Mark French Wins First Game As KHL Coach

Former Hershey Bears coach Mark French won his first KHL game. Medvescak Zagreb blew out star-studded CSKA Moscow (managed by former Capital Sergey Fedorov) in a score of 7-1.

It was also the Croatian club’s first game in the KHL. Before this season, Medvescak played in the Austrian EBEL league.

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happy ovi

Editor’s note: Peter here. We’ve posted two translations in the last week about Alex Ovechkin possibly being wooed back to Dynamo Moscow while still under contract with the Washington Capitals. This idea seems outlandish, but given Ilya Kovalchuk’s recent defection and the vagaries of international hockey regulations, I wanted to get a better handle on the issue. Below is a conversation I had with Fedor Fedin that was educational for me and I hope will be for you as well.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov speeds down the middle during Traktor’s game against Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Photo credit: Vitaly Gubin, Traktor PR Service)

Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov, currently sitting in the top 15 in both goals and points (12g, 12a), was named a KHL All-Star for the second time on Monday. Unlike last season, Kuznetsov was overwhelmingly voted in as a starter this year by fans and will represent “Team Fedorov” of the Eastern conference. The 19-year-old Traktor Chelyabinsk forward finished second overall in total votes (33,800), trailing only Mikelis Redlihs of the Western Conference’s “Team Ozolins.”

To put Kuznetsov’s immense popularity in perspective, consider that he garnered more votes than reigning MVP Alexander Radulov, Roman Cervenka (the KHL’s leading scorer), Vladimir Tarasenko, and Russian National Team Captain Alexei Morozov.

Recently, Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov did a lengthy feature story on Kuznetsov, who some have called the new face of the KHL. Like most interviews with Russian players, the story starts off with questions about Vityaz Chekhov, who was recently beaten by Traktor on the scoreboard and tried to beat them back with their fists.

Most importantly to Caps fans, Kuznetsov discussed his possible NHL future, his contract situation, and who he idolized as a kid. Below the jump, I have the translation.

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Kuzya multi-tasks while talking to the media Tuesday.

The KHL is currently taking the week off so that the Russian National Team can participate in the upcoming Karjala Cup, an annual tournament held in Finland where the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, and Russia all face off against one another. 19-year-old Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov was invited to play on the National Team and joined his teammates in Novogorsk, Moscow Region to prepare for their first game Thursday.

Despite the fact that the team is filled with stars such as Alexander Radulov and Vladmir Tarasenko, Kuznetsov — who was working out at the time — was mobbed by journalists during his media availability. In interviews to both Sovetsky Sport and Sport-Express, the gifted and versatile forward discussed his NHL plans, gossiped about the latest KHL news, and mused on what it will be like to play center again during the four day tourney.

Below the jump, check out my translation of the interview.

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Russian Lessons Part III: Who Is The Most Popular Hockey Player In Russia?

[Ed Note: First, RMNB taught you how to correctly pronounce the names of some of Russia’s Best Hockey Players. Second, RMNB taught you how to support the Russian National Team in Vancouver with Authentic Russian Fan Chants and Cheers. Tonight, In Russian Lessons Part III, we’re here to teach you who the most popular, active hockey players in Russia are.

With NHL Games starting at 3am or later in Russia and the KHL starting to find more and more traction, we were interested who Russians talked about and followed the most. Would it be an NHL Player? Would it be a KHL Player? We felt this post was necessary because the media coverage in Washington makes a lot of people assume Alex Ovechkin is the most revered sportsman in the country. He has a huge following – to the point where he’s been on Game Shows and in Music Videos – but you’ll be surprised by what we found today. They’re all yours Fedor.]

Okay, I bet if you had to pick one person to be the most popular hockey player in Russia, you’d pick Alex Ovechkin. This is a great guess, but it’s not 100% true. Let’s check what hockey players Russian users search for the most using the Russian Search Engine “Yandex.” It is the most used Search Engine (51% of search market) in our country.

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