Busy week for our boys in Europe as they all got back to action after their leagues’ two week break.
Let’s start in Finland, where we have our newest team to follow – KalPa in the SM-Liiga league. Derek Stepan has played three games and has one assist and a plus-2 while averaging over 20 minutes per game as the center on KalPa’s first line. Oh and he had the game winner in a shootout in his second game (2:34 mark):
Umm, Step…where has that move been when the Rangers needed it in a shootout? Maybe you should try it out here whenever the season starts. It might help people believe you are actually good at these things like you said you were. Just a thought.
He was also the third star of that game. In his second game. So proud.
And for anyone who wants a good laugh, translate the penalties taken in this league. I’m sure in Finnish they make sense but in English they become two minutes for “prevention” (interference?) and five minutes for “put the tackle” (boarding? holding? I got nothing). I guess I shouldn’t expect everything to translate so seamlessly.
Speaking of Stepan, might as well go to Russia where his best friend had a highlight move as well. That’s right, Ryan McDonagh was given a penalty shot after being taken down by Sergei Gonchar. (There is no video of the infraction so no I am not going to begin to try and figure out how or why a defenseman took down another defenseman on a breakaway. It’s the KHL.)
Unfortunately he wasn’t as successful as Stepan but it wasn’t a bad move for someone who probably hasn’t taken many penalty shots in his career:
Think he was trying to fool him and go high glove? Impressive for a defenseman. Then again, McDonagh is no ordinary defenseman.
Unfortunately, Barys could’ve used that goal as they lost 5-3 to Metallurg Mg. As for their other two games this past week, they went 1 and 1, losing to Traktor 6-3 during their first game after the break and then beating Avtomobilist 7-2 where the only two goals allowed were power play tallies. I’d say they definitely had an up and down week. McDonagh stayed off the scoreboard so wasn’t much of a factor in any of the games.
Let’s stay with defenseman and move along to Switzerland where Michael Del Zotto and his Rapperswil-Jona Lakers have lost both games since they returned from break. At least one was in a shootout and Del Zotto did get an assist in that game.
It wasn’t a pretty assist but a point is a point. His play on that 2-on-1 right before the goal though…yeah let’s not talk about that. (He did get back which was impressive but I honestly have no idea what he tried to do then.)
Staying in Switzerland, Rick Nash and his Davos teammates split their two games since returning from break. Nash had an assist in the loss and a goal in the win. His goal was a pretty one as it was unassisted:
If he can do that for the Rangers, I would be happy. That said, anyone else think that would be goalie interference in the NHL?
Unfortunately our trips to Sweden are on hold as Carl Hagelin is in New York rehabbing his shoulder and Henrik Lundqvist hasn’t signed with Frolunda yet. (Yes I expect that to happen soon.)
Update: Turns out Hagelin is permanently in New York as his contract with Södertälje is up on December 8th and the two sides have agreed to terminate the agreement as of that date to prevent Hagelin from further injuring his shoulder. If I didn’t see him on the ice last Friday, I would worry this means his shoulder injury is worse than previously thought. After seeing him, I just think he needs rest in case their is actually a season this year. The team released a statement that you can read here (if you speak Swedish) and translate here (if you don’t).
In the meantime, a quick update from New York as the NHL and PA got back to meeting last night with eighteen players attending the 90-minute negotiating session. Five of them call MSG home – Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal and Jeff Halpern. Our guys might have sat back in the beginning but now they want to play. The league will regret that they have reasons to be in town.
There has also been confirmation as to who will be playing in the Operation Hat Trick charity game for “Team NY” this Saturday:
Girardi and Staal on defense with Lundqvist in net? I like our chances against the Flyers