“Hey! They spelled my name wrong! What gives!” (Photo credit: hctorpedo.ru)
When Nicklas Backstrommade his debut for Dynamo Moscow Monday, he was surrounded by familiar faces. Alex Ovechkin flanked him at left wing on the first line and former teammate Semyon Varlamov was in net for Lokomotiv. Dynamo had no trouble getting over that potential awkwardness however, turning in one of their most solid wins on the year, a 3-0 shutout of Lokomotiv. Ovechkin, who sure was in a punchy mood that day, had a goal and an assist. Backstrom also contributed a helper.
For more than half of my life, October has signaled the beginning of two things: the NHL regular season and the deranged glee of driving my car through piles of neighbors’ leaves arranged in neat pyramids in the street. Since the NHL owners and players cannot seem to master the art of sharing the rest of us learned in kindergarten, my bloodlust for foliage is the only thing getting me through these days.
So we’re in a weird spot. As hockey fans, that extra cash we set aside for Caps games, beers, and foam fingers is still in our pockets. This cannot stand; we must spend it on something. The RMNB inbox has swelled with a hundred different iterations of the same question: Where can I buy a Dynamo Moscow KHL jersey of Nick Backstrom or Alex Ovechkin? How about Traktor Chelyabinsk’s Evgeny Kuznetsov?
On Monday Nicklas Backstrom, sporting his new #99 jersey, made his debut for Dynamo Moscow and returned to a familiar spot: centering Alex Ovechkin on the top line. The BFFs clicked instantly.
Backstrom assisted on the first goal of the game, a snapshot by Ovechkin past Lokomotiv Yaroslavl goaltender (and former teammate) Semyon Varlamov on the power play. Ovechkin would add an assist in the third period (and also challenge half of Lokomotiv’s roster to a fight). Dynamo won 3-0.
With his newly signed BFFNicklas Backstrom in attendance, Alex Ovechkin continued his point-per-game pace in the KHL, scoring his fifth goal of the season in Dynamo Moscow’s 4-1 win over Atlant Moscow Region. In 16:34 of ice time, Ovi had four shots on goal and — oh yeah — broke a pane of freaking glass with his head.
With the the National Hockey League and the Players Association making no further movement towards ending the lockout, Nicklas Backstrom officially made his move to the KHL today. Backstrom and Dynamo Moscow agreed in principle to a one-year deal, that will be severed only if the NHL lockout ends.
It appears as if Dynamo Moscow is unbeatable with Alex Ovechkin in their line-up. The defending champions won their seventh straight game Saturday, defeating Metallurg Novokuznetsk 3-2 in front of a hometown crowd of 6469, including Ovi’s mom Tatyana and his girlfriend Maria Kirilenko.
Ovechkin tallied his 10th point of the season, receiving a secondary assist on Yury Babenko’s powerplay goal.
Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov has been among the KHL’s leading scorers all season, and in Traktor Chelyabinsk’s 4-2 victory over Atlant Moscow on Saturday the 20-year-old scored one of his most beautiful goals yet.
Kuznetsov gains possession of the puck at center ice in the second period, then uses his speed to curl around Atlant players and beat goaltender Nikita Davydov stick-side. To celebrate his sixth goal and 15th point of the year, Kuznetsov puts one finger to his mouth to encourage his hometown crowd to be quiet. [Editor’s note: Bring back the push-ups, Kuzya.]