Russia Wins Group B With a Great Display of Hart

95657025MW059_Ice_Hockey_Da(Courtesy of Alex Livesey/Getty Images/

Losing in a shootout on Thursday to Slovakia did not sit well with anybody in the Russian locker room.

But despite dropping crucial points, the team remained upbeat even though they knew they had a lot of work to do. So in practice, they worked. They changed up the line combinations, they endlessly worked on the power play, but maybe most important, they quickly became a very motivated bunch.

In nature, their next task was not complicated. Beat the Czech Republic in regulation and the group was theirs. Take anything less than the full three points and they would face the possibility of no first-round bye in the knockout stage.

But actually completing that simple task would take every amount of skill and passion the Sbornaya had.

The game began at a rather slow pace, as the teams attempted to figure each other out. Slava Bykov sent out a unit of Evgeni Malkin, Alexander Ovechkin, and Alexander Semin to start. But a few heavy hits and odd man rushes by the Great 8 set the tone and it was immediately noticeable that Russia had came to play.

About half way through the period, Russia got its first chance at redemption on the power play when Ilya Kovalchuk was upended in the neutral zone by Petr Cajanek.

Except instead, the Czechs put on a terrific display of penalty killing, never allowing the Russian power play to get set up. Or really even cross the blue line for that matter, as they capably shut everything down before it even got started. An utter waste of two minutes.

But, not even two minutes later, the Czechs took another penalty.

This time, the Russian power play managed to get set up and it paid quick divends. Sergei Gonchar managed to get a puck through, and the rebound was slammed just wide by Ovechkin. It then took a friendly ricochet to Malkin, who fired it home top-shelf.

1-0 to Russia, and Malkin scores his second power play goal of the tournament.

After the goal, the Czechs began to rebuild some momentum as they managed to get into the offensive zone. But they still were not getting any pucks on the net. Russia was also showing that they were much more committed to taking the body any time possible, always finishing checks.

Disaster struck for Russia late in the period, as they took two penalties in rapid succession, giving the Czechs a five-on-three for 1:47.

With a minute left before the horn, the Czech Republic took advantage of a failed clearance, as Tomas Plekanec scored to tie the game. San Jose Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov had came out, being a little too aggressive, and Plekanec found the outside corner.

The beginning of the second period was much more subdued after the thrilling first.

But once again, Russia was carrying the even strength play and hardly allowing anything the other way. They also seemed to build momentum from a killed penalty to Semin, where the Czechs were not allowed to set up much of anything.

Taking matters into his own hands, Alexander Radulov drove down the center, distracting two defenders before shuffling it off for Viktor Kozlov. With one quick swirling motion, the big man from Togliatti beat Tomas Vokoun far post to regain the lead for Russia.

After killing another penalty, the worst possible two-on-one situation occured.

Sergei Zinoviev was streaking in alongside Radulov but instead of shooting when he took the pass, Radulov instead tried to return it to Zinoviev, which failed dismally thanks to the rough ice. But chasing the puck into a corner, Radulov leveled a Czech defender, essentially throwing him onto Zinoviev.

Zinoviev would leave the ice gingerly and the Czechs headed to a power play.

However, no damage was done and the teams headed peacefully to the lockers.

Starting off the third period, Russia killed the remainder of Radulov’s penalty, but the turning moment in the game came soon after that. Ovechkin absolutely demolished Jaromir Jagr at center ice, allowing his teammate Semin to break in uncontested. Soaring down the left wall, Semin made a terrific pass across to Malkin, who clinically fired it past Vokoun. The man from the Magnetic Mountain had his third goal in as many games.

In a matter of seven seconds, the entire course of Group B changed. Ovechkin’s hit angered Roman Polak, who left his assignment on Malkin to retaliate on Alex the Great.

Just like that, Russia had a two goal lead and the Czech bench was floored.

The Czechs then had to alter their strategy, as the defense started taking a few more chances. They were getting a few more opportunites up front, but they also gave up breakaways to Kovalchuk and Radulov. Each time, Vokoun was up to the task, as he almost always is.

With five minutes left, Milan Michalek injected life into the Czechs, scoring easily from a few feet in front of Nabokov. Nothing he was going to do about that.

3-2 Russia.

The crowd could sense a terrific end in store. Whatever kitchen sink the Czechs had, they were about to throw it at Nabokov in an effort to tie the game. But Nabokov stood tall, making several huge saves.

With the game on the line and an empty net for the Czechs, Russia showed it’s true Hart.

Ovechkin first delivered another big hit along the boards to free the puck. He quickly moved it out for Malkin in front of the bench. Instead of just dumping the puck deep, Malkin had his head up and found Pavel Datsyuk arriving late.

Datsyuk then manuevered into the Czech zone and deposited the puck into the wide open net.

In a group-winning play, all three Hart Trophy finalists from 2008 teamed up to produce the goal that saw Russia earn the important first-round bye.

Two goals for Malkin, two assists for Ovechkin, and a goal/assist for Datsyuk. Seven points in all between the three.

Russia is victorious, 4-2.

What did Russia do well?

Effort

First and foremost, the total team effort given by this team doubled both of the previous two games put together. It was a must-win game and they treated it like such.

From sacrificing the body to playing through pain, this team came together in a big way and did more than just redeem themselves from a poor performance against Slovakia. When they play as inspired as they did here, they proved to everyone they are indeed a Gold medal contender.

Penalty Killing

Once again, the penalty killing unit was elite. Although they did allow a 5-on-3 goal at the end of the first period, the group improved throughout the game. Datsyuk was incredibly solid here, as several times he was able to defend against two players at once on the point.

His play made the Czech point men force the play more than they would have liked. Anton Volchenkov also had a great game down low, getting in the way of more than a couple shots on the PK. The success with the man disadvantage has been a very pleasant surprise, as the area was not expected to be incredibly strong.

Simplicity

For the vast majority of the afternoon, they kept it simple. Never over-passing like they had done in the previous two games, never trying to do too much.

Consistently, they were getting to high scoring areas, putting themselves in a position to make something happen. The power play might have only scored one goal, but it looked deadly each time out and it was more a tribute to the fine play of Vokoun in net that the Sbornaya did not have more on the power play.

What needs to improve before the quarterfinals?

Discipline

Russia took a few too many penalties and that could come back to haunt them in the later rounds. While some of the penalties were unavoidable, there were some that need to be eliminated.

Offensive-zone penalties like the one Radulov took after a missed 2-on-1 are not good. Shooting the puck out of the rink while on defense isn’t good either.

Faceoffs

Nearly every defensive-zone faceoff or faceoffs on the penalty kill, the Czechs won it. Russia was thoroughly dominated in the circle and the only reason it wasn’t more pronouced was because they were winning battles against the wall and outplaying the Czechs at even strength.

But the faceoff percentage needs to improve or find a way to get the best faceoff men on the ice in key situations.

Clearances

While the penalty killing was great, one aspect of it was not at all. At least five different occasions, Russian players had the opportunity to clear the puck out of the zone after winning possession, but just couldn’t do it.

They would clear it back to the points, try to lob defensemen only to have it fail, or give the puck right back because they were looking for the deep pass.

It’s not a major problem, but just needs to be worked out in practice.

Grades (out of 10)

Black Line (Ovechkin, Semin, Malkin, Gonchar, Tyutin): 9. From the second the puck was dropped, this newly formed group was utterly dominant and brought excitement every time they got to the offensive zone. Ovechkin and Malkin showed exactly why they are two of the best players in the world.

Red Line (Datsyuk, Kovalchuk, Afinogenov, Grebeshkov, Korneev): 7. Showed some decent chemistry. Datsyuk had a phenomenal game and Kovalchuk had his moments but Afinogenov never made an impact.

Blue Line (Zinoviev, Zaripov, Morozov, Markov, Nikulin): 6.5. Not a particularly strong game from any one player, but they played decently. Morozov and Zaripov both had their chances on the power play and did next to nothing. Markov passed up on a wide open shot from four feet away.

White Line (Fedorov, Kozlov, Radulov, Volchenkov, Kalinin): 8. A very strong performance. Fedorov once again had a nice defensive game, Kozlov scored on a pass from Radulov and Volchenkov was the penalty kill leader. Were currectly awarded with bonus playing time.

Notes

Russia, with seven points from three games, clinches the bye into the quarterfinals.

Nabokov will most likely get every start from here on.

Below is Ovechkin’s hit on Jagr and the ensuing Malkin goal.

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Sergei Vs. Sergey: A Complete Analysis of The Russian Olympic Team

team russiazz(Courtesy of Puck Daddy )

The board is set, the pieces are moving. The day has finally come when Team Russia hits the ice in Vancouver in search of their first Olympic Gold medal since the Unified Team in 1992.

General Manager Vladislav Tretiak has assembled what he believes to be the best squad since the fall of the Soviet Union, but can it actually live up to those lofty expectations?

First, let’s take a look at the roster and see what Slava Bykov’s line combination’s might be.

Forwards: Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Fedorov, Sergei Zinoviev, Ilya Kovalchuk (A), Danis Zaripov, Alexander Semin, Alexander Ovechkin (A), Maxim Afinogenov, Alexander Radulov, Viktor Kozlov, Aleksei Morozov (C)

Defense: Andrei Markov, Sergei Gonchar, Anton Volchenkov, Ilya Nikulin, Dmitri Kalinin, Denis Grebeshkov, Fedor Tyutin, Konstantin Korneev

Goaltenders: Evgeni Nabokov, Ilya Bryzgalov, Semyon Varlamov

SZ: This is indeed a wealth of talent. For my first line, I would put Washington Capitals teammates Ovechkin and Semin on the top line along with the two-time Selke Award winner Datsyuk. To me, this line has some of everything – the defensive prowess of Datsyuk, Ovechkin’s grit and physicality and the puck skills of Semin. But maybe most of all, that’s an awful lot of points scored by that line.

My second line would consist of Kovalchuk, Malkin and Radulov. Kovalchuk once again has another 30 goal season while Malkin has peaked at the right time and is now riding a 13-game point streak. They will be joined by Radulov of Salavat Yulaev, who has 58 points in 51 games.

The third line is Fedorov, Kozlov and Afinogenov. They have the three “S’s”, speed, skill and size. But as well, they are all very experienced players that have played many games in their careers. Fedorov could also jump up and play with the top line on occasion.

The fourth line of Zaripov, Zinoviev and Morozov will look to provide a defensive combination, as well as good secondary scoring.

On defense, the pairings are a little more challenging to decipher, especially due to the injury concerns of Andrei Markov. But assuming all players are healthy and ready to go, I would combine Markov with Gonchar, Volchenkov with Grebeshkov, Tyutin with Kalinin and Korneev with Nikulin.

Markov and Gonchar are the two big names and will log the most ice time, as well as power play time. But they are also more than adequate defenders in their own zone and can pass the puck extremely well. In Switzerland, Volchenkov and Grebeshkov paired together to form a “shut down” unit, leading Russia to a 2-1 championship victory over Canada.

From the KHL, Ilya Nikulin can be a bit hot-headed but also very physical, and would be paired with the calm presence of Korneev.

SM: I hate guessing lines because I’m pretty terrible at it, but I would like to see a line of Malkin centering Ovechkin and Semin, although that might be a power play only situation. The plethora of talent is so vast that you can just kind of pluck anyone and throw them wherever.

Maybe Kozlov and Ovechkin, who were not only teammates last year in Washington, but also connected on the memorable goal against Canada in Turin. Or you can re-unite Fedorov with Semin and Ovie or have Kovalchuk in the mix. Honestly, there are so many combinations I often have trouble falling asleep trying to conjure them in my head.

You can have an ex-NHL line with Fedorov, Morozov and Kozlov or re-unite Kovalchuk with Afinogenov, who Ilya actually insisted that the Atlanta Thrashers pursue in the off-season. Heck, you can even make a Canada-killer line with Ovechkin (Turin 2006), Kovalchuk (Quebec 2008) and Radulov (Bern 2009).

The defensive pairings make things a bit more interesting as the talent in the back doesn’t quite match what’s up front. After the pairing of Gonchar and Markov, who can hopefully play as an injury forced him out of the last two Montreal Canadiens games, the depth is thin.

Tyutin and Grebeshkov, or possibly Volchenkov in place of either, Nikulin and Kalinin just sound good off the tongue so they could work too.

I think leaving Sergei Zubov off might hurt the team but that remains to be seen, the best Russian-born defenseman to ever play in the NHL could have provided an extra boost. He currently has 40 points in 50 games for SKA St. Petersburg this season.

Next, who might have the largest impact on Russia’s path to a Gold medal?

SM: For me, the biggest impact will be from that Ovechkin fellow, you know, the one with all the wacky goals and silly English? All kidding aside, this is Ovechkin’s time to shine.

In pursuit of his third straight NHL scoring title, Ovechkin has been red hot and plays his best under pressure. Whether it will be providing to an offense that could probably do just fine without him or playing the body (see Chris Chelios in Turin), this is Ovechkin’s team.

He will play in many Olympics to come, but the time is now for Alex the Great and this team is built for Gold.

SZ: There are three players who need to have a great tournament in order for Russia to bring a Gold back to the motherland.

First is Alexander Semin. Everybody knows about the “Great 8″, and every defense will do their best to shut him down. But the other Alex can take full advantage of the distraction. As a hot-and-cold player, Semin has been nearly unstoppable when paired up with Ovechkin in Washington.

He has four goals in the two games before the Olympic break and is as confident in his play as he ever has been.

The next impact player is Anton Volchenkov. If there is one thing that could be said about this team, it will have no problems scoring goals. The main concern is if the defense can slow the other team down enough. Volchenkov is a defensive defenseman that serves as a second goaltender on the ice.

His ability to not only block a ton of shots, but pair up against any top forward on an opposing team makes him a priceless tool in Bykov’s shed. If one forward is not producing, others can step up for him. But nobody can replicate what Volchenkov does.

The final impact player has to be the goaltender. Whether it is Nabokov or Bryzgalov in net, as both should see some time, they must be strong when called upon. Chances are, they will not need to make 40 or more saves a game in order to win, but it will come down to making the big saves in key moments that will propel Russia to victory.

What are a few reasons why Russia can win the Gold medal this year? Or reasons why they won’t?

SZ: With any great team, it all starts with chemistry. If the players don’t mesh well together, they can’t be expected to win much. Despite the fact that not many of the players on this team play for the same club, they are all very good friends off the ice.

“…Bryzgalov, fully decked in goalie gear, took to playing defense in front of Varlamov, causing the young Capital no end of annoyance,” the Washington Post reports. “However, it was Semin who provided the biggest highlight of the evening. Once the team arrived in the Olympic Village, the winger noticed that one of the golf carts was standing nearby with the key still in. Laughing his head off, Semin duly committed grand theft auto as he jumped into the cart, drove up to Kozlov and offered him a ride.”

This team is not only relaxed, but loves being together and competing. With all the pressure that has mounted on Team Canada by playing at home, the Russian team feels almost no pressure whatsoever.

This team can also win it all because they are never out of a game. Even if they get behind early, there will always be the feeling that they can come back with their high-powered offensive juggernaut. That mentality not only inspires the players, but strikes fear into the opposition, knowing that no lead is safe.

But like any team, there are a few reasons why they won’t be able to win.

Is this team too loose? While being able to enjoy themselves is an advantage for sure, it can also be a downfall if it takes away from the overall focus. Will the defense be good enough? Both Nabokov and Bryzgalov are strong in net, but they will need some help from the defensive depth. Gonchar, Markov and Volchenkov can not play 35 minutes a game.

SM: The team is clearly heading into the games with one goal, and that goal is of course shared by the likes of Canada, Sweden and the U.S.A. However, what sets this team apart from the rest is the relaxed atmosphere they’ve created as mentioned by Sergey.

This is a far cry from the Red Machine, who was all business and no smiles back in the Golden Era of Soviet hockey. I have yet to find a practice picture without someone laughing or smirking. Coming in as the top-ranked team in the world can give you confidence and maybe a shade of cockiness. Who’s to say to this young team that you can’t have a bit of fun along the way?

I believe once the Group stages end, things will get a bit more serious around the team. In Turin, after upsetting Canada 2-0, they went on to lose to both Finland and the Czechs (both shutouts). You can bet your last rouble that they have not forgotten that quick and embarrassing exit.

While the possibility looms that it can happen again, I do not see history repeating itself this time around with the firepower and two excellent goaltenders.

Finally, a few predictions for the Group Stage?

Latvia, February 16, 21:00 PST, CNBC

SZ: On paper, this should be a blowout of epic proportions. But with the Latvians, nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Nearly all the players are from Dinamo Riga and know each other extremely well, so that is a challenge by itself. But as long as the Sbornaya do not overlook the Latvians, this game could get out of control quickly.

SM: The first game against Latvia, or should I say Dinamo Riga, should be pretty interesting to watch as this will be the easiest opponent of the tournament. I expect Russia to completely dominate and put up at least five goals. The team could set the tone for the entire games with a dominant performance and it will be interesting to watch how many times Bykov shuffles the cards.

Slovakia, February 18, 21:00 PST, CNBC

SM: The Slovaks will be a tougher challenge with more NHL caliber players to match that of the Sbornaya. Jaroslav Halak has been solid for the Montreal Canadiens and will look to continue that trend in Vancouver. Marian Gaborik, who finally needed his own teammate’s skate to finally get injured (which I have been waiting for since he arrived on Broadway) will be out of the lineup and his offense will surely be missed.

The next exciting thing about their roster are the three players from Spartak Moscow, which could mean another win for Russia but a bit harder than Latvia.

SZ: This could be a very challenging or a rather simple game, depending on how you look at it. The Slovaks could be without quite a number of big guns, if Hossa and Gaborik can not play at 100 percent. But either way, this should be a significant upgrade over Latvia in terms of a measuring stick for Russia.

The Slovaks also beat Russia in 2006 and won Group B over the Sbornaya. So they have that advantage of knowing they can win. But if Russia can score early on Jaroslav Halak, there might not even be anything Zdeno Chara can do about it.

Czech Republic, February 21, 12:00 PST, NBC

SZ: The Czechs provide the final test for Russia in the Group Stage, but the challenge they pose is much greater than perhaps any other. With an outstanding netminder in Tomas Vokoun, the Czechs will be able to weather any kind of offensive storm.

They will also provide a stern test to Russia’s defense, because while they don’t have any truly phenomenal forwards, it is a very solid group from top to bottom.

SM: The Czechs will be Russia’s toughest opponent in the Group Stage and a rematch of the Bronze medal game from Turin. Like the Slovaks, the Czechs will rely heavily on Tomas Vokoun, who is an absolute game changer.

Jaromir Jagr will most likely be in his last Olympics and could be showing the world and NHL teams that he might be worth their time once his contract expires in the KHL. The likes of Patrik Elias and Martin Havlat can be a dangerous duo but the further down the line you go, the talent diminishes.

The game will be closer than I would like but I do see Russia avenging their loss in convincing fashion.

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Team Russia Announces Olympic Roster

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Russia has announced their roster for the men’s national team to compete in the Olympics this winter in Vancouver. 9 of the 23 named were of the KHL with the majority of course from the NHL. Below is the roster coached by Vychaslev Bykov. The roster will re-unite Viktor Kozlov and Sergei Fedorov with former teammates Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin.

Goalkeepers
Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix Coyotes, NHL
Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks, NHL
Semyon Varlamov, Washington Capitals, NHL

Defencemen
Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL
Denis Grebeshkov, Edmonton Oilers, NHL
Dmitriy Kalinin, Salavat Yulaev, KHL
Konstantin Korneev, CSKA, KHL,
Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens, NHL
Ilya Nikulin, Ak Bars, KHL,
Fedor Tyutin, Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL
Anton Volchenkov, Ottawa Senators, NHL

Forwards
Maxim Afinogenov, Atlanta Thrashers, NHL
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings, NHL
Sergei Fedorov, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL
Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta Thrashers, NHL
Viktor Kozlov, Salavat Yulaev, KHL
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL
Alexei Morozov, Ak Bars, KHL
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, NHL
Alexander Radulov, Salavat Yulaev, KHL
Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals, NHL
Danis Zaripov, Ak Bars, KHL
Sergei Zinoviev, Salavat Yulaev, KHL

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Fallen Comrades around the league(UPDATED)

300px-Injury_icon_2.svg

When Andrei Markov injured his ankle back in early October it would start a wave of Russians to be bit by the injury bug with some of the most notable stars having to miss extended time.

First it was Pavel Datsyuk who recently returned to Detroits line-up to try and make up for lost time in hopes of helping a sub-par Red Wings team regain the momentum from last year.

Then within a few days of each other players such as Anton Volchenkov of Ottawa, Ilya Kovalchuk of Atlanta, Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin of Pittsburgh all have been placed on the shelf as their teams are forced to compete without their biggest helpers.

From shoulders to wrists to ankles the players have racked up a wide range of knocks to miss a small but important chunk of the season. Most players are expected back before mid November with plenty of time before the Olypmics in Vancouver.

Last night Alexander Ovechkin joined the party when he sustained a upper body injury after being involved in a scrum forcing him to leave mid-game and not return.

According to Capitals beat writer Tarik El-Bashir and Sport-Express’s Slava Malamud Ovechkin is likely to miss Wednesday’s game vs the New Jersey Devils which has one writer on here who has tickets very upset at the moment.

UPDATE: Ovechkin has been listed as week to week but will travel with the team. When asked about traveling but not playing Ovechkin responded with “Get some nachos, coke and enjoy the game”

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Andrei Markov out for 3-4 months

markov(courtesy of The Hockey News)

Andrei Markov’s 2009-10 season lasted only two and a half periods last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs as the veteran defenseman left the game after having his ankle tendon torn following a collision with goalie Carey Price’s skate.

Markov had surgery following the game in Toronto and is expected to miss 3-4 months. While it’s a major loss for the Montreal Canadiens, it’s possibly a bigger loss for Team Russia who’s blue line is their Achilles heel. With only Sergei Gonchar as their top NHL d-man it looks like most of the help will be brought in from the KHL who already outnumber the NHLer’s 10 to 4.

Last season Markov finished with 12 goals and 52 assists, and played in his second consecutive all-star game. Markov is in his final year of a 4-year contract.

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Russia finally announces Olympic camp invitees

hockeyrussia

Today, Russia announced the list of players who will be invited to participate in the tryouts for the national team in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. The team is almost split evenly between NHL players and KHL players as Russia looks for their third major title in as many years.

Most of the players who featured in the team’s 2009 World Championship campaign were invited along with those who were in the midst of a playoff series. Notably missing from the invitees are Nikolai Khabibulin, Slava Kozlov, and Sergei Mozyakin who lead the KHL in scoring with 76 points in 56 games.

Below is the list of the players who will be invited to the CSKA facilities in Moscow for the shot to restore national pride to a country who has not captured Olympic gold since the days of the Soviet Union.

The camp will be held Aug. 29-Sep. 1. Teams have until Dec. 30 to submit final rosters, although they can make injury substitutions up until Feb. 15, the day before the Olympic tournament begins in Vancouver.

Goaltenders
Ilya Bryzgalov (Phoenix Coyotes)
Alexander Eremenko (Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL)
Evgeni Nabokov (San Jose Sharks)
Simeon Varlamov (Washington Capitals)

Defensemen
Vitali Atyushov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL)
Sergei Gonchar (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Denis Grebeshkov (Edmonton Oilers)
Dmitri Kalinin (Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL)
Maxim Kondratiev (Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL)
Konstantin Korneyev (CSKA Moscow, KHL)
Andrei Markov (Montreal Canadiens)
Ilya Nikulin (Ak Bars Kazan, KHL)
Vitali Proshkin (Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL)
Oleg Tverdovsky (Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL)
Fedor Tyutin (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Vitali Vishnevsky (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, KHL)
Anton Volchenkov (Ottawa Senators)
Alexei Zhitnik (Dynamo Moscow, KHL)
Sergei Zubov (Dallas Stars)

Forwards
Evgeny Artyukhin (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Maxim Afinogenov (Buffalo Sabres)
Konstantin Gorovikov (SKA St. Petersburg, KHL)
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings)
Danis Zaripov (Ak Bars Kazan, KHL)
Sergei Zinoviev (Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL)
Alexei Kovalev (Ottawa Senators)
Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers)
Viktor Kozlov (Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL)
Nikolai Kulemin (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Alexei Morozov (Ak Bars Kazan, KHL)
Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Alexander Radulov (Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL)
Oleg Saprykin (Dynamo Moscow, KHL)
Alexander Semin (Washington Capitals)
Alexei Tereschenko (Ak Bars Kazan, KHL)
Sergei Fedorov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL)
Alexander Frolov (Los Angeles Kings)

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