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.
Over the last week, CSKA general manager and former Capital Sergei Fedorov has been a busy man, signing Ilya Bryzgalov, Pavel Datsyuk, and Mikhail Grabovski to lockout contracts. CSKA’s roster, which also includes former KHL MVP Alex Radulov, is much like the New York Yankees: they are rich, and they sign the best players.
Coming into Thursday’s game with Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s Traktor Cheylabinsk, it was obvious who the favorites were. But thanks to a stunning goal by Andrey Popov in the final minutes and a meltdown by Radulov, Traktor prevailed 4-3.
Pavel Datsyuk seemed tired, but satisfied, following Russia’s dominant 6-2 win over the Finnish national team. He did not score in the game, but with the victory, Russia will now have the opportunity to win its first World Championship gold medal since 2009.
His good mood did not mean, however, that he wanted microphones in his grill. “Don’t too close,” he said, watching the microphones. “It’s not ice cream, guys.”
This is probably not a week that you want to remember in great detail, things didn’t go, uh — exactly as planned, but don’t worry, we’ll whip right through this quickly and painlessly and move along, there’s another game tonight, so there’s no time for moping. The Caps went 1-3-0 this week with losses against the Lightning, the Canes, and the Sens. Sad trombone. And just because a TSN commentator chose to utter the words “How could things get worse for the Washington Capitals?”, Alex Ovechkin also suffered a lower-body injury, didn’t participate in multiple team skates, and missed the game in Ottawa. Despite all this, the week did end on a good note when Ovechkin caught the Brooks Laich fever and unexpectedly declared himself ready to go, and then promptly scored against Montreal in a game that the Caps won. It’s a huge relief that it ended well, but I think most of us are just glad this week is over.
Since Alex Ovechkin has opted out of the All-Star Weekend (and has better things to do anyway), Dennis Wideman is now Washington’s lone representative in Ottawa. While Wideman is perhaps slightly less likely to don a hat and sunglasses and do trick shots, he’s a Capital, so we love him all the same. We’ll be covering Wideman’s foray into the glamorous life of an All-Star, so check back for updates, because let’s face it, you’re already bored without hockey.
Dennis Wideman was picked in the 15th round with the second-to-last pick that could be used on a defenseman, before only Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler. This means that we can get hipster now if we want and call him underrated. We knew Dennis Wideman when he wasn’t cool. Logan Couture was picked last overall and won a brand new caaaaarrrrr! Somehow it just wasn’t the same without Ovechkin there laughing and taking pictures.
We pretend to hate everyone who isn’t us, but we’re actually sorta chummy with hockey fans across this great land (not including Canada). Through Puck Buddys, we hooked up with The Production Line, a charming operation out of Detroit that runs an entertaining podcast I cannot recommend enough. We’re trying to get to know each other better, so we’re doing something called 5-on-5– a rapid-fire Q&A designed to reveal dark secrets and rankle egos. Our answers are already up over on their site, so go feast your eyes on that action.
“There was never a serious consideration to go anywhere else,” Laich said. “The main core of this team is very young and if you can keep that together, you’re looking at a chance to win a championship for potently the next 10 years, rather than just a window of two to three years. That was a great motivator to get me re-signed.”
In the article translated below, we learn even more crucial information about Kuz including his nagging shoulder injury, his thoughts on the slash Braden Holtby delivered to him during Caps Development Camp, and his experience being drafted by Washington. On top of that, we also learn about Kuznetsov’s half a year of driving without a license, his love for McDonald’s food, and his embarrassment on never seeing Alex Ovechkin play live. Check out all of that and more below the jump.