The Tsar Report - 10/11/12
Our weekly look at the KHL is back for another round!
Forgive the tardiness of today's update from the KHL - something about getting married on Saturday keeps sapping my attention span and writing time.
Again, no new movement on players going overseas from the Blue Jackets. Some rumors linked Vinny Prospal with his hometown club (HC Ceske Budejovice) in the Czech Extraliga, but I haven't seen anything official at this point.
Now, let's see how things went for our boys abroad last week.
AA appeared in three games last week, including a matchup against Nikita Nikitin's Avangard Omsk club. He was kept off the board and ended up a -2 in that matchup, but rebounded with an assist in a 4-2 win over Barys Astana. Unfortunately, he was off the scoreboard again in their 3-2 loss to Yugra Khanty-Mansiysyk yesterday. The road doesn't get much easier for Lokomotiv - they're back in action on Saturday against Evgeni Malkin 's Mettalurg Magnitogorsk club, then taking on Traktor Monday and Avtomobilist on the 17th.
The model cop took on Jakub Voracek's Lev Praha club last Saturday (in fact, the game where Voracek was injured), and secured a 4-3 victory. (Fun fact: His counterpart for Praha? Former Jackets' prospect Tomas Popperle.) Bob stopped 24 of 27 shots for the win, good for an 88.9 SV% and 3.01 GAA. It wasn't pretty, but victory has a beauty all it's own.
Sadly, Bob would sit out the match against former teammate Ilya Bryzgalov's CSKA club in favor of Ilya Ezhov, but that could mean he gets the start in SKA's match against Avtomobilist on Saturday. (Or perhaps not - remember that SKA was carrying three goalies before Bob was signed.)
Beyond that, SKA will play in back to back games against Mettalurg Novokuznetsk and Amur Khabarovsk Monday and Tuesday, then face Sibir Thursday. If I'm reading the sheet correctly, all three games will be on the road, and that Sibir game is going to be televised on ESPN3, for those looking to stream the game at work. (At this point, it's the only KHL game featuring a Blue Jacket that will appear on the service, but if the lockout continues...well, who knows?)
As mentioned, Niki6's Omsk squad took on Lokomotiv, last Saturday, where they delivered a 5-2 victory that included Nikitin's first assist of the KHL season on the final goal. Unfortunately, the win streak stopped as soon as it started - the club faced Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod on Monday and got housed, 7-3, with Nikitin a -3. They finished out the week (well, relative to how we're checking scores) yesterday against Atlant (and former Jacket Nikolay Zherdev), winning 4-3 in OT thanks to Sergei Kostitsyn's GWG. Nikitin would not score, but kept a clean +/- and registered 2 PIMs and 2 shots on goal.
As far as the schedule goes, Omsk will be on the road Saturday to face Dinamo Riga, then travel to Donbass Donetsk on Monday and finish the week against Spartak Moscow on Wednesday.