Author Archives: Patrick Conway

Selected Quotes of Anatoly Vladimirovich Tarasov

Anatoly Tarasov’s daughter Tatyana, herself a renowned figure-skating coach, looks at her father’s statue outside the CSKA Ice Palace earlier today.  (Image Source)

Today, December 10th, 2018, was a famous anniversary for followers of Russian hockey: it was 100 years ago today that the late Anatoly Vladimirovich Tarasov (1918-1995) was born.  It was Tarasov, revered as the “Father of Russian Hockey” for his work as coach of the Central Red Army team (CSKA Moscow) and the Soviet national side beginning in the late 1950s, who built Soviet hockey into the game of spectacular passing, intricate teamwork, and devastating speed that became its trademarks.  His 100th birthday was marked by a number of ceremonies and festivities, including the unveiling of a statue outside CSKA’s old arena on Leningradsky avenue (a venue to which the team itself had returned, in vintage uniforms, for a KHL game against Avangard Omsk last Thursday).  Moscow’s Sports Department also announced the re-naming of the city’s Megasport Arena in Tarasov’s honour, and there have been a number of special exhibitions devoted to him this autumn.  As anniversaries go, this was a big one in the Russian hockey world — reasonably so, too.  And read on, as we hear from the man in his own words!  

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Women’s Hockey Update: December 6th, 2018

Team Russia with the Buffalo Beauts at the conclusion of their four-game series on Tuesday.  (Image Source)

This update is all about the international play!  With the Women’s Hockey Hockey league on break for now (games resume on December 18th), two Russian women’s national teams headed out on their adventures this past week.  Usually, that means the senior team and the U18 team, but this time there was a twist; both teams were of the senior variety, as we got our first look at a Russian women’s “B” national team.  Read on for recaps of how both teams did!  

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Halfway Home

CSKA Moscow’s second quarter of the 2018-19 KHL season, summed up in one photo!  CSKA took 28 of a possible 30 points in Q2.  (Image Source)

Every single KHL team is now at least halfway through its 62-game 2018-19 regular-season schedule, and so it is time to check in briefly with how everyone is doing.  A few weeks ago, we looked at the pts%  for each team in its first quarter of the season (Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, my goodness!), and now we will do the same for each club’s passage through games 17-31.  Read on!

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Before and After

It took awhile, but results have recently improved dramatically for Sibir Novosibirsk under the imposing guidance of new head coach Alexander Andriyevsky.  (Image Source)

After today’s news that Severstal Cherepovets have hired Andrei Razin as their new head coach, I thought it might be a good idea to check on the teams that have changed bench bosses this season.  There have six such clubs in 2018-19, starting with Sibir Novisibirsk back in mid-September, and finishing up with Severstal, who fired Alexander Gulyavtsev on November 12th.  So, below the jump, we’ll take a look at the each of the coaching changes to date, and try to see which ones have been good ideas and which ones haven’t.  Of course, the usual caveats apply; correlation is not causation, necessarily, and things like injuries, regression to the mean, and so on can have as much say as coaching does, or more, in a team’s success.  Also, small sample sizes abound.  But with all that in mind, read on!  

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Women’s Hockey Update: November 26th, 2018

Spartanki Moscow players celebrate a historic result last weekend in the amateur League of Women’s Hockey.  (Image Source)

High time for another update on recent doings in Russian women’s hockey!  We’ve got some game recaps from the amateur and professional side of things, as well as the Russian national team roster for some upcoming games against North American opposition.  So, without further ado, read on!

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Change of Status for Belarusan Players

Belarusan defenceman Pavel Vorobey, a recent signing at Sibir Novosibirsk, is one of the players affected by last week’s change in the KHL regulations.  (Image Source)

In a recent post here, we talked about the KHL’s foreign-player rules, and I noted that one remaining area of confusion was the status of players from Belarus.  Belarusan athletes competing on Russian teams had, up until this summer, been considered imports, and thus counted against the various leagues’ foreign-player limits.  However, this past summer the Russian Ministry of Sport indicated that change would be coming, and this past week new regulations became official in the KHL: Belarusan players at Russian KHL clubs no longer officially count as foreigners.  What does it all mean?  Read on…

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Women’s Hockey Update, November 17th, 2018

Biryusa Krasnoyarsk’s Valeriya Pavlova, who pulled off a rare feat in Women’s Hockey League action this past week.  (Image Source)

As mentioned in the last post here, the Russian women’s national team was in four-nations tournament action in Switzerland a week ago, playing for the Chablais Hockey Trophy, and it went very well indeed.  In this update, we’ll take a detailed look at those games, and check in on the Women’s Hockey League matches of the past few days.  So read on!  

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International Roundup

The Russian boys’ U17 team celebrates gold at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge last week.  (Image Source)

There was a whole mess of international hockey played over the last week or so, so time to get caught up on how the various Russian national teams fared.  And there is a lot of catching up to do, with eight different squads of various ages and genders playing tournaments (the only idle teams were the men’s and women’s U18 squads, as well as the girls’ U16 team, which generally plays only the European Cup tournament every season).  How did it all go for the assorted Team Russias?  Very well indeed — read on….

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Women’s Hockey Update: November 6th, 2018

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The national team huddles up during preparation for this upcoming weekend’s four-nations tournament in Switzerland.  (Image Source)

In the last update on Russian women’s hockey here, we took a look at how Agidel Ufa, Gorny Ukhta, and SK Sverdlovsk Oblast had come through the first halves of their respective 2018-19 Women’s Hockey League seasons.  This time, we will check in with the other four teams in the league, as Biryusa Krasnoyarsk, SKIF Nizhny Novgorod, Dynamo St. Petersburg, and Tornado Moscow Oblast.  And there is some international play upcoming (we have a Russian national team roster), and an update on the progress of the Russian U18 women’s national championship, so read on!

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Foreign Players and the KHL

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Now-former Metallurg Magnitogorsk forward Wojtek Wolski.  (Image Source)

It was a move that very few, if anyone, saw coming; ten days ago Metallurg Magnitogorsk released Canadian forward Wojtek Wolski from his contract, making him a free agent.  Wolski, a fan favourite in Magnitogorsk, was at that time the team’s second-leading point-scorer, with a line of 6-9-15 in 18 games, so his release came as a major shock.  What happened?  Well, the answer arrived later that same day, when Metallurg signed Czech forward Michal Bulíř from Bílí Tygři Liberec of the Czech Extraliga.  Wolski’s Metallurg tenure had, it became clear, fallen victim to the KHL’s rules on foreign players — or “legionnaires” (легионеры) as they are often referred to in Russian.  But what are those rules, exactly, and how did they come to cost Wolski his job?  Read on, for an explanation!

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