Which Russian NHL’er Will Have the Worst Olympic Hangover?

(courtesy of Mark Humphrey)

The Sochi games have come and gone. Dreams were broken, bears cried, and one of the tournaments favorites fell flat on their faces, again. The focus now shifts back to the remainder of the NHL season as teams attempt to make a push for the post season in search of Lord Stanley’s mug.
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Russia Finn-ished in Sochi

(courtesy of Jean Levac/Postmedia News)

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Russia Go The Distance With Slovakia, Win in Shootout

(Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Following their heartbreaking loss to the US on Saturday, Russia faced off against a win-less Slovakia needing to win in regulation in order to get a bye to the quarter finals. Whether it was fatigue or lack of enthusiasm or both, Sbornya came out rather flat against a Slovakian team who had lost to newcomer Slovenia the night before.
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Russia Shown the Osh-Face by America; Fall in Shootout

(courtesy of Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports)

The most highly anticipated match up of the preliminary round between Russia and Team USA was one for the ages, my blood pressure can attest to that. The game featured everything you’d want to see in a hockey fixture whether it be drama, heartbreak, and jubilation. Unfortunately for Russia today was not their day following a 3-2 shootout loss to the Yanks.

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Russia Powers Through Spunky Slovenians in Sochi

(photo courtesy of RIA Novosti)

The moment had finally arrived for Russia’s national hockey team as the crown jewel of the Olympics got under way for the home team. Chants of “Russia!, Russia!” echoed throughout the arena even before puck drop as the quest for gold was imminent. The pressure, intensity, and hype was answered within 77 seconds of the teams’ opening game with the poster boy of the NHL and Russia, Alexander Ovechkin, roofing a laser wrist shot into Slovenia’s net to send the crowd at the Bolshoy Ice Dome into a frenzy.
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Alex Semin Added to Sochi Roster; All Seems RIght With the World

Earlier this week the Russian hockey federation announced it would be replacing Dynamo Moscow winger Sergei Soin with perhaps the biggest snub of any Olympic roster, Carolina’s Alexander Semin. The 29-year-old winger was initially held of the 25-man squad giving way to rumors to a possible personal issue with head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov causing his omission.
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Diving into Russia’s Olympic Roster

Earlier this week, the Russian hockey federation released the 25-man Olympic roster that will represent the home team in Sochi. While the team sheet reads as you expect it, there was some very peculiar decisions made by management, let’s take a look shall we?
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Russia Announces Olympic Roster for Sochi

After asking the IIHF for an extension of roster announcements, the host nation waited until every other team revealed their squad before finally releasing theirs. Below is the offical 32 man roster.
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Geno and Bob Come Off the Shelf

(courtesy of Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette)

For the second consecutive night in the NHL, two teams welcomed back their respective Russian stars from injury for an immediate impact. Sunday night saw the return of Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh, as the Penguins star forward returned after a nine game absence with a leg injury. By watching the game you would’ve never known the 27-year-old center missed any action based on how he slid back into the action notching two goals and an assist to help his team see of Winnipeg.
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Russia Powers Past USA En Route to Semi’s

(courtesy of Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)

After coming down to earth with two straight defeats to their neighbors to the north, Russia fell from the top spot of group B to third, setting up a date with the reigning champs in Team USA. Russia came out of the gate swinging and found themselves up 1-0 early thanks to Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko who tallied his fourth goal of the tournament. The lead was short lived as Stefan Matteau evened things up for the Americans shortly thereafter in what would be a topsy turvy first period.
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