In Defense of Ilya Kovalchuk

It seems that in the past few days there has been quite an uproar in the Devils fan community regarding their star winger Ilya Kovalchuk. Like many of his compatriots, Kovalchuk returned to the country where he learned to skate to continue playing the game he loves when the NHL hit it’s fourth work stoppage since 1992. Joining one of the Kontinental Hockey League’s top clubs, SKA St.Petersburg, he quickly became the team’s star and even took over as captain while scoring 42 points in 36 games.
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Evgeni Malkin Leaves Vegas with Three of a Kind

(courtesy of Harry How/Getty Images)

Last night, Evgeni Malkin was the toast of Sin City as he captured the NHL’s top honors in the most important awards an individual player can win. Malkin first appeared on stage out of the shadows holding the Art Ross Trophy, awarded to the leagues top score, a trophy he had wrapped up prior to the start of the playoffs. Although he was the clear cut winner back in April the NHL waited until the award ceremony to present him with the actual trophy. Malkin became the first Russian to win the award more than once surpassing Alexander Ovechkin who originally won it in 2007-08.
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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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Comrade of the Night- Slava Voynov

(Courtesy of Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

On a busy night in the NHL which saw the goalie tandem of Ilya Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky give up a combined nine goals, Evgeni Nabokov get yanked ahead of a shootout, Evgeni Malkin razzling and dazzling in said shootout, and Nikolai Khabibulin helping his team beat the undefeated Washington Capitals one man stood above the rest.
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Comrades of the Night-Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin


(courtesy of Getty)

If you’ve followed this website since it’s infancy, you know by now that the Comrade of the Night feature is reserved for the best Russian who racks up the most goals, points, or saves on a given night. Last night however, two of the biggest names in Russian hockey joined forces to help the wives and children left behind after the plane crash which took the Lokomotiv Yaroslalv team in early September.
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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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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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Malkin and Ovechkin headed to ASG, Dadonov Brings Skills

Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin are headed to Raleigh later this month to feature in the league’s 58th installment of the All-Star Game. What they don’t know is whether they will be teammates or rivals come face-off on January 30th. Thanks to the league’s new format letting the two nominated captains draft their own fantasy team it’s possible Geno and Ovi would be pitted against each other in the event for the first time.

The live draft will be held on the 28th, ahead of the weekend’s event where Sidney Crosby and Jonathon Towes will select round by round who they want on their team. The schoolyard element should be a fun treat for fans as they patiently await to see who will be picked last. Seeing how Crosby is teammates with Malkin that should be a no-brainer unless the league adds a last-minute rule change forbidding teammates to play together.
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