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Two Sides To Team Russia’s Game

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,

Do you believe in debacles?


You did Thursday if you were at the Bolshoy Ice Palace. What began as a rousing return home for the Russian men’s hockey team did not turn into a rout, not right away, anyway. Before the Russians broke open a 5-2 victory in the third period of their first prelim game, they struggled through an uh-oh, one-goal stick-squeezer.

And they did it against Slovenia, a small country with one NHL player making its Olympic debut.

“Tension,” said Russian captain Pavel Datsyuk. “Warning.”

There is a boom-or-bust quality about the Russians. They are capable of skilled hockey and sloppy hockey. The pressure of playing at home could bring out their best or crush them into disappointment. We saw hints of both in the same game, and if that can happen against Slovenia, what about, say, the United States on Saturday?


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


henrymalredo's avatar

They have a lot of fire power on the top two lines and they’re playing in front of the home crowd, but I really don’t think Russia has that impressive of a team.  I think they get Bronze at best.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 02/13/14 at 02:56 PM ET


I really don’t think Russia has that impressive of a team.  I think they get Bronze at best.

I agree, and I think Canada, Sweden and the USA will have a lot to say on that topic.

Posted by Garth on 02/13/14 at 02:58 PM ET

detroitredwings's avatar

I think they get Bronze at best.

If Coach Bill (Russian coach) will stick to tradition of not shuffling lines, I’d agree.

Posted by detroitredwings on 02/13/14 at 03:25 PM ET

Luongo-is-my-hero's avatar

stayed up and watched the game.  THey were trying to be too cute in the first period forcing passes.  The second period they were scared when sloveneia scored twice and were afraid they might get embarassed on home ice.  The 3rd they took over. 

The KHL contingent on the Russian team looked reaaaaaaaaaaaallly shaky.  They managed to wrestle control back due to bumping the goaltender in the 3rd and shaking them up.  Then scored a 3rd insurance goal to end it. 

Russia looks like a bronze team at best to me.

Posted by Luongo-is-my-hero on 02/13/14 at 05:07 PM ET

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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.

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