Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/24/10 at 12:36 PM ET
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Team Russia is the only team in the tournament enduring anything close to the pressure and second guessing that Team Canada copes with. With good reason. Ovechkin is been playing on a line with Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Semin. It’s a unit which should be deadly in terms of goal production.
But some believe the wear from the pressure is showing. Ovechkin, usually eminently likable and gregarious, has been questioned for his lack of openness in Vancouver.
After the win against the Czech Republic—a win—Ovechkin answered only three questions in Russian and walked away saying: “That’s it.”
added 10:49am, from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail at CTVOlympics,
Russia is beginning to pick up the medal pace after a slow start to the 2010 Olympics - which has prompted some angry demands that the country’s sports minister be sacked - and a sentiment familiar to many Canadians is beginning to take hold: win gold in hockey, and all is forgiven.
“That is the case,” Vladislav Tretiak, the legendary former goaltender and current general manager of the Russian Federation’s Olympic squad, said through an interpreter.
“Of course we feel the pressure, but Canada feels much bigger pressure.”
Picked as pre-tournament favourites to make the gold-medal game, the Russians are striving to avoid the fate that befell them four years ago in Turin, when they finished out of the medals after eliminating Canada.
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