Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Say 'No!' To Vodka

Baby, you wouldn't last a minute on the Creek 1950's Soviet-era propaganda poster

Besides the Russian photos and interviews that appear regularly on this site, I thought it would be interesting for people to see some highlights of Russian Super League games. So, after digging around on some Russian team sites for a decent amount of time, I've come up with a few video files. Whatever they're lacking in OLN-type picture quality (*smirk*) is hopefully offset by the chance to see what the crowds and the arenas are like over in Russia.

All of these should open up and play on your computer fairly easily, if you've got Windows Media Player. I've found that if my computer is moving a bit too slowly, replaying the videos a couple of times will help smooth out some of the skips.

Pay for the lip, backlash is free
Jaromir Jagr skating for Avangard Omsk in '04-'05

The first clip is of a game-winning end-to-end rush by Jaromir Jagr, from last season when Jagr played for Avangard Omsk while the NHL lockout was going on. Avangard had trailed in a best-of-five playoff series against Evgeni Nabokov and Metallurg Magnitogorsk, 2 games to none, but then rallied to force a deciding Game Five. In overtime, Jagr picks up the puck at his own goal line and then skates through all five players on the Magnitogorsk team, faking the last defender right out of his skates. If you look closely at the very end of the video, it looks like #6 for Metallurg flings his stick out of frustration.

Video: Jagr goal vs. Metallurg Mg

Those bruises weren't really from a baseball
Avangard's Alexander Svitov skating past CSKA goalie Peter Skudra

This next one is from the current season, from a game between Avangard Omsk and Spartak Moscow that ended in a 2-2 tie back in January. Keep your eye on the puck carrier here, which is former Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Alexander Svitov. Just after Svitov crosses the red line, he gets leg-whipped by Spartak's Igor Musatov. The referee keeps a couple of Avangard players from meting out justice on Musatov, while former Tampa Bay Lightning and Springfield Falcons player Nikita Alekseev (#81) helps Svitov to the lockerroom. This is at Avangard's home arena, and you can see cheerleaders standing on platforms in front of the two videoboards at the corners of the rink, which is a bit of an odd touch. No Bryan Marchment sightings anywhere in the building, though.

Video: Svitov gets leg-whipped

Since that one isn't too pretty, here's one that's slightly better (unless you're from Omsk), from Avangard's home opener this season. Dynamo Moscow's Maxim Sushinsky, who in the previous season had played for Avangard, scores the game-winning goal in overtime, as Dynamo beat Avangard, 4-3. A pass at center ice goes off an Avangard player's stick right to a Dynamo player, who quickly rifles the puck up-ice to Sushinsky for a breakaway goal. The Avangard goalie is former Detroit Red Wing/Atlanta Thrasher Norm Maracle. It looks like the Weight Watchers patch on tubby old Norm's jersey might've fallen off again, by the way.

Video: Sushinsky's game-winning goal

You suck worse than two Billy Corgans
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's Konstantin Rudenko skating against Dynamo Moscow

This last video shows a goal on a nice give-and-go scored by Philadelphia Flyers prospect Konstantin Rudenko, playing for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl against CSKA (Central Sport Club of Army). Lokomotiv's Ivan Tkachenko (#17) starts the play by crashing into the corner boards, and Rudenko picks up the loose puck. He then passes it around a CSKA defender to Ilya Gorokov (#77), who gives it right back to Rudenko, standing near the crease ready to jam the puck home.

Video: Rudenko give-and-go

No doubt some people will notice all of the extra advertising on the ice surface of Avangard's rink, and so forth. Russian Super League teams get most of their budget money from team sponsors, as tickets to the games are very cheap. For example, single ticket prices at Molot's arena range from 50 to 250 rubles, which is about $2 to $9. You can buy a Jaromir Jagr jersey, which made is by Kait Sport and is pretty much the same as the ones worn by the players on the ice (equivalent to the North American "pro" jerseys that have a fight strap), from the Avangard Omsk web site for 1200 rubles (around $43).

The Russian Super League, as befits their early September start and 54-game regular season, are already well into the playoffs now (as are most of the European leagues). Since it's the end of the regular season, posted a list of this season's top attendance figures among the leagues in Europe. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and Sibir Novosibirsk are the only Russian Super League teams to make the top 25.

The "Say No To Vodka" headline is not only unrelated to the post itself, but is also misleading, as Sidearm Delivery wholeheartedly endorses vodka drinking among responsible adults.


Blogger gsdgsd13 said...

Norm Maracle. The man that was supposed to shine in Atlanta.

And Maxim Sushinsky, too. Good stuff.

3/19/06, 10:36 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

There were rumours in the pre-season that the Rangers were trying to sign Sushinsky, but Sushinsky kept denying that he had any intentions of coming back over here.

Turns out, he was right.

3/20/06, 8:29 PM


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