During the lockout I will be using this space to provide weekly updates on the Bruins players that are spending the lockout playing in Europe. The CBA talks are continuing this week, so hopefully they will all be back in Boston soon. Because let’s be honest here, translating Czech to English kinda sucks.
David Krejci – HC Pardubice. Krecji made a quick impact, scoring two goals in his first three games, including the game-winner in his second game on Sunday night. Expect him to thrive playing in front of friends and family every night, as his hometown is only 90 miles away from his new, temporary, home arena.
Tuukka Rask – HC Plzen. Rask was spectacular stopping 23 of 24 shots to secure an overtime win on Friday. He did not dress for Sunday’s game, but is expected to start tomorrow, so hopefully whatever ailment caused him to miss a game has passed. Seeing that he will be Boston’s starting goalie this season, the more shots he faces, the better. (Of course, with this lockout, Tim Thomas is getting to be less and less “crazy” and more of a “trendsetter” by not playling this year…)
Andrew Ference – Ceske Budejovice, Mountfield. Ference finally joined the team this week after signing on September 29th. He will be playing his first game Friday in Zlin, and is excited to be playing for the team that he called home during the 2004-05 lockout. His arrival couldn’t come at a better time for Mountfield, as they currently sit 3rd from last place in the league, having lost 5 in a row and 7 of their 10 games this season.
German Hockey League
Dennis Seidenberg – Adler. Seidenburg joined his younger brother, Yannic, on the Adler Manheim squad last week. After two games, he is 0-0-0, Even, which is not unexpected. While he has never been known for his offense, hopefully as he gets more used to the team we will see his +/- rating grow.
Finnish Elite League
Rich Peverly – JYP. While Peverly hasn’t exactly lit up the ice in his 4 games this season (0-1-1, even, 4PIM), his one point was a big one, an assist on the game winning goal over Lock that lifted JYP into first place.
Zdeno Chara – Lev Praha. I hope you joined me in watching Chara’s Lev squad take on Ovechkin and the powerhouse Moscow Dynamo yesterday on ESPN. While Ovy did score the lone goal of the game, it was done while Chara was off the ice. He was not the dominating presence he normally is, although that could be because it is only two games in, or because the ice is so large, but time will tell. In his two games, Chara is 0-0-0, Even, with an average of 19:30 TOI. That is about 10 minutes below his NHL average.
Anton Khubodin – Moscow Atlant. Anton Khubodin is struggling to find his form in the KHL. While he dominated in only 7 appearances in the NHL (averaging about a goal against per game), he is only 3-4 so far this year with not-so-impressive 2.91 GAA and 91.1 Save Percentage. If he gets in his groove, he could elevate the 4th place Atlant to contend with the powerhouses SKA and Moscow Dynamo, as well as the feel-good story of the KHL (and all of hockey?) the surprisingly 2nd place Lokomotive Yaroslavl.
Swiss Elite League
Patrice Bergeron – HC Lugano. Not many players have an immediate impact on a team like Patrice Bergeron. The NHL’s reigning Selke winner debuted Tuesday against the SCL Tigers and put up a 4 point game (2-2-4). Any more games like this and he will easily catch up to teammate (and Bruins alumni) Glen Metropolit, who is one point shy of the league lead with 1-11-12 after 11 games.
Tyler Seguin – Biel. Seguin turned down a contract offer from the KHL that was reportedly double what he was going to make in the Swiss League. He has been doing very well so far, with five points in five games (1-4-5). He is -3, but is looking to change that as his friendly competition with Patrice Bergeron heats up.