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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

A tale of two hockey players.

The first man I'm talking about is Alexander Guskov.  A member of Lokomotiv for four seasons from 2007-11, as well as three years with the squad in the old Russian Super League, he had joined CSKA (the old Red Army team out of Moscow) just before the plane crash that killed all his old teammates.  He had long expressed his desire to join the reborn team in honor of his old team.  After 14 games with CSKA this season, he got his wish, coming over in a trade for Maxim Kondratev in a trade that I understand was unpopular with CSKA fans.  They ignored the history and saw it as part of an early season fire sale.

Guskov having words with Ovechkin.

The second is Canadian  Kevin Dallman.  After parts of 4 seasons with Boston, Los Angeles, and St. Louis in the NHL (8 career goals), He found himself in faraway Kazakhstan, spending  the last 4 years with Barys Astana in the KHL.  His first season there was his best, with 28 goals.  Last year, at the age of 31, he had a decent 18-goal campaign, but was not re-signed.  Barys told the world he was let go because a) his performance in the playoffs (1 goal in a 7-game first round loss to Magnitogorsk) and b) the four-year contract he was asking for.  However, the truth had less to do with him and more to do with his wife Stacy:

Her blog, Adventures in Kaziland (Click here to read it), was popular among fans of the team and, last December, Stacy spearheaded the Lokomotiv Wives Fund, a fundraising effort to help the widows of players and coaches killed in the September 7 crash of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team airplane.
But Dallman's blog also caused controversy as she delved into what she called “corruption, lies, stealing, greed and selfishness on every level” in the country. She said there was widespread corruption “in every organization from government right down to to small businesses to your everyday nanny or housekeeper.”
A particularly pointed post in late March was taken down and, in a subsequent post, Stacy said her husband's agent made her remove it. “Well, the agent is blaming it on the team, the team is blaming it on the owner of the team, the owner of the team is blaming it on the president of the country.”
The blog posts went viral with media in Kazakhstan and not long after, Stacy Dallman says her visa to live in the communist country of more than 16 million people was withdrawn and she was asked to leave. (article by Dan Dakin, St. Catharines Standard).

Dallman and kids at home in Niagra Falls.
They each played a pivotal part in yesterday's game between Loko and Dallman's new team, SKA St. Pete.  All of the scoring came in an eventful first period.  With Dmitry Kulikov serving a 2 and a 10 for checking high, Guskov fired a rebound past SKA goalie Sergei Bobroski with still 34 seconds of shorthandedness to give Loko a 1-0 lead.

Guskov's FIRST goal...
A minute and twenty seconds later, SKA drew an interferance panalty, and 14 seconds after that, Guskov slammed home a shot from the right poit to make it 2-0.

But the parade had one more stop to make, and that was Dallman beating fellow Canadian Curtis Sanford (who was making his first appearance of the season after dealing with yet another of his usual injuries) to cut the lead to 2-1.  Thus setting up an exciting finish...

...Except that the 36 minutes in penalties called in the first two periods made the teams a little bit TOO cautious, and for the most part they just skated around in the third period, managing just two penalties- both on SKA- and only 5 shots apiece.  The win ends a 7-game winning streak which, combined with the loss to Dynamo Monday, leaves us third in the conference (but the top seed in our division), 5 back of Dynamo and 3 back of SKA.

Next up for the boys from Yaroslavl is when they host Severstal on Saturday.  Before we go, there was a bit of controversy in a game between Amur and Salavat.

If you look real close at the bottom of the goalpost, you can see a tiny hunk of black between the post and the goalie's leg pads.  That is the puck- which has obviously NOT crossed the red goal line, and is therefore not a goal.  However, the video goal judge looked at this, and told the ref is WAS a goal.  It gave Alexander Osipov and Amur a 3-1 lead in a game they won 5-2.  But unlike major sports here in North America, the KHL is not adverse to admitting when their officials are wrong.  The refereeing committee watched the video, and said a goal should not have been awarded.  For his trouble, the idiot goal judge found himself out of a job for the remainder of the season.  Wouldn't you have loved to see the NFL replacement refs under that kind of scrutiny?

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