Boston Bruins in Europe Update: Oct. 2-7
Dennis Seidenberg and David Krejci, now overseas
Welcome to the first weekly recap of what the Boston Bruins have been up to in Europe. As of Oct. 7, all nine of the Bruins who made European playing plans to wait out the NHL lockout have at least arrived in their temporary new home bases. It can be difficult to keep track of where all the players are going, especially with language barriers in mind, but this recap may help make things easier. The latest games, the team's next outing and the team's standing in their respective league will be included. These recaps will go on as long as they have to, which is based on how long the NHL lockout goes since these European contracts tend to have opt-out clauses that will recall players to North America as soon as the doors open again and normal NHL business resumes.
Interestingly, of all the Bruins who have gone to Europe so far, the majority have selected teams in the Czech Republic: three (Andrew Ference, David Krejci, Tuukka Rask) are playing in the Czech Tipsport Extraliga while Zdeno Chara is with a Czech-based team that is part of the majority-Russian KHL. Also in the KHL is Anton Khudobin, though he is with a Russian-based team. Switzerland is also a popular destination for Bruins--Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron are both playing in the Nationalliga A--while Dennis Seidenberg has chosen to go to his native Germany for the time being and reunite with his brother. Rich Peverley is the only Bruin in Finland right now.
Bergeron flew to Switzerland on Oct. 5 and arrived in Ticino to meet the Swiss media for the first time. He also put on an HC Lugano scarf that has some familiar colors--black and gold--though in a different configuration. He did not play that night, though, as Lugano shut out HC Ambri-Piotta 3-0. Nor did he appear in the lineup on Oct. 6 when Lugano fell 4-1 to the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers. He will wear his regular number, 37, with Lugano, he confirmed in his meeting with the media--he even joked that the colors' familiarity helps.
Next game and potential debut: Oct. 9 vs. SC Langnau Tigers
Lugano's current league standing: Fifth
Chara's debut with HC Lev Praha was just another part of a big star-studded game on Oct. 6 against SKA St. Petersburg. SKA is already a big draw, but with Ilya Kovalchuk, Vladimir Tarasenko and Sergei Bobrovsky in the lineup, this game was an even bigger event. Plus, it was played in a different venue than Lev is used to because of scheduling conflicts. It was Tarasenko who seized the win for SKA when he scored late in the third period to make it 4-3.
Next game: Oct. 9 vs. Dynamo Moscow. This game will be aired live on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. Eastern and repeated later in the day. Please note that this airing is different from the planned airing of KHL games on ESPN3 and since it is on ESPN2, it may reach a wider audience. Alexander Ovechkin is currently part of Dynamo's lineup and the rematch of Chara and Ovechkin, last seen in April, may be of great interest.
Lev's current league standing: Fourth (second in Western Conference)
Krejci's first game with HC Pardubice on Oct. 5 was also the team's first win of the season on home ice--they'd dropped the previous four games played at CEZ Arena Pardubice. The home team beat HC Vitkovice Steel by a 3-1 score, though Krejci did not score or register an assist. However, he did get on the scoresheet when Pardubice took on Bili Tygri Liberec--which has two Czech players for Canadian NHL teams on the roster: Edmonton's Ladislav Smid and Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec--on Oct. 7 and got a 6-2 win. He scored and expressed his hope that he would continue to keep scoring in future games. Given the puck he scored with, he said that he's going to give it to his parents for safekeeping.
Next game: Oct. 9 at Vitkovice Steel
Pardubice's current league standing: Ninth
Anton Khudobin had a rough week between the pipes for the KHL's HC Atlant Moscow Oblast. Shut out 4-0 by Severstal Cherepovets on Oct. 2, Oblast made it two losses in a row on Oct. 6 when they lost 3-1 to Barys Astana. Khudobin may have a better chance to be in for a win in Oblast's next game since their next opponent is very low in the KHL standings.
Next game: Oct. 8 vs. Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk
Atlant's current league standing: 15th (eighth in the West)
Rich Peverley and JYP had back-to-back games on Oct. 5 and 6. Oct. 5 was JYP's biggest loss of the season so far as they lost 5-1 to KalPa Kuopio and Peverley was held scoreless. But in Oct. 6's meeting with Lukko Rauma, JYP won 2-1 and Peverley assisted on the game-winning goal. They have a chance to keep it going in their next game against TPS Turku because that team is in last place in the SM-liiga.
Next game: Oct. 9 vs. TPS Turku
JYP's current league standing: First
Tuukka Rask provided a steady backbone for HC Plzen to build on as they beat Pirati Chomutov 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 5. He fought off all but one of the 24 shots he faced and Plzen won it three minutes into the extra session. Both of the winning Plzen games Rask has been in net for so far were won by one goal, too. Rask was given the night off when Plzen took on HC Mountfield on Oct. 7 and came away with a 4-1 win. Reportedly, he was having some health issues after the last game he played in and the doctor recommended rest. Andrew Ference arrived to Ceske Budejovice on Oct. 7 to start playing with Mountfield, but he was not in the lineup for that night's game.
Next game: Oct. 11 vs. Rytiri Kladno
Plzen's current league standing: Fourth
Tyler Seguin put up his first goal with EHC Biel on Oct. 2, opening the scoring as the team beat EV Zug 2-1, but then in Biel's back-to-back on Oct. 5 and 6, he was unable to get on the scoresheet at all. Biel lost 4-1 to Geneve-Servette HC on the fifth and beat HC Davos 4-2 on the sixth. He did take a holding penalty on Oct. 6, but that was it after his first goal (or, erste Tor) earlier in the week. Biel is on the road for their next game and Seguin may be looking to contribute on the offensive side some more.
Next game: Oct. 9 at Kloten Flyers
Biel's current league standing: Seventh
Dennis Seidenberg had his debut with Adler Mannheim on Oct. 5 when they took on the Hamburg Freezers in Hamburg, but it wasn't the best of debuts as Adler lost 2-1. Seidenberg was left off the scoresheet, though his younger brother Yannic got one of the assists on the goal by Marcel Goc, another German NHL player who came over to be reunited with his brother in Mannheim. The Seidenberg brothers were together on home ice as Mannheim defeated Dusseldorfer EG, last in the league, 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 7. Neither Seidenberg brother got on the scoreboard, though, but the win put Adler atop the DEL standings.
Next game: Oct. 12 vs. Krefeld Pinguine
Adler's current league standing: First