The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/19/12 at 11:41 AM ET
Updated 2x: “Don’t too close, it’s not ice cream”—Datsyuk on microphone proximity to his face in IIHF.com’s post-game video: It wasn’t even a contest. While Pavel Datsyuk (clicky for a rough translation of a remarkable little conversation he had with Championat’s Maria Rogovskaya) was held off the scoresheet, a mistake-prone Finnish defense and a very, very leaky Petri Vehanen could not hold off the Russian Machine, and with only the line of Valtteri Filppula, Mikko Koivu and Jussi Jokinen providing offense, the Finns couldn’t out-score their mistakes.
As such, Russia handed Finland a 6-2 defeat, cruising all the way thanks to a hat trick by Evgeni Malkin. Datsyuk played 17:03 and went 7-and-6 in the faceoff circle, took a shot and finished even, and Filppula took a shot, won a faceoff and managed to stay even in 18:00 of ice time.
Team Russia will face off against the winner of today’s Czech Republic-Slovakia (Tomas Tatar) game (on at 11:30 AM EDT) in tomorrow’s Gold medal game at 1:30 PM EDT, while Finland will play for Bronze at 9 AM EDT.
NBC Sports will air the Gold game on tape delay at 9 PM Sunday, and re-run one of the Semifinals tonight at 9 PM, so it’s semi-legal online streams for you and me…
Update: From IIHF.com’s Lukas Aykroyd’s recap:
Early on, it looked good for the Finns. They set a fast, intense tone. At 7:28, Finland drew first blood when Niskala accepted a Petri Kontiola pass at the centre point and fired a howitzer, which tipped off the stick blade of Russian forward Denis Kokarev and high past Varlamov.
Russia took the game’s first penalty at 11:06 as Alexei Tereshenko rushed to the net and stuck out his right leg to trip Vehanen. It was nothing doing for the Finnish power play, however. With plenty of Russian fans on hand, competing chants of “Shaibu!” and “Suomi!” rained down from the Hartwall Arena crowd of 13,239.
“We knew we still had lots of time to play,” Pavel Datsyuk said about the goal. “We just had to calm down and keep playing.”
Malkin tied it at 1-1 at 15:33, snaring the rebound from a Nikita Nikitin blast to Vehanen’s left and firing it home from a bad angle with traffic in the crease.
As the clock counted down, the arena resounded with triumphant shouts of “Molodtsy!” (“Good fellows!”) from the Russian fans.
“We know they’ve been playing well and it’s their home arena. It was tough. The fans helped them a lot,” Pavel Datsyuk said. “We can still play better, I think. But those details are secret.”
Update #2: Here’s Datsyuk on IIHF.com’s post-game comment video:
Update #3: Here are some highlights from the NHL Network:
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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.