Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/25/10 at 11:56 AM ET
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
It all sounded so darn good on paper.
Stack your team with nine KHL players, win the Olympic gold medal, show the world your fledgling league is just as good as the NHL, then enter your own Games in Sochi, Russia, in four years as the reigning champion.
You see, it wasn’t enough that Russia was going to be a heavy contender in this Olympic hockey tournament. There was, as rumor would have it, tremendous pressure on coach Vyacheslav Bykov to include as many KHL players as possible. There were powerful people behind the scenes who wanted to make this a political statement, too.
Well, Russia made its statement, all right. Thanks for coming out.
In a quarterfinal game that meant everything to both hockey superpowers, Canada embarrassed Russia 7-3 on Wednesday night.
“It is the same feeling as the Canadians would have had if they lost—it’s a disaster,” Russian netminder Ilya Bryzgalov said after the game.
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