The KHL quarterfinal round, which gets underway on Tuesday, is chock full of names that will be familiar to North American hockey fans. Here’s a quick look at who’s where and when they’ll play.
AK Bars Kazan (2) vs. Avangard Omsk (16)
It’s too bad Anatoli Bardin is no longer in charge in Omsk, because his club is getting a good taste of karma as rumors of Jaromir Jagr’s return to the NHL continue to dog the franchise. You’ll recall that last year, it was Bardin who travelled to New York to court the big Czech as the Rangers were in the midst of their playoff push. After completing one of the biggest upsets in Russian hockey history, Jagr’s team will once again find themselves in the position of underdog as they get their quarterfinal series with second-seeded AK Bars Kazan underway on Tuesday. AK Bars are backstopped by former Columbus Blue Jacket Freddy Norrena and led up front by Russian star Alexei Morozov, who finished the regular season third in KHL scoring with 32 goals and 38 assists in 49 games and put up five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in Kazan’s 3-game first round series against Barys Astana.
|Tue 03/10/09||12:00 PM||AK Bars Kazan||Avangard Omsk||watch|
|Wed 03/11/09||12:00 PM||AK Bars Kazan||Avangard Omsk||watch|
|Fri 03/13/09||8:00 AM||Avangard Omsk||AK Bars Kazan||watch|
|Sat 03/14/09||7:00 AM||Avangard Omsk||AK Bars Kazan||watch|
|Mon 03/16/09||12:00 PM||AK Bars Kazan||Avangard Omsk||watch|
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (3) vs. Spartak Moscow (9)
Like Avangard, former Ranger prospect Ivan Baranka and Spartak Moscow find themselves in the underdog role as they travel to face Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, runners-up to last year’s champions Salavat in the Russian finals. Baranka, who led the team with an average of 24:39 in ice time during the first round after leading in the same category during the regular season and finishing with 2 goals and 9 assists in 47 games, is joined by fellow Slovaks Branko Radivojevic and Stefan Ruzicka, the Flyers’ third round pick in 2003. The two led the club in regular season scoring with 45 and 36 points, respectively. Lokomotiv are are led up front by Alexei Yashin, while former Might Duck (and Devil) Vitaly Vishnevsky, who tallied four points in four first round games, patrols the blueline. Both clubs feature foreign coaches; Lokomitiv is led by Finn Kari HeikkilÃ¤ while Spartak is coached by Czech-born MiloÅ¡ Å˜Ãha.
|Wed 03/11/09||12:00 PM||Lokomotiv Yaroslavl||Spartak Moscow||watch|
|Thu 03/12/09||12:00 PM||Lokomotiv Yaroslavl||Spartak Moscow||watch|
|Sat 03/14/09||6:00 AM||Spartak Moscow||Lokomotiv Yaroslavl||watch|
|Sun 03/15/09||TBD||Spartak Moscow||Lokomotiv Yaroslavl||**|
|Tue 03/17/09||TBD||Lokomotiv Yaroslavl||Spartak Moscow||**|
CSKA Moscow (4) vs. Dynamo Moscow (7)
These old Soviet foes should generate some interest in hockey in Russia’s capital when they meet in what could be the nastiest match-up in the quarterfinal round. Short-time Ranger Jussi Markkanen mans the net for CSKA while old friend Maxim Kondratiev patrols the blueline. Up front former Calgary Flame Oleg Saprikin finished second in team scoring during the regular season with with 35 points in 51 games. Dynamo is stacked with former NHL players, including former Ranger Karel Rachunek, who led defensemen in points with 30 in 50 games during the regular season. Alexei Zhitnik and Danny Markov join him on and impressive blue line. At forward, Dynamo was led by former NHLer Dmitry Afanasenkov’s 36 points in 56 regular season games. He’s joined by Swede Mattias Weinhandl, who’s tied for first in league playoff scoring with six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in three games, Czech Petr Cajanek, and Canadien Eric Landry.
|Tue 03/10/09||12:45 PM||CSKA Moscow||Dynamo Moscow||watch|
|Wed 03/11/09||12:45 PM||CSKA Moscow||Dynamo Moscow||watch|
|Fri 03/13/09||12:30 PM||Dynamo Moscow||CSKA Moscow||watch|
|Sat 03/14/09||TBD||Dynamo Moscow||CSKA Moscow||**|
|Mon 03/16/09||TBD||CSKA Moscow||Dynamo Moscow||**|
Atlant Mytishchi (5) vs. Metallurg Magnitogorsk (6)
The KHL’s top two scorers face off in this quarterfinal series. Atlant’s Sergei Mozyakin led all KHL scorers with 34 goals and 41 assists for 71 points in 56 games this year, while former Rangers prospect Jan Marek, who was part of the deal that brought Sean Avery to Broadway (the first time), finished second with 35 goals and 36 assists for 71 points in three fewer games. Other familiar names include Swede Magnus Johansson, one-time San Jose Shark Alexander Korolyuk and Nashville Predator Denis Arkhipov on Atlant. Metallurg boasts former NHLer Stanislav Chistov and Ottawa Senators ex-prospect Alexei Kaigorodov. But the biggest question in this series might be whether Atlant goaltender Ray Emery agrees to wear a hat in the unlikely event he’s not in net during a game.
|Wed 03/11/09||12:00 AM||Atlant Mytishchi||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||watch|
|Thu 03/12/09||12:00 AM||Atlant Mytishchi||Metallurg Magnitogorsk|
|Sat 03/14/09||9:00 AM||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||Atlant Mytishchi|
|Sun 03/15/09||8:00 AM||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||Atlant Mytishchi||watch|
|Tue 03/17/09||TBD||Atlant Mytishchi||Metallurg Magnitogorsk|
* All times Eastern Standard time
** If necessary
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