Well, nobody is dominating after 2 weeks of play. Dynamo Moscow holds the overall lead with 12 pts on a 4-2 record. This came from a 3-0 record this week: a 2-1 over crosstown rival Spartak; a 6-3 rout of Barys on Janne Jaasvaara's hat trick; and 2-0 over the team I'm following in lieu of Lokomotiv, Automobilst Yekatarinburg. They hold a 1 point lead over somewhat surprising Dinamo Minsk. SKA St. Petersburg are 3 back in the points, but the unbalanced schedule has them only playing 3 games so far: last week's 2 wins and a 4-1 win over Lev Poprad, and thus they are 3-0. Lev, playing their first KHL season, have only one point- an OT loss- to show for their first 5 games.
In the East, Avangard Omsk and Salavat Yulaev head the struggling pack at 11 points. Both of these teams were stunned this week by Sibir Novosibirsk- Omsk falling 2-0 to the worst goalie (statistically) in the league, Austrian Bernd Bruckler; and Salavat in a 5-4 shootout won on a goal by Vladimir Tarasenko. But this morning (our time) it was Sibir's turn, losing 4-1 to Neftekhimik. Surprisingly trailing the two favorites is the "other Metallurg"- the team from Novokutensk, with 10 points after shocking Ak Bars 4-3 on Saturday. Ak Bars had been rolling, handing Magnitogorsk a 4-2 loss and edging Yekatarinburg 2-1 before the weekend loss. Yekatarinburg dropped to 1-3 despite the great play of goalie Evgeny Lobanov, who kept his team in both games despite being outshot 33-18 by Ak Bars and 32-19 by Dynamo.
Speaking of goalies, I noticed in my perusal of the stats page the name of Georgy Gelashvilli. Georgy was the goalie for Lokomotiv the first 2 KHL seasons, and was mysteriously (to me) the scapegoat for the two championship losses. He's now with Magnitogorsk and is 5th in save percentage, with a 3-1 record and 1.99 GA ave. More important, he's still alive.
And with that observation, here's the latest on the crash, courtesy the Moscow Times:
Something prevented the engines of the Yak-42 jet that crashed in Yaroslavl this month from reaching full power for takeoff, the Interstate Aviation Committee reported on its web site Saturday.
The plane's three engines failed to switch into takeoff mode because of an "additional deceleration force," the agency said, citing preliminary data from the flight recorders.
The Yak-42 only managed to lift off 400 meters from the end of the runway, and only reached an altitude of 5 to 6 meters, it said.
The jet hit a navigational beacon and crashed into the ground, breaking apart and bursting into flames, earlier reports said.
The aviation agency did not specify what caused the deceleration force, but its statement lends weight to the theory reported by media that the pilots might have forgotten to switch off the parking brake.
The agency is analyzing what remains of the jet's braking system, and the Gromov Flight Research Institute in the Moscow region town of Zhukovsky is preparing a simulation of the crash using a similar plane, the statement said, without elaborating.
Could it possibly have been that simple- or stupid? Or did the brakes just stick on without warning? I really hope they find it was an equipment failure, and not this calamitous an error. And the human tragedy of this story is far greater than the US media has reported:
A sad twist in the Yak-42 tragedy reveals that one of Lokomotiv players who died in the crash was anonymously giving money to sick kids, and the last half-million ruble payment was transferred to a young cancer patient minutes before the take-off.
It was several days ago that the parents of 16-year-old Diana Ibragimova from Voronezh learned the real name of the man who saved their daughter’s life. Ivan Tkachenko, captain of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey club, was sending big sums of money to Voronezh without disclosing his name or expecting any gratitude at all, Lifenews online tabloid reports.
Diana’s mother burst into tears when she learned Ivan had died in a horrible accident. It took her a long time to understand that the man she knew nothing about, just that his name was Ivan, was in fact Ivan Tkachenko, captain of the famous Lokomotiv hockey club.
The hockey player’s secret was disclosed thanks to a well-known Russian blogger, Varfolomeev. In one of his latest posts he wrote that the athlete had regularly been transferring large sums of money to sick children. Diana was one of the several lucky children whom Ivan had patronized.
Ivan transferred money to Diana’s family twice, and both times he asked that his name not be indicated under any circumstances.
“We did not even know who our daughter’s benefactor was, just his first name,” cried Elena, Diana’s mother. “We received 500,000-ruble transfers twice; they both came from an unknown Ivan. I thought he might be a successful businessman and could not imagine he was one of the best-known Russian hockey players. Such a young man!” exclaims Elena.
After the family received the second transfer, they wrote a letter to Ivan, but they never received an answer. Neither Diana nor her mother knew that just minutes after sending the money, Ivan Tkachenko died in a horrific plane crash not far from the city of Yaroslavl.
The modest young hockey player did not like to talk about his philanthropy. Only his closest friends knew that Ivan helped children who were diagnosed with terrible diseases.
His relatives say Ivan always rushed to help when he saw a child needed his assistance.