Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/19/14 at 10:42 AM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Russia’s high-end players rank with the best in the world, but the talent falls on the bottom end of the roster and when players such as Ovechkin couldn’t find their offensive stride in the tournament, there really wasn’t anybody there to pick them up.
Kovalchuk had the first-period goal for the Russian, but Juhamatti Aaltonen and the ageless Teemu Selanne erased that lead. Selanne had become the oldest player to score a goal in Olympic history five days ago, and he tweaked that record with what turned out to be the winning goal.
It isn’t clear what the long-term implications for Russian hockey of this setback will be. If they had played well up until this point and just had an off night, it might be one thing. But they were listless and unfocused throughout and when they had opportunities, Rask was there with the answers.
“It’s hard to win if you do not score,” said Russian captain Pavel Datsyuk, who described Rask as a “good goalie” but said the Russians didn’t do enough to get in his face.
“But we make it easy. We make not enough traffic in front of him, and not shoot a lot.”
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