not amused.

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Slava Fetisov to play with CSKA Moscow at 51

slava

On Thursday it was announced that former Soviet Union and NHL great Slava Fetisov would come out of retirement and suit up for CSKA Moscow of the KHL at the age of 51. Fetisov last played in a competitive match in 1998 when he was 40.

Fetisov, who serves as a lawmaker for the Federation Council of Russia as well as president of CSKA will feature in the team’s line-up on Friday against SKA St.Petersburg. According to head coach and also former NHL player Sergei Nemchinov, Fetisov will be filling in for a defenseman who is already injured.

Referred to as the Russian Bobby Orr, Fetisov captured two Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings and one as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils where he would also play prior to joining the Wings in 1995.

It is unclear whether he will play for the rest of the season but it is certainly exciting to see one of hockey’s most decorated and respected players lace up his skates once again.

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Fallen Comrades around the league(UPDATED)

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When Andrei Markov injured his ankle back in early October it would start a wave of Russians to be bit by the injury bug with some of the most notable stars having to miss extended time.

First it was Pavel Datsyuk who recently returned to Detroits line-up to try and make up for lost time in hopes of helping a sub-par Red Wings team regain the momentum from last year.

Then within a few days of each other players such as Anton Volchenkov of Ottawa, Ilya Kovalchuk of Atlanta, Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin of Pittsburgh all have been placed on the shelf as their teams are forced to compete without their biggest helpers.

From shoulders to wrists to ankles the players have racked up a wide range of knocks to miss a small but important chunk of the season. Most players are expected back before mid November with plenty of time before the Olypmics in Vancouver.

Last night Alexander Ovechkin joined the party when he sustained a upper body injury after being involved in a scrum forcing him to leave mid-game and not return.

According to Capitals beat writer Tarik El-Bashir and Sport-Express’s Slava Malamud Ovechkin is likely to miss Wednesday’s game vs the New Jersey Devils which has one writer on here who has tickets very upset at the moment.

UPDATE: Ovechkin has been listed as week to week but will travel with the team. When asked about traveling but not playing Ovechkin responded with “Get some nachos, coke and enjoy the game”

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