Although the arenas of the NHL remained silent as Opening Day came and went with nothing but cancellations on the schedule this past week, some of the Boston Bruins remained active on the ice--in Europe.
Patrice Bergeron: Bergeron has made big waves since his debut with HC Lugano on Oct. 9. In his debut game, he had four points--two each of goals and assists--as Lugano got a big 7-3 win over the SC Langnau Tigers. He kept up his point-creating work on Oct. 12 (7-4 win) and Oct. 13, although in that latter case, his two-goal production wasn't enough to keep Lugano from losing 5-4 in overtime.
This week is going to be an interesting one for Bergeron. He has back-to-back games on Oct. 19 and 20, but the game on the 20th is against EHC Biel, the team featuring Tyler Seguin. It will be linemate against linemate and it's not going to be just a friendly game or a little scrimmage before Bruins practice.
Zdeno Chara: Chara and HC Lev Praha made a TV debut when their Oct. 9 game against Dynamo Moscow was aired on TV channel ESPN 2 as well as the ESPN 3 and Watch ESPN online platforms. I watched it live in what was the evening for Russia but the mid-afternoon for America. While I had some problems with the commentary--at times it was nearly insufferable and it deviated from play-by-play quite a lot--the result wasn't the most ideal for Bruins fans either. Lev was shut out 1-0 and the lone goal came from none other than Alexander Ovechkin.
Lev put up another loss on Oct. 13, but this time they did score at least once, losing 4-2 to Ak Bars Kazan. Chara scored the opening goal in that match. Now it's three losses in a row, though, because Lev lost 3-2 in a shootout with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk on Oct. 15. However, Chara did team up with fellow Slovakian native Juraj Mikus to provide assists on a Marcel Hossa goal.
Maybe Lev can start to dig out of their losing streak on Oct. 17 when they face Salavat Yulayev Ufa.
Andrew Ference: Ference debuted with HC Mountfield on Oct. 12 and immediately helped do good things--perhaps his presence helped motivate Mountfield to a 4-0 shutout win. That victory snapped a five-game losing streak. In Mountfield's next game on Oct. 14, Ference provided a helper for Rudolf Cerveny as part of a 5-3 win. By translating this interview with him, I was able to discern that he's enjoying the atmosphere over there and admitted that he was happy to get a week before his debut because he needed to get back into form.
This week provides chances for Mountfield to keep this new win streak alive beginning Oct. 19.
Anton Khudobin: Atlant Moscow Oblast didn't have the greatest week ever and Khudobin was in goal to see much of it. Sergei Kostitsyn popped an overtime goal by him to secure a 4-3 win for Avangard Omsk on Oct. 10. Given a rest on Oct. 13, he was still there on the bench to see Atlant lose 4-2 to the team with the other Kostitsyn brother, Andrei, on it. Then on Oct. 15, Khudobin was back--for a 1-0 loss against Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg.
David Krejci: Krejci's goal during HC Pardubice's game on Oct. 9 helped, but didn't help enough as HC Vitkovice Steel beat Pardubice 3-2. The team did turn it around for their Oct. 12 matchup with HC Kometa Brno and Krejci got two helpers this time as Pardubice won 5-3. However, they see-sawed back into another loss on Oct. 14, dropping their game with HC Sparta Praha by another 3-2 score, though Krejci did get another goal.
The defending Czech champion, Pardubice is slumping like the Bruins did after their Stanley Cup win. Perhaps Krejci can impart some advice about busting out of the slump this week with games on the 19th and 21st.
Rich Peverley: Peverley went scoreless on Oct. 9 as JYP Jyvaskyla lost 2-1 in a shootout to TPS Turku, but then he started to produce again in JYP's next two games, which both resulted in wins. Both were against the same team, Ilves Tampere, too. On Oct. 12, he had an assist in a 3-0 shutout win. Then on Oct. 13, he put up two assists, including one on the overtime goal, for a 5-4 win.
The Blues are up next for JYP, but obviously not the St. Louis Blues--no, the Espoo Blues on Oct. 16.
Tuukka Rask: Rask spent both HC Plzen games this past week in net for the team and both games saw him victorious. Plzen defeated Rytiri Kladno on Oct. 11 by a 2-1 shootout win and followed up with a win of 4-1 on Oct. 14 against PSG Zlin. Plus, Rask kept Jaromir Jagr unable to score on him during the game with Kladno.
Plzen is now riding a four-game win streak into the week, where they will hope to keep building on it on Oct. 19 against HC Ocelari Trinec.
Dennis Seidenberg: Though Seidenberg went scoreless in an Adler Mannheim 5-1 loss on Oct. 12--when all he got was a -2 rating to show for it--he bounced back two days later when Adler beat the Hannover Scorpions 4-3 in a shootout. So, Adler won, plus he assisted on the second goal of the evening.
Tyler Seguin: Seguin looks like he might be turning into a bellwether for EHC Biel. If he scores or assists, Biel is more likely to win. If he's left pointless, Biel often loses. For example: Oct. 9, when Biel won 4-3 against the Kloten Flyers. Seguin had two assists in that game. But then look at Oct. 12, when Biel lost 3-2 in overtime and Seguin had no points, or Oct. 14, a 4-1 loss with Seguin registering no points. As Seguin goes, so goes Biel?
This theory gets its next test on Oct. 19 against SC Bern.
Read previous Bruins in Europe updates:
Emma Harger is a Boston Bruins fan who is happy to report that she's starting to learn more Czech words because so many Bruins have selected Czech teams to play for during the NHL lockout.
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