Another quiet week in the European leagues
It's the Friday before Christmas and it's beginning to look liek there will not be any NHL hockey for the fans. With the recent news of NHL games being cancelled through January 14th, the rumored "drop dead date" for the season is getting uncomfortably close. That date is rumored to be in January sometime, but who knows. Anyways, one New Jersey Devil came back from playing abroad, Marek Zidlicky. Tom Gulitti mentioned it last week over at Fire and Ice. (Thanks to Alamoth and acasser for pointing this out). This means that there are only four Devils players left abroad. Vladimir Zharkov, Ilya Kovalchuk, Artur Gavrus, and Anton Volchenkov. I have their updated stats below as well as a few notes about this week.
|Ilya Kovalchuk||KHL||SKA St. Petersburg||28||14||21||35||10||19|
|Marek Zidlicky||Czech||HC Kladno||25||3||22||25||25||14|
|Artur Gavrus||Belarus||HC Neman||15||5||8||13||0||10|
|Vladimir Zharkov||KHL||CSKA Moscow||31||6||2||8||4||3|
|Anton Volchenkov||KHL||Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod||6||0||0||0||8||-3|
I included Marek Zidlicky so everyone can see what a great job he did playing for the Knights of Kladno. Perhaps we will see an improved Zidlicky once NHL play resumes? As for the rest of the Devils abroad, Gavrus and Zharkov did not play a game this week. Volchenkov played one game and Kovalchuk played two games, including one today. Volchenkov had no change to his stats but it is important to note that he has only played a handful of games after his fractured ankle. He is also not a big scoring threat, so I wouldn't expect many points out of him in the KHL. Ilya Kovalchuk did not score a goal for the second straight week. However, SKA has only played three games in those two weeks. Kovalchuk did get two assists in the 6 to 2 win over Amur earlier today. With today's performance, Kovalchuk is now the 4th highest scorer in the KHL. It also earned him an easy ride to the top of the ILWT Power Rankings.
|Rank||Player||Power Ranking: Week 13||Change|
|1||Kovalchuk||3 assists in 3 games||+1|
|2||Zharkov||Idle this week||-1|
|3||Gavrus||Idle this week||+1|
|4||Volchenkov||Didn't break a bone||+1|
With Zidlicky leaving, Gavrus and Volchenkov each got bumped up a spot. Kovalchuk's impressive week led to him being slotted in the number one spot. There's not much else to report from Europe, other than one interesting note about Metallurg. Apparently Sidney Crosby may be joining Evgeni Malkin and Metallurg in the KHL. That will realyl make for an interesting shakeup in the league. Also, I would love to see the Kovalchuk take on Crosby and Malkin in Russia, that would make for a very interesting game. (Metallurg visits SKA on January 30th!) Thanks for reading and let's all hope for a holiday present from the NHL and NHLPA!