Finally score your first goal in Europe? Get your picture up. - Christian Petersen
A bit of an easier week for tracking European players.
CSKA Moscow (KHL)
Datsyuk had the whole week off as many European leagues took a break for the Karjala Tournament leg of the Euro Hockey Tour. Pavel did not play for Team Russia in this tournament (It's kind of a warm-up and development tourney for the World Championships). Datsyuk's presence on the roster would take away the chance for a young Russian forward to get some valuable experience in international tournament play; if he's available, he's an automatic shoe-in for Russia's WC Roster.
When the KHL resumes, Datsyuk's club will look to start making up the four-point defecit they have to Lokomotiv in their division (they're currently 4th in the Western Conference). They'll likely have to do so without team and league-leading scorer Alex Radulov, who hurt his knee in the final game before the break. They'll still have the league's best goaltender in Rastislav Stana and the most-complete player in the game though. Datsyuk's 19 points in 15 games makes him the scoring leader in Radulov's absence.
Upcoming Games: CSKA plays Atlant on Wednesday, Torpedo on Friday, and Lokomotiv on Sunday
EV Zug (Swiss League A)
The new Euro-Twins (Euro-Cousins maybe?) had the week off from hockey. I presume they did other stuff, maybe even together. Who knows? It's a mystery to everybody!
Zug sits sixth in the Swiss League A standings. Brunner continues the honor of getting to wear the shiny helmet with flames on it for being his team's and the league's leading scorer. Zetterberg's 8 goals in 7 games is very nice to see on the scoring table.
Upcoming Games: Zug plays Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday against ZSC Lions, HC Lugano, and Rapperswil-Jona.
Jokerit Helsinki (SM-Liiga)
Jokerit sits in fourth place in SM-Liiga, only two points behind the league-leaders and with games in hand on every team above them in the standings. Val is third on the team in scoring with 15 points in 15 games playing a complete offensive and defensive role for the team. He plays more minutes per game than any forward in the league and more than all but 12 defensemen leaguewide (Erik Karlsson plays 19 seconds more per game than Val).
Upcoming Games: Jokerit has games Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, facing Aces, Scuba, and SaiPa.
Braehead Clan (EIHL, UK)
Braehead was not off this week, splitting a home-and-home against the Edinburgh Capitals. On Friday, our own Eurocap brought good luck to the Clan, who jumped on the competition 6-1, getting a goal and an assist from the Wings' Drew Miller. The Capitals turned the tables on Saturday, beating up on the Clan 8-4. Miller got another assist in the losing effort. Miller has 3 goals and 10 assists in his 9 games with Braehead Clan in a league he now shares with Paul Bissonnette.
I can't say enough how popular Miller is with the Clan's supporters They absolutely love him over there.
Friday's Game Highlight Video
-Miller assisted on Braehead's 2nd goal (1:05 mark) and scored their 5th (2:44)
Upcoming Games: Just one game this week: a Saturday home game vs. the Coventry Blaze.
HC Pardubice (Czech Extraliga)
Kindl actually did get to play with his national team in the Karjala Tournament. Even better, the Czechs won all three of their games. Kindl got off his European scoring schneide with a PPG that would become the game-winner against Russia on Saturday. The Czech team only gave up two goals in those three games and nobody on the roster was a minus player. Kindl went +1 (Nobody on the Czech team was better than +2 either).
Upcoming Games: Pardubice will play against Swiss team Fribourg-Gotteron on the 12th before games on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday in their own league vs. Karlovy Vary, Litvinov, and Vitkovice
Södertälje (Swedish Allsvenskan)
As Ted Kulfan reported on Friday, Ericsson's days in Swedish hockey are over for the season due to him reaching a maximum limit of days he could stay there before running into tax implications. He played 7 total games between Sweden's second and third-tier leagues, eating up a ton of minutes. The whole Kulfan article has more from Ericsson about the rigors of the play he faced; I highly recommend reading it.
Olimpija Ljubljana (Erste Bank Liga)
While Austria and Slovenia don't take part in the Euro Hockey Tour, the Erste Bank Liga (centered in Austria) takes part in the IIHF break as well. Mursak passed the time by being the second-best Slovenian hockey player in the whole world and...I don't know, playing Scrabble with all the random letters in his league's team names?
Upcoming Games: The Dragons get back underway on Wednesday against KHL Medvescak, then plays again Friday against EC VSV and Sunday versus Liwest EHC Black Wings Linz.
Emmerton has returned to the U.S. and is trying to stay in shape while his broken finger heals. I just like keeping him here to keep Quincey buried at the bottom, although I'm not sure I understand why I do that. I don't dislike Quincey. It's probably because he's playing in Denver right now.
Denver Cutthroats (CHL)
Denver lost all three games against the Arizona Sundogs this week, 5-2, 5-3, and 6-4. Of the 17 goals the Cutthroats gave up, 3 were power play goals, meaning 14 of them gave an opportunity for a skater to get a minus. Quincey got at least nine of those, as the one goal and one assist he earned in the week were both scored even-strength. Now, Arizona is bolstered by NHLers David Schlemko and Kyle Chipchura, but man... we're not exactly close to the golden Schlemko/Chipcura era of the NHL or anything. I doubt the league's hype machine is going to undo the damage of the lockout by plastering those two assholes' faces all over next season.
Whatever, I want Quincey to do well and his team to lose.
Upcoming Games: Maybe the fishheads can get some revenge against Arizona, as they play the Sundogs at home on Wednesday and Friday before the Fort Worth Brahmas take a visit to Denver on Saturday.
Sorry to be a downer, but I think there are going to be more of these posts than I wanted to do.