“is party time now?” Projecting the 2014 Russian Olympic Team

 

Apparently, yesterday was the day all of hockey’s media decided to begin their predictions for the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia. From ESPN to Yahoo, both the USA and Canada has been the talk of the best international hockey tournament on the globe. Luckily, no one is yet talking about the hosts, the best national team in the sport, and the reason you all read this site.
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Andrei on-the-Mark-ov earns Comrade of the Night

(photo courtesy of theprovince.com)

On a night where many Russian NHL’ers were getting their first goals or wins of the season, one man stood above the rest. Having only suited up 17 times for the Montreal Canadiens since Nov. 9, 2010, Andrei Markov scored two goals against the Florida Panthers and showed (at least for one night) that he still has quite the cannon from the point. Finally past the two anterior cruciate ligament surgeries on his right knee, Markov showed little hesitance on using his beloved slapshot, making netminder Scott Clemmensen look absolutely hapless on both goals.
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Malkin Shines the Brightest as Russia Basks in Gold

(courtesy of Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

The big red machine is back. In what was a case of Déjà vu for many, yesterdays 6-2 thrashing by Team Russia against an inspired Slovakian team was an ode to the Soviet times. Back then Russia was not only the most feared country in the world but also instilled fear on their opponents on the ice. You won’t find the legendary names like Tretiak or Kharlamov on the backs of today’s squad but with their performance throughout this tournament these players have the ability to become something better.
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Russia Heads to Sweden in Search of Gold (Updated)

(courtesy of the Russian Hockey Federation)

It’s come to our attention that we somehow overlooked this years upcoming IIHF Men’s World Championships. With that, let’s take a quick look at the Russian roster and the tournament which officially starts on Friday. Russia arrives in Sweden hoping to capture any kind of silverware as last year they were bounced by eventual champions Finland before losing to the Czech’s in the bronze-medal game.
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Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s History Will Not Stop

(Photo courtesy of hclokomotiv.ru; translates to “Our team, forever”)

The headline you see above was a direct quote issued by the president of the KHL, Alexander Medvedev, as he and other officials, both hockey and government, arrived to the city of Yaroslavl amid the tragedy that has sent waves throughout the sporting world and front pages across the globe. From the hundreds of Lokomotiv fans gathering for candlelight vigils to the arrival of President Dmitry Medvedev, the city has been in thoughts of many and in the hearts of millions.

From a Russian hockey standpoint, many of the players both here in America and back in the KHL have connection to the club whether as opponents on a yearly basis or growing up with some of those who perished. From the biggest names in the sport such as Alexander Ovechkin who played with Alexander Galimov, the lone survivor of the Lokomotiv roster, in 2005 at the World Juniors, to alumni and fans in 10 countries which have lost their hockey heroes and icons.
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Once Bound For Russia, Varlamov Finds Himself in Colorado Showing Off His English


(courtesy of the Denver Post)

Capitals fans will most likely never forget their first unofficial introduction to Semyon Varlamov, the 20-year-old kid out of Samara, Russia who was called up (and in) to replace a video editor who hours earlier signed an emergency contract to sit in for injured goalie Jose Theodore. The same netminder who would make his debut the following night (a 32-save win) and later prove be a crucial reason in carrying the team to the second round of the playoffs.
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Malkin and Varlamov Shine at Winter Classic while Ovie Curses


(courtesy of the AP)

Two of Russia’s youngest stars shined brightest under the rainy lights at Heinz Field last night as the Washington Capitals defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in the Winter Classic. For once it wasn’t about Sidney Crosby vs Alex Ovechkin as both stayed off the score sheet but rather about the guys who get lost in the hype when these two teams meet.

Malkin opened the scoring when he played a bank pass from Kris Letang to go near post on Varlamov for his 14th goal of the year. He would become just the second Russian to score in a Winter Classic and notch his 11th point since returning to the Pens line-up. Fans would wave terrible towels to celebrate their home team’s goal as they do touchdowns for the tenants of Heinz Field, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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Russia’s Time to Shine at the Winter Classic


(courtesy of http://ovechkin.tumblr.com/)

There’s beating a dead horse and then there is the Alex Ovechkin vs Sidney Crosby rivalry. The NHL’s two biggest stars, rivals on the ice yadda yadda yadda. The league received much criticism when it awarded this year’s Winter Classic (tonight at 8pm NBC) to Washington and Pittsburgh with the Crosby led Pens appearing in their second Classic in the event’s short four year existence.

While the league is doing what’s best to generate interest and revenue by pitting their poster boys against one another outdoors in front of what’s expected to be 67,000 fans it leaves many who have been fans before this new rivalry feeling slightly cheated.
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Comrade of the Night-Semyon Varlamov


(courtesy of the AP)

After battling a nagging groin injury in the beginning of the season and being rotated in and out of the line-up with Michal Neuvirth it appears Semyon Varlamov is finally finding his game. Varly made 25 saves for his second shutout of the season against the Montreal Canadiens last night to give head coach Bruce Boudreau a mighty hard task on who to start for the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
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From Russia with (Dropped) Glove, Ovi’s 2nd Career Fight

With his team already down 4-0 midway through the second period against the New York Rangers at MSG, Alexander Ovechkin threw a low hip-check at Dan Girardi before dropping the mits to square off against Brandon Dubinsky. It appeared Ovechkin wanted the fight more than his counterpart, the Capitals captain fared pretty well for someone who has been in just one official NHL scrap prior to Sunday’s game. AS usual he was booed every time he touched the puck at MSG as throughout the game, Ovechkin finished with 4 shots on goal and was a -1.
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