If my recent posts have seemed distant it is because they are - For those of you that don't know I have been living and studying in Moscow the last few months. My fiancee, Jo, has been interning here since the summer and I have been fortunate enough to spend the last few months with her. If you have been watching your blog stats you may have seen several hits from Moscow and wondered what the heck is that all about. Well that was me, as I have had a bit of free time while Jo is working.
I will have a travelblog and some interesting card and sports (that means futbol not football) related posts up eventually, but I wanted to start by filing a game report in a semi-timely manner.
My Apologies - I like Hockey however, my knowledge of the Rules, Players and History of the game is amateur at best.
The KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) is the Russian professional Hockey League. for the 2010-11 season the League consists of 23 Teams many of which represent Moscow. Dynamo is the top team in the league, while CSKA is one of the cellar dwellers.
Neither team in the game we saw featured any players that I knew well from the NHL. Former Rangers goalie Steve Valiquette was in Goal for CSKA.
The league has several other noteworthies: Alexei Yashin, Marcel Hossa, Chris Simon , Former Flyers Robert Esche, Josh Gratton, and Patrick Thoreson, and Alexander Radulov - the one time Nashville Predator who was involved in a contract squabble between the NHL and KHL. Former Dynamo players of note include Yashin, Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Nabokov.
The Dynamo won the game 3-2 and were clearly a better team. The entire first period was spent in the CSKA end, although the Dynamo were unable to score. The Dynamo then scored all 3 of their goals in the 2nd period while attacking our end - so we got to see a lot of the scoring action.
There were no fights and relatively few penalties. I think they allow the two line pass (as with current NHL rules). Dynamo scored all 3 of their goals in the 2nd period, into the net on our end, so we got to see a lot of the scoring action.
They Dynamo also have Cheerleaders or Dancers. Unfortunately Team Phungo was screened from the Dancers as they were in a blind spot to our left. There was a pregame concert as well. Some Male Russian artist who sort of looked like Howard Stern in his 20s.
The Game has a very collegiate atmosphere - Check photo of Giant Dynamo Flag above- we originally sat in a section containing many enthusiastic CSKA faithful. They had several chants and bantered with a similar Dynamo cheering section seated on the other side of the arena. The CSKA fans had a giant drum that Chief Wahoo would envy.
Tickets to our section a few rows from the top of the arena were likely among the cheapest in the stadium at 300 rubles ($10) which is less then I pay for parking at a Flyers game. You can buy snacks and beer at the stadium, but you are prohibited from bringing drinks into the seating area. So most people run out to grab a beer and chug it in the consourse during the intermission.
The Luzhniki Sports Complex was host to the 1980 Summer Olympics (the ones boycotted by the US and several other countries) as several other international sporting events. There is a Futbol Stadium and at least two Hockey Arenas. The Minor Arena above is the smaller (capacity 8700) of the two rinks. The Larger Arena is referred to as the Luzhniki Palace of Sports.
I have no idea who this guy is, there is no #26 on the CSKA roster. But it was one of my better photos.
Check it out a Face Off with the puck resting on the ice prior to being hit by either player.
I had a great time at the game, and Glad we were able to go. I am interested in many sports and to experience a Hockey Game played at the professional level in Mosow was a very memorable experience.
We will be back home soon and hopefully get to some more regular postings.