Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/09/14 at 09:25 AM ET
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Toronto Star,
When nine national-team players from the KHL landed in Sochi, they were greeted with more cameras than they ever expected. It was so hectic that their bus was surrounded and couldn’t move.
“On one hand, it’s fantastic. But on the other, so much attention,” goaltender Alexander Eremenko said. “When we trained in Kazan, the bleachers were empty. There were no journalists at all and now there is so much attention. We still can’t get used to it.”
Upon landing in Sochi, Russia’s 16 NHL players will step into that same pressure-cooker created by hosting the Olympics on home ice in Sochi with the eyes of a nation and President Vladimir Putin watching so closely.
“It’s my fourth Olympics and each time when we arrive people expect a lot from us and if God helps us, everything will turn out this time,” former NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk said. “It’s great pressure. We’ve seen how much Sochi changed from 2007, when we won the (right to hold the) Olympics.”
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