There were two games between NHL teams and foreign hockey clubs early this morning/afternoon, with the league going 1-1 on the day. Let’s take a look at each contest.
Plus: Russian hockey fans can point out this statistic from Dan Rosen’s report:
Russian/Soviet Union teams are now 59-41-10 against NHL clubs since the nations first paired their teams against one another at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 28, 1975 in the inaugural Super Series.
Not as good for North American fans, but you have to tip your cap to those old Russian teams in particular. The top star of this game was SKA St. Petersburg’s captain Maxim Sushinskiy, who would naturally get a sushi-inspired nickname if he played in the NHL. (And man, his last name would be brutal for copy editors.)
Minus: To be fair, the Hurricanes might not have been going all-in just three days away from their season opener. Justin Peters spelled top guy Cam Ward and coach Paul Maurice kept Eric Staal out of the third period, claiming that the KHL players were getting closer and closer to going after people’s knees in the game. Things got pretty chippy in general in this one, from what I’ve read. You’d like to see an NHL-KHL bout be a little more civil, but bad blood can make for some interesting hockey.
Plus: Talk about getting “Clutterbucked.” Cal Clutterbuck scored three goals to lead the Minnesota Wild over Finnish team Ilves Tampere this afternoon. Marek Zidlicky and Chuck Kobasew also provided a goal each in this one as well.
But the real plus goes to Tampere’s astounding logo, which looks like it came from an episode of “Beavis and Butt-Head” or from Rob Zombie’s high school doodle pad.
Seriously, that’s amazing.
Minus: This was the Wild’s only win of the preseason, which I imagine will begin the “maybe Minnesota should be relegated” jokes in small, nerdy hockey circles.