Every Friday there's now a new show on Russian TV called "Hokkey Rossii" which can be translated as "Russian Hockey" or more accurately "Hockey of Russia" (even though it sounds weird to us for some reason).
This week's show's main theme was the discussion on whether the KHL needs enforcers. Tons of Russian league fights were shown while the two pundits in the studio debated the question. The debate got so heated that at one point the host of the show was close to losing control of the situation almost resulting in the commercial break not being shown! The horror.
Alas, order was restored, the commercials went ahead as planned (you can now move off the edge of your seat), no one in the studio was physically harmed, and the mobile fan poll produced the results slightly in favor of the skating pugilists (by about 5%).
We figure that fan poll results were a bit skewed due to the fact that none of the old farts who would have surely voted against the imported bourgeoisie penchant for fisticuffs have learned how to use the texting feature on their mobile devices yet.
During the impromptu poll of KHL coaches only Andrei Nazarov of Traktor Chelyabinsk (predictably) was in favor of adding some Hanson brothers action to the KHL while Slava Bykov (note to the Canadian announcers - it is NOT pronounced Bye-kof), the head coach of CSKA Moscow, wondered out loud what the term "policeman" has to do with hockey.
I know of the following positions in hockey. Center, left wing, right wing, defenseman and goaltender. Last I checked the position of policeman does not exist in hockey and is from another field called law enforcement.
Touche, Mr. Bee-kof, touche.
Now we're not sure who won the studio brouhaha since the debaters did not resort to fisticuffs and we always have a difficult time determining the winner of a debate when violence isn't used as an argument. What we'd like to see is Don Cherry invited to such a debate next time. We'd like to see someone put a fist to where Don's big mouth is.
Oh yeah, they did show some actual hockey on the program, as well. Here are the Top Five KHL Goals of the Week as determined by Vladimir Putin himself.
Okay, we're not really sure if Putin picks the top five goals, but everyone in the West seems to think that he's in charge of every single aspect of Russian life so we'll just pretend that it's true. Good work, Vladi! Who are we to disagree with Mr. Putin after all? We just blog.
If you're a fan of seeing someone's face smashed into the boards (and we know you are, you sick, sick bastards) here's a video of Spartak Moscow's Alexei Akifyev painting the boards with his blood during the Moscow derby against the Red Army club courtesy of CSKA's defenseman, Denis Kulyash. Kulyash sounds almost like goulash to us and in Russia it is apparently a dish better served cold.
Last year's RSL champions Salavat Yulayev of Ufa finished the first two weeks of their KHL adventure with a perfect record of 4-0 and seemingly have not broke a sweat yet, even in games against top level opposition (like Jaromir Jagr's Avangard Omsk). 6-0 was the result of that "battle of the titans." We have a question for Rangers fans. Is it time to question Jagr's leadership qualities yet?
Do keep your eye on Metallurg Novokuznetsk's 16-year-old phenom Maxim Kitsyn who scored three goals in his first two KHL games. His team is off to a surprisingly good start and we're very impressed with a high school age kid doing his thing at the KHL level. Not to mention the fact that at just 16 the boy towers over most men in the league.
Dinamo Riga finally returned home after a brutal five-game road trip to the Far East to start the season (we think Sarah Palin might have even seen their two games vs. Amur Khabarovsk from Alaska, which no doubt now makes her an expert on Russian hockey) and played to a full crowd at Arena Riga. This marked a historic occasion as the famous Latvian club was resurrected as a KHL franchise after a decade of extinction (if only the dinosaurs were so lucky).
They celebrated with a 2-1 win over Hokkeynyi Klub Ministerstva Vnutrennikh Del Balashikha (Moskovskaya Oblast)... sheesh, we are fluent in Russian and that was a mouthful even for us. Okay, you can just call it HK MVD Moscow Region.
On the other hand, Barys Astana, another non-Russian KHL club are yet to win at home in Kazakhstan. And no, Borat is not on their team. Perhaps that's the problem. We shall see.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk, lovably known as Magnitka, is off to a very slow start, even having suffered a 6-0 humiliation at the hands of Jagr's Avangard. The reigning European Cup champions will face the NHL's New York Rangers in the inaugural Victoria Cup come October 1st and on this form might not be the best representative of the KHL. If we were Putin we'd make an executive decision to replace them with Salavat Yulayev of Ufa.
SKA St. Petersburg is also having major issues and started the season far below expectations. After their last loss their head coach Barry Smith, in true Putin style, proclaimed, "I promise to the people of this great city we call St. Petersburg, that they will never see a second period like this from us ever again!"
"And if they do," he continued, "I will personally see to it that those responsible are held accountable!"
Wow, the chill has run down our spine. Russia is definitely rubbing off on Barry after just over a year. Must be the borscht.