There is something about watching ads for a foreign country that is just fun, especially when they're ads for something familiar back here in North America. American hockey commercials (as well as Canadian ones) are full of grit and determination. The players are serious. They squint. They have all of Canada behind them as well as a box of Timbits.
In Russia? Just some overgrown kids hangin' at the rink.
SKA St. Petersburg, who is roughly the KHL's equivalent of the Chicago Blackhawks, has released four quick promos to be run to advertise upcoming games. The CGI that's employed is pretty, well, Eastern European in quality - but that just ads to the fun.
The first features Kevin Dallman (last with the Kings) and Patrick Thoresen (last with the Flyers), in what could be a PSA reminding netminders to always make sure that their net is affixed to the pegs:
Next up is goaltender Ilya Yezhov bustin' some sick moves:
Next we have Viktor Tikhonov showing off his billiards skills. Tikhonov, some might remember, was a Coyotes prospect but got sick of the dry heat.
Finally, the best for last. Former Atlanta Thrashers/New Jersey Devils superstar Ilya Kovalchuk shows everyone what he can do with two pucks:
I will say that in his natural habitat, Kovalchuk's cheesier than he was in North America.
It's hard not to smile when you're watching these, though I'm not sure if that's because of the quality of ads or just because the players in them are having fun. North American hockey could use a dose of levity like this.