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.]
Coming into Sunday’s away game with Slovan Bratislava, Alex Ovechkin had six points in six KHL games. Despite playing in five fewer matches than everyone else, Ovechkin was gaining ground on the league’s point leaders (82nd overall).
In Dynamo Moscow’s 3-2 victory Sunday, Ovi tied his Dynamo teammates Denis Kokarev and Dominik Granak for the team lead in points, tallying a goal, an assist, and three shots on goal in 16:22 of ice time against Slovan. The defending champions have now won 6 out of their last 7 games with the Capitals captain in their line-up.
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.
On September 29, 2012, In KHL, Video, By Ian Oland
“I must break head you.”
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin didn’t score in Dynamo Moscow’s 4-3 shootout win over Salavat Yulaev on Saturday, but he did have eight shots on goal in 22:09 on ice. Twice he shot for Dynamo in the skills competition and twice he came up empty. But that’s okay. The coolest part of today’s game was what actually happened before it, as the Russian language television channel TNV captured Ovi and his Dynamo teammates performing a pre-game ritual with which we Capitals fans should be pretty darn familiar.
Ovechkin, in his constricting (see below) bright, red Capitals shorts, kicked around the soccer ball outside of the locker rooms in Kazan with his Dynamo teammates, who were all in their dark blue team-issued sweats.
Coming into Wednesday’s game against Ak Bars Kazan, Caps captain Alex Ovechkin had already made an impact on Dynamo Moscow’s offense. While he hasn’t tallied an Ovechtrick or gone on a Goal Explosion® yet, Ovi has scored a pointin both games he’s played, skated more minutes than any other Dynamo forward, and averaged 9 shots per outing. That’s pretty darn good for a guy who hasn’t had a training camp.
On Wednesday, Ovechkin continued that hot start, notching a secondary assist on a powerplay goal by Konstantin Volkov and scoring in the shootout during Dynamo’s 3-2 (SO) comeback win over Ak Bars. He had 3 shots in 21:36 of ice time.
On September 23, 2012, In KHL, Video, By Ian Oland
Photo credit: I. Ignatovich
On Thursday, when Alex Ovechkinmade his debut for Dynamo Moscow, the stands at Small Sports Arena in Luzhniki, Moscow were about 60% full. Sunday’s match was a different story, as a sold-out crowd of 8,097 packed into the seats to see Ovechkin’s Dynamo take on Ilya Kovalchuk’s SKA — Kovy’s first game in the KHL.
Fifteen minutes into the first period, the crowd was treated to a bit of history as Ovechkin scored his first KHL goal, also his first regular season goal in Russia since 2005.
YouTuber AXLPNZ captured the crowd’s reaction and the PA announcer’s call. The roar of the crowd is pretty cool.
Despite recording a point in his first-ever KHL game, Alex Ovechkin missed on numerous opportunities to score in Dynamo Moscow’s 7-2 blowout victory on Thursday. On Sunday, Ovechkin showed why he’s one of the world’s most fearsome shooters, immediately recording a goal in the first period of Dynamo’s loss to SKA St. Petersburg. It was the Russian machine’s first regular season tally in Russia since 2005.