You may be a little pissed at the NHL right now, what with them stealing your delicious, delicious hockey and all, but that doesn’t mean you suddenly have no affiliation to (ex?)-NHLers that’ve flocked overseas to ply their trade. Some of them used to be on your team, after all.
Consider it like stalking an ex on Facebook – “Nice, so-and-so is doing as terribly as I’d hoped,” or “Oh good, they’re succeeding, I just wanted so-and-so to be happy.”
So, let’s stalk.
Here are the three most notable performances from (ex?)NHLers in Europe this weekend, in video form:
Let’s start it off with a homerun of sorts: you guys remember how Evgeni Malkin is, ideally, a player you’d like to slow down in the neutral zone when he has momentum? I mean, assuming he’s on the other team and all?
Well, you should probably find a way to stop him before he gets momentum in the neutral zone.
Quick Systems Analyst: when one of the world’s five best players is bearing down on you, take a penalty. Preferably a violent one. Or just have your goalie do Not That, which would also be more effective.
Also having some success across the pond is that guy the Devils signed to the multi-millennium contract, Ilya Kovalchuk. Here’s the thing for guys like Kovy and Ovechkin – when we saw a decline in their numbers in North America, they didn’t suddenly get bad, as I’ve written before. Coaches and teams learned their tendencies, and game-planned for them accordingly. The game got tougher for them. And while it’s entirely possible that teams in Russia are aware of those tendencies, certainly not all players and teams are, so they’re bound to get a few of their “classic” goals we haven’t seen in awhile.
That complete tangent aside, there are two things to note before watching this highlight package, which is interesting for the fact that basically every good play is made by someone with NHL experience:
* Alex Radulov and Pavel Datsyuk are on the same team (with Bryzgalov!), and that’s relatively frightening. Radulov makes a sick dish on CKSA’s second goal.
* On the other team, Vladimir Tarasenko is on Kovalchuk’s line, and for my money is far and away the most noticeable player in this highlight package. He’s directly responsible for two of Kovy’s goal, most noticeablythe third one, where owns on the forecheck before making a nasty pass.
Also worth noting across the pond this week was Wayne Simmonds punchisizing the face of Ralf Rinke for free. As Pro Hockey Talk noted, Simmonds’ status as a heavy in the NHL is becoming more established after tangling last season with Brandon Prust, Deryk Engelland, David Clarkson and Derek Dorsett.
The fight starts at the 1:51 mark. I tried to start the video there, because nobody should have to watch the prior fight, which could have been solid had the guy landing the most punches remembered an essential step when dropping the mitts, dropping the mitts.
Ralf did himself proud (he throws a sizable bomb in that tilt), but still came out looking a little worse for wear.
I’ll be sharing the best from Europe each week, so if a highlight or magnificent feat happens to come across your desk, toss it over to mine and we’ll include it – firstname.lastname@example.org.