The new Russian Kontinental Hockey League has proved to be more than just competition to the NHL – it is actually quite entertaining. Take this insane fight featured on puckdaddy’s blog for example. The line brawl consists of former Philadelphia Flyer Matt Ellison, Marcel Hossa, Duvie Westcott and Ron Petrovicky. Yes, that is Petrovicky hiking an opposing player between his legs in the spirit of football season.
Even an honest gander at the league’s statistics brought me insurmountable hilarity.
The hard to find, official website of the KHL is written completely in Russian, so it involves a bit of tweaking to find the proper google translator to be able to read the jibberish. But something is desperately lost in translation. Click the Statistics link at the top of the page and follow along with the teams.
Checking up on an old Flyers’ nemesis, Jan Bulis and goalie Ray Emery of the first place “Atlant”, a few things are instantly clear. One, Emery has 30 “throws in the yellow gate,” and two, he also has a pretty nasty 5.66 “coefficient of reliability”. I’ve always said he gave up too many throws in the yellow gate to be an NHL starter. Bulis on the other hand, is tied with the team lead with four goals. That’s four more than his teammate “Andrei Toast.”
Highly anticipated Flyers’ defensive prospect Denis Bodrov, has had a successful early season with his team “Lada”. But many Russian bloggers have attributed his success to the forward play of number 28 “Other Victor.” To make even less sense, other than Other Victor, there are no other Victors on the team.
If one were to catch up with former obscure Washington Capitals’ prospect Igor Ignatushkin on the team cuddly-named “Cupid.” One may notice his teammate “Gut Alexander,” who doubles as the team’s pudgey mascot.
Has anyone wondered where Alexei Zhitnik went? No? Well it was to Dynamo M, and believe or not, he leads the team in scoring with one goal. That shouldn’t last long because the real offensive force of Dynamo M is “The Head Igor” and he has yet to get going. Hopefully their teammate Denis Tolpeko can help get the offense going.
Metallurg Mg is my clear cut favorite to win the Gagarin Cup because of two special players — “Little Vladimir” and “Peace Igor.”
My second favorite team to win the the G-Cup is SKA. Not just because it’s name after a type of fruity punk, but because former Flyers’ goaltender Robert Esche is manning the backstop. He is listed as “Robert Ashe.”
But never count out the Stefan Ruzicka-led Spartek. Rosie leads the team with three goals. That’s more points than “Dmitri Upper” and “Nikita Shield” combined and three times what he scored in 14 games with the Flyers last season. Booo.
But in the end, the success of the KHL will be detirmined on how it makes the fans feel. In which case, we should all take a page from the book of CSKA’s “Happy Petr.”