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It was a wild, wild, finish to the 2017-18 KHL regular season, as six playoff spots remained up for grabs with just a couple of games to go for each team (I wrote about it here). Compared to that, 2018-19 seems sedate indeed; teams have four to six games left each, and there are only four playoff places (two in each Conference) unsecured. However, that does not mean that things are boring, not at all! There are a couple of good races still to be decided, so read on, as we set the stage for the end of the 2018-19 regular season.Read the rest of this entry
I know I owe you some blog posts on various topics. However, lack of time, and an upcoming bit of travel have been interfering with things, so we’re on a bit of hiatus at the moment. I’ll return middle of next week, and there will be posts, I promise!
Regular blogging will resume here this weekend, with lots to talk about in both men’s and women’s hockey in Russia! Until then, you may ponder the fact that a team in this, 2018-19, KHL season has begun by winning their first 16 games… and that that team is Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (see photo above).
2017-18 featured a blistering start for Jokerit, and although they faded down the stretch, the team from Finland’s capital finished up in the league’s top five for the third time in its four KHL seasons. And though Jokerit failed to get past the second round of the playoffs, they did give eventual finalists CSKA Moscow a pretty good fight before succumbing. That second-half stumble raised some eyebrows, but overall the results must be deemed satisfactory. Oh, and Jokerit also introduced a jaw-dropping young forward to the hockey world along the way! So what’s in store for this season, and can Jokerit make a real run for the Gagarin Cup? Read on…
Salavat Yulaev Ufa always seem to enter the season with a solidly-stocked roster full of skilled and entertaining players, set at least to contend to add a second Gagarin Cup to the one they picked up in 2010-11. But something always seems to go wrong. Last season, an astute-looking coaching hire in experienced Finn Erkka Westerlund did not work out as planned at all (an early bad sign was the falling-out between team captain Denis Kulyash and the coach, which led to Kulyash’s departure), among other things. In the end, Salavat Yulaev won the Chernyshev Division, and got two rounds into the playoffs — but that was only thanks to a tremendous late run (and a weak division), and they nearly missed the post-season altogether. Will the team from the capital of Bashkortostan break through in 2018-19, or is more disappointment in store? Read on…
A week or so ago we looked at the then-impending first round of the playoffs in the MHL — Russia’s top-tier men’s junior league. Well, that round is now complete, as the series were all best-of-five, and we have the pairings for the last eight. Read on, for a quick recap of the opening series with some discussion of key performers, and of course a look at those upcoming match-ups in the second round.
Due to some WiFi issues, the update of Wednesday’s Olympic hockey action will need to wait until tomorrow. If the wires are not too crossed still, we will discuss the Russian men’s 6-1 quarterfinal victory over Norway, and the women’s 3-2 loss to Finland in the bronze medal game. Apologies for the delay!
Update! Home internet issues are now resolved, and we will be back with a post tomorrow, before the gold medal game of the men’s tournament between Russia and Germany(!). Sunday will wrap up the Olympic tournaments, both of them, and next week will involve updates on the domestic women’s hockey activity during the break for the Games, and a look ahead to the KHL playoffs.
The group stage is now finished for the Russian women’s national team at these 2018 Olympics, and they are likely glad to see the back of it. The Russian side came into today’s game against Finland with a record of 0-2, forgivable since the opposition had been the two North American giants. Of greater concern was the fact that the team had been shut out in both matches. Well, the Russian players did finally get on the board against the Finns, but the final result must again go down as a disappointment. Read on…
The opening of the Olympic women’s hockey tournament is just a few days away now, and the Russian team itself has arrived at the athletes’ village and is settling into the Games routine. Read on, therefore, for a quick update on their doings (with more to come later this week), plus some news from the domestic Russian women’s hockey scene!