Archive for the ‘NHLers in Europe’ Category

Well, the best so far, anyway.

I’ve been critical of Semyon Varlamov in the past, and until this season, it’s been somewhat justified. He’s been fine enough, but by last year he was expected to be something more than “fine enough,” and he posted a 2.59 GAA and a .913 save percentage, which is just under league average.

BUT HO! Ho, ho, he’s off to a hell of a start this season.

He’s gotten into 12 games for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv (Vitaly Kolesnik has played 13, Curtis Sanford 8), and, well, here’s how he’s played: Read the rest of this entry »

Claude Giroux, shown here with linemate Not Jaromir Jagr (Andre Rankel)

Nobody is exactly sure what the extent of the injury is yet, but here’s the short of it on Claude Giroux right now, from Travis Hughes of Broad St. Hockey:

Claude Giroux is returning home to North America for “precautionary tests” after suffering a check to the head last week in a game for Eisbären Berlin in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. That’s the news from Oliver Koch at, the first news outlet to report Giroux’s original injury.

The Google translation of Koch’s report indicates that Giroux will head to Atlanta for tests, a move that was agreed upon by Eisbären. Read the rest of this entry »

Earlier this season I wrote a post on what’s reasonable to expect from our NHLers over in Europe. Certainly we shouldn’t expect them to lead every league in scoring, but at the same time, you don’t expect them to, y’know, look worse than they do in the NHL.

I was doing a little stat-mining this morning to catch up on how guys were doing, and a few names caught my eye. Here are the five players who are under-performing (compared to my expectations), and the five who are meeting, if not exceeding how we thought they might fare.

Bottom 5

Evander Kane

Read the rest of this entry »

Image via Ian Oland

If you don’t follow the Washington Capitals blog “Russian Machine Never Breaks” by now, you’re kinda doing hockey wrong. Even if you’re not a Caps fan, it’s a great follow. They’ve been keeping up the good work during the lockout too, which I can attest is not the easiest thing to do.

Today RMNB’s Peter Hassett featured (his beloved) Matt Bradley, who’s playing with Tuto over in Finland’s top league. How’s he faring? Here’s what his coach had to say about him, via commenter Valtteri Kivinen :

“And last but not least Matt Bradley. Just fucking amazing. A hit that shortened the opponents bench by half a meter in his first shift.”

“This is a guy you should come see even from further away, this guy doesn’t leave anyone cold. They haven’t seen a guy this tough/good (same word in Finnish spoken language) at Kupittaa yet.” Read the rest of this entry »

Pic from

When Nicklas Backstrom decided to head across the pond to play with his long-time linemate Alexander Ovechkin, nobody was surprised. What they were surprised about was his choice of number – he went with 99, the sacred, ever-cherished number of The Great Wayne Gretzky.  How dare he!

Those in the know are aware that 99 is the only number that isn’t just retired by one NHL team, but is retired by all of them. It’s supposed to be disrespectful to wear it anywhere, which is basically the opposite of the NBA, where every great player who came up after MJ wore 23 as a sign of respect (though some, like Lebron, have switched to their own number since – it’s better for the brand, and all).

So the kerfuffle on the internet was, is it cool to wear the number 99 when you’re not in the NHL, or is it just implied you shouldn’t wear it anywhere? Was Nicklas Backstrom wrong to choose it?

Well, it turns out he didn’t chose it at all, so everyone can shut up.  Read the rest of this entry »

Invisible wakeboard, maybe? Image from, which is apparently a site I visit now

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: Read the rest of this entry »