October 09, 2011
Vityaz Chekhov is our favorite KHL team because it's a gong-show goon squad that's three Hanson Brothers away from being "Slap Shot: Mission to Moscow." It used to be the home of Chris Simon; now it has players like Kip Brennan(notes), Jon "Nasty" Mirasty and the star our next clip, Jeremy Yablonski.
In a game between Dinamo Riga and Vityaz Chekhov on Sunday, the mohawk'd Yablonski was at the center of a line brawl that included teammate Nick Tarnasky(notes) tangling with Jamie Lundmark(notes) (!) and Yablonski earning a game misconduct for punching up Sandis Ozolinsh (!!).
The penalty summary is here. Riga took their lumps but won the game, 7-1.
No, it doesn't hold a candle to the classic line brawl between Vityaz and Omsk that featured Jagr wrestling, but it's another example of their particular brand of whimsy. A few thoughts:
• Yablonski wanted to beat up the goalie, but a brave linesman got in the way. If the goalies start fighting every night, the KHL needs a U.S. TV contract, stat.
• Lundmark finished his wrestling match with his chinstrap over the bridge of his nose, looking like the world's lamest superhero sidekick.
• The KHL feels it isn't good enough to simply give referees circles on their sleeves to signify their authority; no, only their weeping orange nipples will command respect from the players.
• What was with the camera following Yablonski down the hall and into the locker room like he just finished wrestling Kurt Angle? And was that a paladin on the door? Is Yablo one of the Knights Templar? (The camera thing is actually kind of cool — a little "24/7"-ish touch for players ejected for the game. The NHL should steal this idea. And have more linebrawls with guys who have mohawks.)