Category Archives: KHL

Decision Day

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The KHL prepares for the 2016-17 Awards Ceremony.  Before that, however, there was momentous news from the league itself…  (Image Source)

It might be necessary to make some unpopular decisions,” said KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko yesterday, after a meeting of the Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport.  Today, the league’s own Board of Directors met, and some thunderous decisions were indeed made — popular or unpopular, depending on one’s point of view.  Read on, for a quick and preliminary look at those, and also some news of the KHL’s annual awards ceremony, which also happened today!

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Chernyshenko Talks Tough

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KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko. (Image Source)

As Team Russia trundles along at the World Championship (today’s 3-0 win over Czechia booked a Saturday semi-final date with old rivals Canada), the KHL has been moving forward with its plans for next season and beyond.  The league’s top executives met on Tuesday, and the end product was some blunt speech from KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko on the subject of contraction, team debt, and the like.  Read on, for some choice quotes from Chernyshenko, and some discussion thereof.

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Let the Off-Season Feeding Frenzy Begin!

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CSKA Moscow captain Denis Denisov will be lining up for Metallurg Magnitogrosk next season. (Image Source)

Monday marked the beginning of the annual free-agent season in the KHL, as contracts expired on April 30th and players began to change teams.  The past couple of days have seen a large number of such transactions, far too many to discuss them all here (Elite Prospects is your friend in keeping track of all the moves).  But read on, for a little look at just a few of the more significant trades and signings of the last 48 hours!

 

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No Doubts

It is done, and in the end, there was no doubt at all who the better team was.  As mentioned in a brief post here earlier, SKA St. Petersburg are the 2016-17 Gagarin Cup champions, having defeated Metallurg Magnitogorsk in five games.  Read on, for a recap of the decisive match (highlights above) and some thoughts about the series as a whole.

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SKA are Champions!

SKA St. Petersburg finished off a triumphant 2016-17 KHL campaign today, lifting the Gagarin Cup thanks to a 5-3 victory over Metallurg Magnitogorsk in Game 5 of the Final.  Later on today, we will have a full recap of Game 5, and some thoughts about the Final, but for now: Congratulations to SKA, and all respect to Metallurg as well!

Nearly There for SKA

SKA St. Petersburg find themselves just one win away from their second Gagarin Cup triumph, and their second in three years to boot!  How has their 3-1 series lead come to pass?  Read on, for recaps of the last two games, some MVP speculation, and an odd developing story that just cropped up today.

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All Square Through Two

So now it is a best-of-five!  Honours were shared equally through the first two games of the Gagarin Cup Final; SKA St. Petersburg and Metallurg Magnitogorsk have a victory apiece as the series moves back to the former’s home on the bank of the Okkervil River.  Read on, for a recap of those fascinating first two games, and a very quick look at playoff developments in a couple of other leagues!

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2016-17 Gagarin Cup Final Preview!

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The Gagarin Cup leaves the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow en route to Magnitogorsk for Game 1 of the Final.  (Image Source)

 

The wait has been a long one; it was March 30th the last time we watched KHL playoff action, but we’re back on track tomorrow with the opening game of the ninth edition of the Gagarin Cup Final!  SKA St. Petersburg, the 2015 winners of the trophy and coming off a sweep of surprise West Conference Finalists Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, will be in Magnitogorsk to confront defending champions Metallurg, whose own East Conference Final sweep came at the expense of defensive powerhouse Ak Bars Kazan.

We really could not ask for a better final in pure hockey terms.  These two teams combined to score 446 goals in the regular season, in 120 games put together, and each has breezed through the the first three rounds of the playoffs in 13 games — just one more than the minimum in each case.  This could — and should — be a spectacular final; read on for a quick look at each team’s roster.

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The 2017 Gagarin Cup Final

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Sergei Mozyakin and Ilya Kovalchuk will meet in the Gagarin Cup Final, starting April 8th!  (Image Source)

We have a Final!  Metallurg Magnitogorsk wrapped up a four-game East Conference Final sweep of Ak Bars Kazan earlier today with a 4-1 victory.  Sergei Mozyakin celebrated his 36th birthday in some style, contributing two assists and then a goal to the victory.  The goal was his 54th of this season, surpassing the previous single-season record of 53 set by CSKA Moscow forward Veniamin Alexandrov in 1962-63 (in fairness to the old Red Army man, we should point out that Alexandrov scored his in 38 games, while Mozyakin took 72 to break the record).

Metallurg will be looking to win their third Gagarin Cup in four seasons, but the opposition will be tough.  SKA St. Petersburg, themselves the 2015 champions, swept the West Conference Final against Lokomotiv Yaroslavl despite losing Pavel Datsyuk and goalie Mikko Koskinen to injury.  Two of the games required overtime, one of those after SKA tied it in the last 10 seconds of the third, so it was not a routine sweep, but a sweep it was nonetheless.  Much credit to young netminder Igor Shestyorkin, who stepped in for his injured colleague Koskinen early in Game 3, and stopped 65 of 66 shots the rest of the way.

Due to the brevity of the Conference Finals, we now have a bit of a break before the Final commences.  Game 1, in Magnitogorsk, will be played on April 8th.  Sometime before then, we will have a full preview of the series here at the blog.  However, as a preview of the preview: given the way these two teams play the game, there ought to be some spectacular hockey coming our way in early April!

Playoff Updates!

In which the puck goes from the Metallurg Magnitogorsk goal-line to the back of the Ak Bars Kazan net in three seconds, courtesy of Mister Lee and Mister Moyzakin.

The KHL’s Conference Finals are now well underway, and producing some interesting storylines to follow!  Read on, as we take a quick look at those, and get you caught up on playoff happenings in a number of other leagues as well.

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