Alex Semin

Russia’s 2014 Olympic team was revealed along with a few others today – here’s what they’re looking at:

Goaltenders

Sergei Bobrovsky, Semyon Varlamov, Alexander Yeryomenko.

Defensemen

Anton Belov, Alexei Emelin, Andrei Markov, Evgeny Medvedev, Nikita Nikitin, Ilya Nikulin, Fedor Tyutin, Slava Voynov.

Forwards

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.

Snub

Holy hell Alex Semin isn’t on the team (while Valeri Nichushkin is)! Sergei Gonchar isn’t on the team, nor is Nail Yakupov.

Thoughts

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.

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.

Comments (11)

  1. Even the Russians think Semin is an enigmatic Russian???

  2. Pretty much what you would expect, although I am surprised about Semin. I also really like Nichushkin. And just so you know the little tid bit of info is wrong because Datsyuk won bronze in the 02 games

  3. The Russian first power-play unit is unreal. Malkin, Datsyuk, and Ovechkin up front with Kovalchuk and Markov on the points. They’re gonna end up with a pretty high conversion rate.

    I’m not saying that Canada (or any team) should be particularly afraid of team Russia. I’m just saying, you really don’t want to take a penalty against this team.

  4. Voynov’s going to be almost as overworked as Markov.

    Ye gods, their fixation on taking KHL guys is going to bite them on the ass again. Remember the horrible D man with the green-and-yellow gloves last Olympics?

  5. Too many KHL players, and a weak defense. Gonchar has looked terrible, so I’m not really surprised he didn’t get a nod. Nichushkin is a beast. He’s by far the most talented player on the Stars. He’ll probably get limited minutes in this Olympics, but his inclusion isn’t as much of a head scratcher as some of the KHL guys. I think there was room for both him and Semin on this roster. It probably was a personal problem that kept Semin out, not Nichushkin’s inclusion.

  6. I wonder if there was some sort of internal/political pressure to include as many KHL players as possible.

  7. The Russians tend to take only the most talented playing in international leagues and fill the rest of the roster with home players. They do the same for their international soccer team too,

  8. I wonder how much people here actually watch KHL? Regardsless who watches, everybody has an opinion that players there are NHL rejects / not good enough for NHL. I disagree.

    The game is different in KHL and different skillset is required to be very good over there. Bigger ice, more individual effort, more holding the puck rather than dumping and chasing. Last year NHL stars went to KHL and it did not end up being only NHL guys in the points top 10. Kovalchuk is under PPG over there. Its just a different game.

    Olympics is played in bigger ice and the game will be quite different than what we see in any league around the globe because the very high skill level. Now, this might play in to the hands of the KHL players or to the hands of NHL players. It will be interesting to see. Obviously players like Crosby will come out of the top, but how other players react will be interesting to see.

    As for this team, I wanted to see Sergei Mozyakin. Exciting guy to watch.

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