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Pressure On Team Russia Growing Daily

from Slava Malamud at IIHF.com,

What do you call excitement sans optimism? Let’s call it anxiety. And pressure. An enormous pressure to deliver the goods to a gold-starved, hockey-mad nation who will consider the Games a failure otherwise.

“I can tell you for sure that the Olympics aren’t at all about fun,” says Yevgeni Malkin, also known as one of the best players on the planet. “In Turin, even though I knew that I was only 19 and wouldn’t get a huge amount of ice time, I couldn’t get any sleep the first night in the Olympic Village. I just lay on my bed and stared at the ceiling, thinking about how I would play. I don’t know how it will be in Sochi but there will certainly be plenty of stress, considering we are playing at home.”

Pavel Datsyuk, whose hands can be officially certified as magic, and who will be playing in his fourth Olympics, is even blunter.

“The pressure is enormous and it’s growing every day,” says Datsyuk, dropping his usual semi-serious manner. “Everyone is expecting only one thing from us. And we won’t have the right to make an error.”

Stress is what the whole country will be feeling once the puck is dropped in Sochi. But, to be sure, there are some things to be both excited and optimistic about, if you are a Russian fan.

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Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+russia

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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