EuroVision: Backstrom hot; Semin out of shape

EuroVision: Highlights, notes, tweets and photos from across the pond — where the lockout doesn’t quite translate

Nicklas Backstrom has got the hang of KHL thing, gorging on opponents like a free Kontinental breakfast ever since the break ended and he changed his jersey number from 99 to 69.

The Moscow Dynamo forward has now hung five goals on Vityaz in his last two games versus the club and has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his last four games.

Alex Ovechkin’s pal scored twice in Tuesday’s 3-2 victory, the prettiest being the game-winner.

Watch him circle from the far corner, around the back of the net, then into the slot and zing a wrister:

Conversely, Backstrom’s former Washington Capitals teammate Alex Semin, now of the Carolina Hurricanes, admitted that he’s out of shape.

Despite playing pro games in Russia for nearly two months now, R-Sport reports that even though Semin has seven points in eight KHL games, he’s searching for his scoring instinct.

“Without doubt, I still need to improve my physical condition,” Semin told the Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod website. “I could have scored more points. A lot of chances have come up, but I don’t always have enough composure yet.”

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul wins for having the best sense of humour during his Russian adventures:

Here’s one.

A Dynamo Moscow masseur has been banned by the league for making an “indecent gesture” at a player.

Sergei Ulanov made the gesture at Tim Stapleton when the former Winnipeg Jets winger scored against Moscow on Sunday.

Stapleton had 27 points in 63 games for the Jets last season. He has 21 in just 26 games for Minsk Dynamo this year.

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider kinda wishes he had started looking at his Swiss options earlier:

Alan Walsh, agent for St. Louis Blues netminder Jaroslav Halak, denied yesterday’s European-based report that his client has inked a deal with Spartak Moscow:

Then reporter Matisa Strozyk tweeted that Halak had instead signed a one-month contract with Lausitzer of Germany’s second-tier league.

Halak will join the Kings’ Jonathan Bernier and Islanders’ Rick DiPietro in the circuit. He could make his first start as early as Friday.

And the New York Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh is the latest NHLer to return from Europe. No injuries, though, according to his agent: