July 17, 2021

Russians Play Crucial Role in NHL Championship


Russians Play Crucial Role in NHL Championship
The star of the NHL this year, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky. Wikimedia Commons user Michael Miller

The Tampa Bay Lightning just won the NHL championship for the second year in a row. As always in the NHL, Russians were involved. In fact, the Stanley Cup championship-winning and playoff-MVP-trophy-winning goaltender is a guy from the Siberian city of Tyumen: Andrei Vasilevsky.

Only a year and a half ago, Vasilevsky was featured on the cover of The Hockey News as "the NHL's new crease king" – the crease being the blue semicircle in front of the net. His father of the same name was a goaltender in the Russian Superleague.

During these four-round playoffs, Vasilevsky was accused of having more-than-regulation goaltender padding in what the New York Post called "the NHL's dumbest controversy." The publication concluded that it was just a matter of the camera adding 10 pounds. Actually, it is a pretty hilarious photograph and Twitter conversation, here. Extra padding or not, Vasilevsky is recognized by many as the world's top goaltender at the moment.

Living in coastal Florida as they do, the championship-winning Lightning scheduled a celebration boat parade. During the parade, 26-year-old Vasilevsky put his playoff MVP trophy (the Conn Smythe) on his head, and one sports reporter called it the "lasting image of the 2021 NHL season," a season plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check out the parade video of the team's second-most famous Russian, Nikita Kucherov, or Kuch (pronounced "Cooch"), from Maykop. Kucherov said that the league's best goaltender trophy (the Vezina) was stolen from "Vasy" – a move that Kucherov called "Number One Bullshit." (How do you translate that into Russian?) At any rate, the phrase has already been turned into a meme-t-shirt, which "Vasy" wears along with the trophy on his head at the parade.

There is one more Russian on the winning team, Mikhail Sergachev from Nizhnekamsk.

Maybe all the memetic shenanigans being generated by the winning Russians will help put hockey on the map for American sports fans – many of whom know nothing about hockey.

Something else that happened at the boat parade: the 128-year-old Stanley Cup got majorly dented. As far as we know, the Russians had nothing to do with that.

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Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
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Marooned in Moscow

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A Taste of Russia

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Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

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