Slava Kozlov (Dynamo) and Nikita Pivtsakin (Avangard) go at each other during regular season Avangard – Dynamo game (Photo credit:

The History

These two teams have met 66 times. Dynamo has won 35 of those match-ups, Avangard 23, with eight tie games. The teams have squared off in the playoffs five times– with Dynamo winning in 1995, 2005 and 2008, and Avangard winning in 2003 and 2004. But they have never played each other in the finals. Until now.

The most famous series between the two was the 2004-05 semifinals. After getting eliminated by the Omsk Hawks two straight times, Dynamo (featuring Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin and Andrei Markov) tried to stop Avangard (with Jaromir Jagr, Oleg Tverdovsky and one of the greatest lines in modern Russian hockey history: Maxim Sushinsky, Dmitry Zatonsky and Alexander Prokopiev).

Continue Reading

Kuznetsov is stopped on a breakaway at 1:55. His two shootout goals can be seen at 3:45.

Taking a tenuous 2-0 lead into the third period, Traktor Cheylabinsk unraveled in the final minutes against host Avangard Omsk on Sunday. First, 4:31 into the final frame, the KHL’s leading goal-scorer, Roman Cervenka, scored on a cross-crease pass to bring Avangard within one. Then ten minutes later, Omsk’s Yegor Averin scored on a broken play in front of Traktor’s net to force overtime.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Kuznetsov’s goal against Neftekhimik comes at the 1:00 mark — his assist immediately thereafter. He also has a breakaway attempt at 2:05.

In a Kharlamov Division match-up Monday, the KHL’s Traktor Chelyabinsk destroyed Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (how do you even say that?) 8-2, their biggest win of the season. The Petrochemists, whose defense might as well have been staffed by actual scientists, had no answer for Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuzya scored his tenth goal of the season — the game’s deciding tally — on a beautiful wraparound to put Traktor up 3-0 in the first period. Also, he fancily went behind the back to assist on Andrei Popov’s goal from the slot.

Continue Reading

Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his ninth goal of the season and nabbed a pretty assist in Traktor’s 3-2 win today over Vladimir Tarasenko and Sibir Novosibirsk.

Continue Reading

Evgeny Kuznetsov

Traktor Chelyabinsk’s four-game road trip came to an end today. Over seven days the team traveled from Chelyabinsk to Kazan (two time zones away), Moscow, Mytyschi (which is basically also Moscow), and Riga (three time zones away). After accumulating nine out of twelve standings points and  more than 3,200 miles during the trip, the White Bears now return home for a five-day break from KHL action.

Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov ended a three-game pointless drought today, scoring a late third period goal against Dinamo Riga.

Continue Reading

Photo credit: Elena Rusko

After being eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Alex Ovechkin joined Team Russia with hopes of a different outcome at the 2011 World Championships in Slovakia. Once again, however, Ovi will began with summer vacation without a championship as Russia fell, 7-4, to the Czech Republic in the Bronze Medal Game. This ends an awful tournament for the Great Eight. After being held scoreless yet again — while registering four shots and being a minus-one — he ends the Worlds with zero points in six games.

Continue Reading