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The Malik Report

Chesnokov: Ahead of contentious Russia-Finland match-up, Datsyuk still playing verbal chess

The Russians and Finns have something of a contentious relationship, having actually gone to war against each other at one point (Finland was also once part of the Russian empire), and it is expected that today's quarterfinal between the nations' hockey teams (7:30 AM EST, CBC/NBCSN), and Yahoo Sports' Dmitry Chesnokov reports that the counries' bitter hockey rivalry will be front and center this morning...

Russia will need a solid performance against Finland on Wednesday, the team that has given them so much trouble on the international stage. The Finns are a bogey team for the Russians, beating them four out of six times the two teams have faced each other in the Olympics. Three of those wins were shutouts for Finland. This will be the real test for the Russian defense, because giving up even one goal could mean the end of the Olympic dream.

“This will be war.” Alex Ovechkin said about the upcoming game. “We’re are ready for this war.”

But this is a Red Wings blog, so why is this story here? Well, it appears that a certain Pavel Datsyuk is still a chessmaster both on ice and during media availabilities. He's chosen not to e particularly forthcoming during these Olympics, and Chesnokov reports that Datysuk's still deflecting questions like Tomas Holmstrom tipped pucks:

Q. You haven’t conceded a goal in 125 minutes of hockey – is the defensive play this perfect?

“I didn’t hear the question at all.”

Q. You haven’t conceded a goal in 125 minutes…

“I absolutely cannot hear your question… Thank you.”

Datsyuk clearly didn’t want to answer this question not to jinx the team. The last goal Russia gave up was the power play tally to Joe Pavelski of the United States with just over 10 minutes left of the third period of the preliminary round game between the two teams. That would make it over 140 minutes of play since the Russians were scored against. And if one considers even strength goals only, we would have to go back even further to the very first game of the Olympics for Russia against Slovenia.

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.