2016-17 KHL Playoffs Round 1 Preview: East


Really, who did you think I was going to put here?  (Image Source)

The West Conference playoffs (previewed here yesterday) got rolling today, and the opening games produced no real surprises — four wins by top seeds was the result.  On Wednesday, it will be the turn of the East Conference, so read on for a quick look at each of those series, and some tentative predicting!

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2016-17 KHL Playoffs Round 1 Preview: West


A happy Ilya Kovalchuk, here celebrating a goal with Yegor Yakovlev, may mean an unhappy rest of the West Conference.  (Image Source)

It’s time!  The 2016-17 KHL playoffs get underway on Tuesday, as the eight qualifiers from the West Conference take to the ice.  Read on, as we run the eye over the four Round 1 series from the West, and try to figure who will still be standing at the end, and why.

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Decision Day


Sibir Novosibirsk (in blue) and Admiral Vladivostok (white), here shown prior to a KHL game earlier this season, are two of the East Conference teams still vying for a playoff spot (Kunlun Red Star Beijing are the other).  (Image Source)

The KHL’s 2016-17 regular season comes to an end tomorrow, as 24 teams take to the ice in the last round of games.  Much remains to be determined, including: the league’s regular-season champion, two playoff spots, and the composition of seven out of eight first-round playoff series.  Read on, for a little discussion of what tomorrow might bring with regards to at least the first two of those undecided elements!

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Vityaz Moscow Oblast celebrate a goal in their playoff-clinching victory on Tuesday.  (Image Source)

This past July, I penned (keyboarded?) the following words in my 2016-17 preview of Vityaz Moscow Oblast:

“The problem with Vityaz is that, while the team’s sordid history of goons and general craziness is a thing of the past, competitiveness and playoff appearances are not yet things of the present.”

Well, they are things of the present now.  On Tuesday, Vityaz secured their first ever KHL playoff berth (they had previously made the Russian Superleague playoffs, just once, in 2006-07), thanks to the combination of their own 5-3 home win over Kunlun Red Star Beijing and HK Sochi’s 4-3 loss to CSKA Moscow.  Jokerit Helsinki also dropped a point in beating Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in overtime, which means that Vityaz now have a lock on seventh place — no more and no less — in the KHL’s West Conference.  A playoff date with either SKA St. Petersburg or CSKA awaits.

Read on, for a look at Vityaz’ achievement, a tragic story from the same team this past weekend, and a quick update on the playoff scenarios.

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Women’s Hockey Update: Feb. 14, 2017


Gold medalists returning home!  (Image Source)

More international hockey on tap in this update!  While the victorious Universiade national teams were returning home, a women’s tournament in Finland was getting underway with Russian respresentation.  A full update on how that went is ahead, along with some quick previews of upcoming league action and a note from North America.  Read on!

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Kirill Kaprizov in action for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.  (Image Source)

The KHL has been on break for the last few days, as the Russian national team took on Finland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic in the third leg of the Euro Hockey Tour.  Team Russia went 3-0 against her rivals, and as a result has clinched first place in this season’s EHT with one leg still to go.  It was a youngish Russian team that did the work, and among the names that stood out was that of Kirill Kaprizov (above); the 19-year-old Salavat Yulaev Ufa forward.  Kaprizov record a hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Sweden, and general cemented his reputation as one Russia’s up-and-comers in hockey.

For Kaprizov and his club team, this will be a an interesting week.  The KHL regular season wraps up on Saturday, with a number of playoff spots yet to be determined.  Read on, as we look at the races in each conference!

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Doubling Up


Team Russia goalie Ilya Andryukhov receives his gold medal (and stuffed animal!) after Russia’s victory in the 2017 Winter Universiade gold medal game today.  (Image Source)

Two days after the women’s team collected their gold medal, the men’s side made it two-for-two for Russia at the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty today.  Team Russia breezed through their opening round, but faced stiffer competition once the semifinal arrived.  Read on, for a full account!

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Women’s Hockey Update: February 6th, 2017

In this update, we’re off to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where the 2017 Winter Universiade has been taking place.  The Russian women’s hockey team won gold at this competition in Spain in 2015, and so were on a quest for a repeat.  The above highlight video from today’s women’s final will tell you whether they succeeded, and you can read on for a longer look at how things went!

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Mozyakin and Friends


Left to right: Danis Zaripov, Jan Kovář, and Sergei Mozyakin.  (Image Source)

A mere 48 hours after our last post on the man, this blog is in some danger of becoming the Official Sergei Mozyakin blog; the Metallurg Magnitogorsk superstar has the pedal to the metal in a major way this season.  Read on, as he breaks YET ANOTHER record, and in spectacular fashion too — plus we will talk a little bit, because we should, about his oft-overlooked comrades at Metallurg (and there will be a short programming note at the end)!

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Sergei Mozyakin vs. the Record Books


Sergei Mozyakin in action during a recent KHL game.  (Image Source)

He’s at it again, folks; Metallurg Magnitogorsk’s Sergei Valeryevich Mozyakin, having recently broken the records for goals in a single KHL regular season and in a Soviet/Russian domestic hockey career, has added another notch to his gun.  His 81st point of 2016-17, achieved at home today against Severstal Cherepovets, surpassed the 80 that Alexander Radulov put up for Salavat Yulaev in 2010-11, and set a new KHL season mark in that category.  Read on, for further discussion.


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