On January 13th, the KHL will host their fifth annual All-Star game at Cheylabinsk’s Traktor Sport Palace and two Washington Capitals players (that we wish were in DC right now) have been voted into the starting line-up by fans: Team West’s Alex Ovechkin and Team East’s Evgeny Kuznetsov. The exhibition, which is set to be played in Kuznetov’s hometown, will mark the first time that the Caps legend and his protégé have suited up against one another — well, that is if the NHL lockout rages on for another month. And if there’s a just and loving God, it won’t!
Maybe the greatest photo taken of Ovechkin of all-time. (Photo credit: Grigory Dukor/Reuters)
On Thursday at Moscow’s Megasport Arena, the Russian National Team defeated Sweden in the first game of the Channel One Cup. The tournament, which was made possible because all European leagues took a four-day break during their regular seasons, prominently featured three Capitals players playing against each other: Alex Ovechkin who skated on Team Russia’s third line with Alexey Tereschenko and Nikolai Zherdev; Nicklas Backstrom who centered Sweden’s first line; and Marcus Johansson, who played to the left of Backstrom in his national team debut.
In Russia’s 5-1 blowout win, Ovechkin scored a beautiful 1-on-2 goal and Backstrom tallied an assist for Sweden.
Now let’s see these highlights!
Photo credit: dynamo.ru
In one of the biggest KHL regular season games of the year, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and the rest of Dynamo Moscow crew took on Alex Radulov, Pavel Datsyuk, and CSKA on Friday. Ovechkin, who has been on a tear since he scored a hat trick last week, continued his production, scoring a powerplay goal and assisting on an empty-net goal by Nicklas Backstrom. Dynamo would win a barnburner 6-4.
Ovechkin now has 13 goals in 24 KHL games on the season. He’s also riding a 10-game point streak in which he’s scored 6 goals and 8 assists.
Now let’s see this video.
Photo credit: khl.ru
When Alex Ovechkin signed with Dynamo Moscow in September, many expected the Russian machine to dominate, putting up points like Wayne Gretzky did during his 215-point 1985-86 season. Instead, Ovi has merely been a point per game player in the KHL, while his Capitals teammate Nicklas Backstrom has put up the gaudy numbers.
On Saturday, Ovi had his first humongous big game in the KHL. Ovi registered a hat trick — his first three-goal game since the Capitals’ 4-1 win against Toronto on January 22, 2011 — and scored his 100th career point in the Russian major leagues – Superleague and KHL, during Dynamo’s 4-2 win against Donbass Donetsk.
Now let’s see this hatty!
Former Blue Jacket Maxim Mayorov felt Nick Backstrom‘s wrath during Monday’s game between Atlant and Dynamo Moscow. In the third period of Atlant’s upset victory, Mayorov skated up the boards before trying to beat Backstrom by cutting to the middle. The Swedish machine didn’t seem to notice as Mayorov collided with him and bellyflopped onto the ice, his skates above his head.
The collision looked fantastic from the fourth row of Megasport Arena. Not to brag.
“So I hear the Bettman get meteor. How burning rock solve lockout????” (Photo credit: dynamo.ru)
Fueled by two bonafide NHL superstars, Dynamo Moscow has recently had the power to rally back from big deficits. Against Vityaz on Tuesday, they came back to win after a 2-1 third-period deficit, and against Severstal on Friday they won despite being down 3-0 heading into the second. On Monday, after falling behind early to Atlant Moscow Region, Dynamo still seemed like could pull it out considering their sizable 11-4 shot advantage after the first period.
Dynamo couldn’t make the magic happen for a third consecutive game. Despite two assists from Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, Dynamo fell to Atlant 5-2.
Last week, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom celebrated his 25th birthday in Russia. To mark the day, Dynamo Moscow fans gave him a birthday cake in the shape of a hockey jersey. The club published this video of an adoring Russian throng singing “Happy Birthday” to him. It’s cute, but Backstrom chanting “Dy-Na-Mo” along with them at the end is enough to break your hockey heart.
Backstrom holds his cake and poses with Dynamo fans. (Photo credit: dynamo.ru)
Since arriving in Russia to play for Alex Ovechkin’s Dynamo Moscow, Nicklas Backstrom has gotten the royal treatment. He’s lived at Dynamo’s practice facility, forced to take #99 as a jersey number (because he’s so darn great), and been invited by Ovi to some sweet celebrity-hosted parties. On Backstrom’s 25th birthday bash on Friday, the Dynamo organization and its fans went even further, creating giant banners and signs for Nicky. After his four-point game, Backstrom was then given a birthday cake. Granted, it didn’t have any of those rocket-fueled candles like Ovi’s did earlier this year.
Hm. It’s almost like they’re trying to steal him away from us or something…
Ovechkin on his GWG: “YEEEEEEESS!!” (Photo credit: Dynamo.ru)
Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin are on quite a streak. Backstrom has points in his last six contests (including one hat trick) and has been held without a point in just two of ten games since joining Dynamo Moscow. Meanwhile, Ovechkin has a five-game point streak going and has been held without a point in just three of his 19 games in the ‘K’.
On Friday against Severstal Cherepovets, Dynamo’s first line got even deadlier, as Toronto Maple Leaf Leo Komarov joined the team after a stint with the Marlies of the AHL. The trio combined to put up 8 points and 3 goals in Dynamo’s 5-3 win over Severstal. Backstrom, who was celebrating his 25th birthday, had four points (a goal and three assists) while his BFF Ovi had two goals, including the game-winner.
Let’s see this video.
Nicky celebrates his GWG! (Photo credit: dynamo.ru)
A week after he tallied a hat trick against Vityaz Chekhov, Nicklas Backstrom destroyed Vityaz again, scoring two goals, including the game-winner, in Dynamo’s 3-2 win Tuesday.
At this point, one thing’s crystal clear: Nicky loves sixty-nine. Ever since changing his number early last week, Backstrom has morphed into the Swedish Gretzky, tallying 8 points in 4 games. In his previous 5 games with that other number, he had 3.
Now let’s see those goals.