KHL 2016-17 Conference Finals Preview

Here we are with only four teams still standing in the KHL’s Gagarin Cup Playoffs!  The Conference Finals get underway on Thursday (West Conference) and Friday (East), so read on for a bit a preview and some predictions.

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The Women’s Hockey League: A 2016-17 Recap


Olga Sosina and Anna Shokhina captained the East and West teams, respectively, at the Women’s Hockey League’s first-ever All-Star Game in January.  (Image Source)

Time for a look back at 2016-17 in Russia’s Women’s Hockey League!  If you have been following along here, you know by now who the champions were, but read on for a team-by-team look at how the season went.  And there will also be some general comments on the campaign as well.


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A Few News Notes


SKA St. Petersburg players salute the crowd after eliminating Dynamo Moscow. (Image Source)

After a slow blogging week due to general business, this will be a “getting caught up on the KHL story” sort of post.  Read on, for the last four teams standing in the hunt for the Gagarin Cup, the passing of a legend among Russian hockey journalists, and some early news about what the KHL will look like in 2017-18.

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Guest Post: The Future of Youth Hockey in Russia

First day of training for children at KHL club Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg’s hockey school.

I am very happy to welcome again Tomáš Vorčák, from whom we heard recently on the subject of the KHL and the European Champions Cup tournament.  This time, Mr. Vorčák is looking into plans for revitalization of Russia’s national programs for hockey development at the youth level; it is interesting stuff, so read on!

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Women’s Hockey Update: March 13th, 2017


Tornado Moscow Oblast players celebrate with the Women’s Hockey League championship trophy on Sunday.  (Image Source)

So the curtain has come down on another season of the Russian Women’s Hockey League, whose last matches of 2016-17 were played on Sunday.  There was little at stake for most of the teams, but one standings spot was still to be decided; read on for how that turned out, and for some other bits and pieces of news as well.

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KHL Playoff Update, and Other Matters

A couple of weeks ago here, we discussed Dynamo Moscow defenceman Andrei Kuteikin’s long-range goal against Torpedo in Round 1.  Incredibly, Kuteikin has now pulled the same trick not once, but twice (see video above), in his team’s first three games against SKA St. Petersburg.  Opposing coaches (and goalies) may wish to make a note!  But have those goals done his team any real good?  Read on, for updates on that series and the rest of the KHL’s second round, and a bit of discussion of whatever happened to Ziyat Paigin.

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Checking in With the Lower Leagues


Saryarka Karaganda goalie Denis Peretyagin makes a save against Zvezda Chekhov during Round 1 of the VHL playoffs. (Image Source)

The KHL playoffs’ second round began yesterday, with all series now one game in.  No one was too surprised to see CSKA Moscow and Metallurg Magnitogorsk win their openers, versus Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and Barys Astana respectively, although the Magnitogorsk fans will be hoping that whatever illness kept Sergei Mozyakin out of the lineup today is of short duration.  Ak Bars Kazan, meanwhile, captured home-ice advantage with an opening-game overtime victory over Avangard in Omsk, while Dynamo Moscow provided the big early shock with an overtime win in St. Petersburg against SKA.  3-2 was the final in that one, with Maxim Karpov scoring all three goals for Dynamo.

Our attention this evening, however, is on the post-season happenings in the VHL (previously updated here) and the MHL, the latter of whose regular season just finished up.  Read on!

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Women’s Hockey Update: March 8th, 2017

International Women’s Day gifts at Wednesday’s Agidel Ufa practice session!

International Women’s Day was celebrated around the globe today, and Russia’s Women’s Hockey League duly observed the occasion —  players and female staff arriving for practice were greeted with gifts of tulips.  There is indeed a strong Russian connection with International Women’s Day: it had been informally observed in other countries prior to 1917, but a March 8th strike in that year by women working in the textile factories in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) was a crucial episode of the Russian Revolution, and led to very early recognition of the day in the newly-founded USSR.  March 8th was formally adopted as a world holiday by the United Nations in 1975.

With that in mind, read on as we recap the past week’s doing in the Women’s Hockey League (serious contributions from Hungary in this one) , along with a couple of other notes as well!

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2016-17 KHL Playoffs Round 2 Preview: East


Defenceman Atta Ohtamaa and goalie Emil Garipov played important roles in  Ak Bars Kazan achieving the second round.  (Image Source)

Yesterday we took a look at the final four teams of the KHL’s West Conference, so today it is the turn of the East!  Read on, for two teams with nearly identical regular season numbers, a potentially worrying injury development for the defending champions, and an impressive run from the KHL’s Kazakh representatives.

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2016-17 KHL Playoffs Round 2 Preview: West


Pavel Datsyuk celebrates a goal against Vityaz in Round 1.  (Image Source)

Round 1 of the 2016-17 Gagarin Cup playoffs went very much by the form book; all four top seeds won through, and none took more than five games to do it.  But don’t be fooled — there was plenty of drama to be had, as seven of the 18 games played went to overtime, and another three were settled by a single goal or by two including an empty-net tally.  And now we are off to the second round, beginning on Wednesday; read on, as we take a look at the possibilities in the Conference semifinals!

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