Russia’s 2014 Olympic team was revealed along with a few others today – here’s what they’re looking at:
Sergei Bobrovsky, Semyon Varlamov, Alexander Yeryomenko.
Anton Belov, Alexei Emelin, Andrei Markov, Evgeny Medvedev, Nikita Nikitin, Ilya Nikulin, Fedor Tyutin, Slava Voynov.
Artem Anisimov, Pavel Datsyuk, Denis Kokarev, Ilya Kovalchuk, Nikolai Kulemin, Evgeni Malkin, Valeri Nichushkin, Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Popov, Alexander Radulov, Sergei Soin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexei Tereshenko, Viktor Tikhonov.
Holy hell Alex Semin isn’t on the team (while Valeri Nichushkin is)! Sergei Gonchar isn’t on the team, nor is Nail Yakupov.
I’m really just not that scared of this Russian roster (as a Canadian hockey fan, I mean). Obviously they have the explosiveness that they usually do in their top-end guys and their powerplay will be a terror because of it, but beyond that, it just doesn’t blow me away. The depth doesn’t seem to be there (which is why omitting Semin seems crazy), and their d-corps is borderline…bad. How many minutes-per-game is Markov going to be expected to play?
If they get good goaltending, which is very possible, they’ve certainly got the ability to win games. But again. It doesn’t seem to hold up against, say, Sweden’s roster.
Oh, and I thought this little tidbit was interesting too. I’m thinking Russia’s hungry for a medal.
This is only the third time (1956, 1994) when Russia/USSR will have zero players with an Olympic medal on its roster.
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) January 7, 2014
As for a cause for the Semin omission, here’s what Dmitry Chesnokov had to say:
The biggest surprise if the exclusion of Alexander Semin. It is quite difficult to understand exactly what led to him not making the team. He is picking up his game lately, but, quite interestingly, Bilyaletdinov didn’t even speak with Semin when visiting one of the recent Hurricanes’ games.
Is there something personal there?
There has to be.