Evgeny Kuznetsov is introduced to the crowd. (Photo credit: KHL All-Star Game site)
Our all-Evgeny Kuznetsov/all-the-time policy continues with this contractually obligated recap of the 2012 KHL All-Star Game and SuperSkills competition held in Riga, Latvia, on Saturday.
Kuznetsov nearly won in both the Fastest Skater and Breakaway Challenge. He also tallied a goal and an assist for Team Fedorov in their 15-11 win over Team Ozolins during the All-Star Game.
Below the jump, we’ve recapped our favorite moments from the the KHL’s signature event.
Team Ozolins’ Mikhail Anisin Sings “O Sole Mio!”
During the SuperSkills’ competition, the KHL passed the mic off to Dynamo Moscow’s Mikhail Anisin, who performed “O Sole Mio!” Yes. This actually happened. Fedor also tells me that Anisin studied music during school and once had an hour-long concert while with Sibir at their Fanfest. The 5’5” tenor also doesn’t mind fighting and stomping on other opponents (#88 in the video).
Fastest Skater Competition
Evgeny Kuznetsov lost by 0.01 seconds to Mikelis Redlihs of Team Ozolins. When Kuzya was asked about his near win, he replied,”I’ve never been a stand-out in speed, probably something’s wrong with the timer.” Oh, Zhenya.
Hardest Shot Competition
Kuznetsov’s teammate on Traktor Chelyabinsk, Alexander Ryazantsev, won the hardest shot competition with a “world record” of 183.67 km/h or 114.127 mph. Fedor tells us this is the first time anyone’s ever hit the 180 km/h mark. While that’s impressive and everything, it’s hard to take this feat very seriously when KHL players shoot approximately 7 feet closer to the net than the NHL does.
Vladimir Tarasenko won the competition — beating out defending champion Kuznetsov and Mikelis Redlihs — with his devious puck-literally-on-a-string trick. Kuznetsov’s attempts begin at 2:50 above.
Sergei Fedorov and Sandis Ozolins — two class acts and legendary players — play hockey billiards, hockey bowling, hockey volleyball, hockey basketball, and hockey biathlon on the ice. A novel idea by the KHL. The former Capital, Federov, ended up winning. Coverage of the event starts at the 3:00 mark above.
Lokomotiv Memorial Ceremony
The fans chant “Lo-ko, Lo-ko” at 1:28. This gave me goosebumps.
Photos from the All-Star Game
Fedorov is all smiles after the game.