2010 has been a tough year for Russia. See here, here and here. 2010 has also been tough for Fedor. See here, here and here. Sadly this summer, Mother Nature decided to pile on. Below, Fedor describes what it’s been like to live through the heat and wildfires surrounding Moscow.
Hey guys! While you were out enjoying the #rmnbparty a few weeks ago, I was sweating profusely in front of my PC in Moscow. Suffice to say, it’s been sweltering in my home city and it’s driving people crazy. For example on Twitter, some of the “trending topics” in Central Russia are heat and wildfire. Why all the hubbub? This Boston Globe report summarizes it well:
Last month, Russia endured the hottest July ever recorded since records began 130 years ago. The intense heat and drought affecting central Russia has been drying out trees and peat marshes, which have been catching fire recently, burning forests, fields and houses across a massive region. Some 500 new fires have been reported in the last 24 hours alone, and a mobilization of hundreds of thousands of emergency workers is underway to combat them. President Dmitry Medvedev has now declared a state of emergency in seven regions. To date, over 1,500 homes have been destroyed and 40 lives have been lost as wildfires continue across over 300,000 acres.
According to the always reliable “sk84fun_dc” of HFBoards, two undrafted KHL players are participating in Capitals Development Camp this week. Kristaps Sotnieks and Nauris Enkuzens are both Latvians, and both play for Dynamo Riga, one of the most hardworking teams in the KHL. Dynamo Riga is known for their business savvy, seldom overpaying for players like other KHL teams do. Our very own goaltending coach Arturs Irbe spent several seasons with Dynamo as goalie, which seems to imply that he’s the matchmaker here.
On day two of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles, Capitals’ General Manager George McPhee surprised no one by drafting another Russian-born player. Pick #86 was Stanislav Galiev of the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs.
We don’t know all that much about Galiev. Despite hailing from Moscow, there’s not a lot of knowledge about him in Russia, probably because he chose to play Junior Hockey in Canada instead of the KHL. But here’s what we did find:
Readers, we politely remind you of our policy regarding hockey rumors from Russia: Lie down until it goes away.
The news out of Russia today has been dissonant. The KHL club Atlant, based in the Moscow region, updated its roster with one noteworthy addition. According to atlant-mo.ru, Atlant has signed three-time Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bear Chris Bourque to a two-year deal.
From the press release:
American forward Chris Bourque agreed on our offer and signed a contract with our club today. Terms of this agreement are intended for two years.
Later, in an interview with Tim Leone of The Patriot-News, the playoffs MVP said he hasn’t signed a contract yet: “It’s not official. . . I’m talking to them. But nothing official, that’s for sure.”
Has Atlant jumped the gun? Is Chris entertaining other offers? Or is he just waiting for the right time to let us down easy. If the news is true, we’ll be very bummed that Chris is leaving Hershey. On the other hand, that KHL contract probably comes with a car, a condo, and a handle of excellent vodka.
What do you make of the news?
Friday, June 4th the KHL held its second annual draft and Peter Bondra’s son David Bondra, was selected 21st overall by Metallurg Magnitogorsk (don’t confuse Magnitogorsk with Metallurg Novokuznetsk, where Dmitri Orlov plays). Bondra was available in last year’s draft but was never selected.
Bondra currently plays for the Washington Jr Nationals of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League (the 3rd level of US junior hockey). According to AJHL official site, current South Carolina Stingray Nikita Kashirsky (who’s also Ovi’s childhood friend) have played for the club. A few highlights of David’s season thus far include him being named an AJHL All-Star and netting a goal in the game. He finished 14th overall in scoring (22 G, 29 A in 40 GP) during the AJHL season and was named to the Slovakian U-18 National Team.
His father, the Capitals’ current franchise leader in points and goals, recently spoke about his son in an interview with the Russian newspaper «Sport Den Za Dnem» (Sports Daily):
Some time after yesterday’s drubbing of Canada, Russia’s most excellent goalie Semyon Varlamov spoke with D. Ponomarenko and P. Lysenkov of SovSport. Together they discussed exactly how dirty that game got and any cognitive impairments that Steve Downie may or may not have.
Oh, the off-season. While the Stanley Cup contenders whittle each other away, we Caps fans are left to look at the Russian media in confusion. Today’s scrum over Alexander Semin smoking might set the standard for our hockey coverage between now and September. So, yay.
Using Fedor Fedin’s masterful translation skills and cultural insider status, we trace this thread to its beginning. It all started when Ovie and Semin were in Russia before the World Championships. They were dining at a restaurant when the intrepid and not-at-all-unscrupulous Russian press snapped some photos of Semin smoking a cigarette. That’s when the insanity began.
CAVEAT: This isn’t exactly Dmitry Chesnokov-caliber journalism. Let’s have a grain of salt and throw back this tequila shot of “news.”
Pavel Lysenkov of SovSport.ru chatted it up with Alex Ovechkin before today’s match with Kazakhstan (it’s happening right now!). They discuss the Kazakh team’s goalie, the win over Slovakia, the Russian team’s struggles, and Russian showmanship.
By the way, for those of you not watching (which is pretty much everyone except for Fedor), Semin has a 3-point game so far (1G, 2A), and Ovechkin already has one goal.
PL: What do you know about the Kazakhstan team?
AO: I don’t know anything about this team. The only thing I know is that Vitaly Eremeyev is the goalie there. Good, reliable goalie.
PL: Soviet Sport talked to him, and he remembers that he last played against you at the Torino Olympics [Ed. note – Final score was 1-0 Russia]. And if Kazakhstan will play as firmly as there, they’ll be able to take some points.
AO: The’ll have a chance for sure. I’m not going to argue with this.
PL: Especially if Russia won’t play better in the powerplay…
AO: I wouldn’t make such an precise decision. It was our first game. The big one is ahead. We have to organize our interactions. We have some time for this. First step is to organize our game.
PL: Finns were going to organize, too, but Denmark smashed them.
AO: A lot of teams show a high level of play at the Champs. I can’t say who’s the main contender. There are five [or] six teams who fight for the medals every time. But others are coming; they may surprise and win.
PL: Anyway, were there more positives or negatives in the game against Slovakia?
AO: Positives, for sure. We won. How? No one cares.
PL: But those last minutes were pretty disturbing.
AO: We wanted to create some intrigue. Make our fans upset. It’s hockey.
PL: General Manager of the Capitals, George McPhee, said Ovechkin shouldn’t come to Germany…
AO: If you have an opportunity to play at the Champs, why shouldn’t I play for my country? Yes, the season was tiring. But I always have force– even after the playoffs. We exerted ourselves with the Caps, but five days is enough to restore myself completely. Our break will be in the summer.
Bam. Ovie’s not tired! Ovie’s not afraid of Kazakhstan! Ovie’s not afraid of Bykov’s chaotic un-coaching!
For the three people in the audience watching the game legally, let us know how it’s going in the comments below.
(Original Story by Soviet Sport’s A. Lipkin, English translation by RMNB’s Fedor Fedin)
As of a few weeks ago, the prospects for the Russian National Team at the World Championships did not look very rosy. Injuries to Zaripov, Morozov, coupled with not very good play of the goalies in the Gagarin Cup gave Russian fans legitimate concerns. And the failure of Vancouver is far from forgotten, which will cast a negative shadow on everything regarding the Russian team.
However, the results from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs were like balm to the soul of our fans. New Jersey Devil Ilya Kovalchuk, Los Angeles Kings Alexander Frolov, and Nashville Predator Denis Grebeshkov were eliminated. And the Washington Capitals struggled against the Montreal Canadiens and ended their season, thus releasing Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin and Semyon Varlamov to the national team.
As it turns out, throughout the season we can root for our hockey players in the NHL, but when it’s playoffs time, we are all together in wishing them defeat.
But the real question is, what’s the mood of the NHL players who are coming to the team? Especially of those who were looking for a better result in their NHL seasons.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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