While PHT doesn’t normally do a lot of Kontinental Hockey League coverage, we have occasionally profiled the insane asylum known as HC Vityaz Chekhov. Remember that post we wrote called Watch a KHL coach attack fans with a hockey stick? Yeah, same team.
Vityaz is coached (yeah, same stick-swinging coach) by former NHL enforcer Andrei Nazarov, who has brought his unique “punch first, ask questions later” style to the KHL. As such, the Vityaz roster features former Tampa Bay goon Nick Tarnasky, six-time Golden Gloves champ Jeremy Yablonski and Jon “Nasty” Mirasty, who you can read about here.
As far as I can tell, this came at the end of Vityaz’s most recent game, a 4-2 loss to Metallurg Magnitogorsk — Sergei Fedorov’s team. The poor guys getting jumped by Tarnasky and Mirasty are No. 58 Alexey Bondarev and No. 75 Mikhail Yakubov, who don’t seem like willing participants.
I’d say this could spell the end of Vityaz’s brawling ways, but then I re-checked its roster. The team also employs noted leviathan Kip Brennan (see his handiwork here), who leads the league in penalty minutes with 158…through 11 games!
Video: Oilers showed off depth beyond McDavid in beating Sharks
Nope, as Mike Rupp and Jeremy Roenick discuss in the video above, the Oilers advanced thanks as much to depth scorers – and deft goaltending from Cam Talbot – as they did because of McDavid’s blistering combination of skill and speed.
Now, the Anaheim Ducks rank as an interesting opponent. While the Sharks could slow McDavid with one of the few blueliners who could really give him trouble – relatively speaking – in Marc-Edouard Vlasic, it remains to be seen if Anaheim can accomplish the same.
The Rangers await either the Bruins or Senators and the Penguins face the winner of the Leafs – Capitals series out East, but we now know how the West shakes out.
St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators
Both teams provided some of the upsets of this young postseason. Each features a red-hot goalie in Jake Allen and Pekka Rinne. Interesting.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Edmonton Oilers
There will be a lot of orange. We may also see a ton of goals with Ryan Getzlaf on fire, Oscar Klefbom headlining the list of unhealthy players and Connor McDavid possibly able to really take off against a Ducks defense that is beat up in its own right.
Klefbom is dealing with an illness, Coach McLellan says. "It's important for us to get healthy before we get to Anaheim."
It’s already been a strange season out West, with the Kings missing the playoffs and first-round exits for the Sharks and Blackhawks. Get ready – and giddy – for things to get even weirder as the postseason goes along.
Oilers win first series since 2006 after Sharks fall crossbar short of overtime
After making the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the Edmonton Oilers weren’t just “happy to be there.” They confirmed as much by eliminating the San Jose Sharks with a 3-1 victory in Game 6, winning the series 4-2.
Yes, those young Oilers just eliminated the team that represented the West in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Wow.
Much like the Minnesota Wild earlier on Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens are stunned to approach the golf courses so rapidly.
Many of the responses after the New York Rangers eliminated them in Game 6 sound a lot like what the Wild uttered, though there’s no potential bulletin board material like Bruce Boudreau’s line about the better team failing to win four games.
Now, it’s likely that most teams speak about being shocked and expecting better after being booted from the postseason.
Still, these reactions do shine a light on the staggering nature of some of these exits. Will the likes of the Blackhawks, Canadiens and Wild struggle to be in such prime positions in the future? With the Sharks needing a comeback against the Oilers, could the trend continue on Saturday?
The bottom line is that, instead of preparing for a Game 7 after winning the Atlantic Division, the Canadiens are packing up their stuff and worrying about re-signing Carey Price. That’s a pretty stunning turnaround, regardless of the soundbytes available.