Photo credit: Sovetsky Sport

Last week, former Washington Capital Alex Semin settled on his lockout destination, surprising everyone by choosing Sokol Krasnoyarsk, a minor league team from his hometown. “When I was leaving for the NHL, I dreamed that if there is ever a decent team and an opportunity, I would definitely play in front of my local fans,” Semin explained during his introductory press conference. “And my (90-year-old) grandma hasn’t seen me play in person for awhile. I’ll give her a present.”

It was only a matter of time before the big guns of the Russian hockey media showed up in Krasnoyarsk, far from a hockey hotbed, to get the full story on why Semin came home. For their trouble, Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport and Alexander Rozhkov of Championat.com got personal tours of the city from Sasha on the eve of his debut in the VHL. Semin showed them the rink where he learned to skate, his school, and the apartment building where he grew up.

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Forsberg celebrates his first goal of the night. (Photo credit: Magnus Eriksson, Pic-Agency via IK Oskarshamn).

Filip Forsberg is now officially tearing it up in the Allsvenskan league. A game after his career-high, four-game, goal-scoring streak came to an end, the Caps’ prospect has had his best game as a pro, tallying four points in Leksands Idrottsförening’s 6-4 victory over IK Oskarshamn. Forsberg’s second goal of the game counted as the game-winner.

Now let’s gooooooo to the video tape.

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Photo credit: dynamo.ru

Before Dynamo’s game against Ak Bars Wednesday, there was a pre-game ceremony to honor Caps captain Alex Ovechkin. The Russian machine, who played a big part in capturing gold for Team Russia at the 2012 World Championships, was given a championship ring from one of the greatest goaltenders of all-time, Vladislav Tretiak.

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The Mighty Ducks Turns 20: Connie, Just Connie

Ahh. The Velvet Hammer, Connie Moreau. You might think she was the Ducks’ token girl, but I’d argue she was so much more. Connie brought both elegance and elbow-checks to the Ducks. She was a voice of diplomacy to cut through District 5’s bitterness, reaching out to Gordon Bombay (“Coach,” she calls him in the image above, smiling). Connie brought love into sullen Guy Germaine’s life– and the lives of nine-year-old boys across the world. She was much more than just a compulsory female presence.

And Connie Moreau was transformative for a adolescents. She was like a family friendly Phoebe Cates, all smile-flash and quiet toughness. And not for nothing, but Marguerite Moreau’s performance as Connie was one of the best in that young cast. What follows is my love letter to Connie Moreau. No apologies.

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The Mighty Ducks Turns 20: Then And Now

Gangsta rap, this is all your fault. Criminy, it’s like headwear bingo up there.

It’s been twenty years since we learned to quack. In that span of time, our Ducks have flown far and wide. Now we have this opportunity to check in on Gordon, Charlie, Hans, Jack, Averman, Goldberg, Jesse, the other one, the short one, the guy from that other movie, and all those other unforgettable characters.

The career trajectories varied as much as their crazy hats in that picture above (Guy Germaine, what the hell is on your head?). Some actors rose to fame making out with Tom Cruise’s ex-wife, and others had to settle for making out with Paula Abdul. Follow me past the jump for a trip in the wayback machine.

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Note the extras from GoldenEye at top right. (Photo credit: dynamo.ru)

Monday was supposed to mark Alex Ovechkin‘s first meeting with 2012 first overall pick Nail Yakupov. When Dynamo Moscow hosted Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, Yakupov instead had to endure an international fiasco last week and was held out of the line-up by Coach Vladimir Golubovich despite being reinstated over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Russian machine had his best game yet in a blue and white jersey, notching his second goal of the KHL season and tallying an assist in Dynamo’s 5-1 mollywhopping of Neftekhimik. Ovi had 5 shots in a season-low 14:44 ice time.

Video ahoy!

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The Mighty Ducks Turns 20 This Week!

A few months ago I was on Up the Pucks, a podcast that mixes up punk rock and hockey. They asked me what got me into hockey and I blurted out The Mighty Ducks! After some thought, that answer rang true for me and I imagine for lots of other fans my age as well.

This week, that seminal movie celebrates its 20th anniversary. And as much as I am petrified by time’s march, the thought that The Mighty Ducks is twenty fills me more with nougaty nostalgia than existential dread. Yeah, it’s a craven exploitation flick starring an aged brat packer and liking it instantly brands you Too Old To Hit On College Girls, but it’s still an important part of our shared culture. So let’s take a moment, nay, an entire week, to revel in this Hockey Cinema Classic.

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