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-   -   Olympics: The Hockey News (for what its worth) picks Russia for Gold (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1587097)

Big Phil 01-20-2014 07:49 PM

The Hockey News (for what its worth) picks Russia for Gold
 
Just got my issue today. Russia wins gold and Canada wins silver.

Not sure I buy that, because Russia hasn't won a best-on-best competition in 33 years.

I think they are figuring that home-ice advantage and a little (ahem) motivation from Putin to put Russia on the map will go a long ways. Throw in Ovechkin's mission to play for his country as well.

I couldn't find a link on it so you'll just have to take my word that this is there choice until you see the magazine.

I can't imagine a team like Canada having any difficulty with that defense though. Their forwards should be able to keep the puck away from them rather easily. I guess the only hopes Russia has is that their top flight talent (Malkin, Ovechkin, Datstyuk, Kovalchuk) take the bull by the horns and play insane hockey, because they certainly aren't the deepest team in this tournament. Neither of those 4 played well in 2010 either. Maybe things will change with home ice, we'll see.

SquishtheBoudreau 01-20-2014 07:54 PM

If they win with that D, I'll be really surprised.

Sacha Baron Corbin 01-20-2014 07:57 PM

What a bunch of homers :sarcasm:

Big Phil 01-20-2014 07:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nose of Sutter (Post 78419425)
What a bunch of homers :sarcasm:

The Hockey News picked USA in 1998. They always want to rile someone up.

WarriorofTime 01-20-2014 08:03 PM

They have a chance if their Centers play outstanding. On talent, they should be able to beat any European country besides Sweden fairly easily.

Datsyuk needs to be a 2-way possession force, shutting down the other countries top lines and controlling the play with his stick handling. I expect Russia will need to lean on him heavily defensively to make up for a poor group of Defensemen.

Malkin needs to play like the best player in the world like he is capable of doing at times. This is him in is prime with a chance to shine on one of the brightest stages. If he's absolutely spectacular and at his best, Russia will be looking good.

They will certainly have good wingers to pass the puck to in the form of Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Radulov. The goaltending is looking strong too. The big ice experience should help against the US and Canada (if they meet), so there's some hope. Never hurts being at home either.

OttawaRoughRiderFan* 01-20-2014 08:05 PM

The issue has been out for a while.

(Correct me if I am wrong) They picked Sweden for Bronze, the US fourth and Finland fifth.

fly4apuckguy 01-20-2014 08:14 PM

Reverse jinx attempt for Canada.

ed bruin 01-20-2014 09:46 PM

if Russia wins they look like geniuses, but if they picked Canada to win it would not standout

tony d 01-20-2014 09:59 PM

At home and with their forward talent I wouldn't be surprised to see Russia win it all. More than likely though Sweden wins but never discount the Russians.

Canuck21t 01-20-2014 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Phil (Post 78418719)
Just got my issue today. Russia wins gold and Canada wins silver.

Not sure I buy that, because Russia hasn't won a best-on-best competition in 33 years.

I think they are figuring that home-ice advantage and a little (ahem) motivation from Putin to put Russia on the map will go a long ways. Throw in Ovechkin's mission to play for his country as well.

I couldn't find a link on it so you'll just have to take my word that this is there choice until you see the magazine.

I can't imagine a team like Canada having any difficulty with that defense though. Their forwards should be able to keep the puck away from them rather easily. I guess the only hopes Russia has is that their top flight talent (Malkin, Ovechkin, Datstyuk, Kovalchuk) take the bull by the horns and play insane hockey, because they certainly aren't the deepest team in this tournament. Neither of those 4 played well in 2010 either. Maybe things will change with home ice, we'll see.

I don't know how Russia's past means that they can't win this time. Before 2002, Canada hadn't won in 50 or 52 years.

Nihiliste 01-20-2014 10:20 PM

Can't count them out, with the forwards they have, the home ice advantage, the big ice hurting the North American teams, and two goalies that have the ability to go on ridiculous hot streaks. They could definitely win it all.

xxxx 01-21-2014 06:34 AM

I can't wait for the US-Russia game, that's gonna be interesting.

daver 01-21-2014 06:45 AM

Home ice is going to be a major dynamic and, IMO, the primary reason that will they either win or lose. Historically, Russia does not play well when they have home ice advantage. The pressure may really work against them. On the other hand, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win a best-on-best Olympics at home which could really galvanize the team.

crunchyblack* 01-21-2014 07:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tony d (Post 78430689)
At home and with their forward talent I wouldn't be surprised to see Russia win it all. More than likely though Sweden wins but never discount the Russians.

Sweden's forward group is pretty old

Yakushev72 01-21-2014 08:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canuck21t (Post 78431999)
I don't know how Russia's past means that they can't win this time. Before 2002, Canada hadn't won in 50 or 52 years.

I agree. Russian hockey suffered a steep decline from 1992-2006, when Russia was typically finishing 4th or 5th in international tournaments. But since then, the Russian hockey infrastructure has gone a long way toward being rebuilt, and is definitely on the way back up. Whether this is the year or not, we'll see, but there is no question that its silly to compare Russian teams today with their counterparts 20 years ago.

LiveeviL 01-21-2014 08:39 AM

if Russia wins then it will be a high scoring tournament - it will be fun to watch at least.

PensBandwagonerNo272* 01-21-2014 08:52 AM

Would be boring for them to pick Canada --> wouldn't stir up conversation --> wouldn't sell as many copies

JackSlater 01-21-2014 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canuck21t (Post 78431999)
I don't know how Russia's past means that they can't win this time. Before 2002, Canada hadn't won in 50 or 52 years.

... in the Olympics where Canada could only non-NHLers. That one meaningful Olympic tournament (1998) drought was tough though.

Russia is clearly the fourth team in terms of talent, but obviously on any given day they can beat any of the other teams. The hockey news used home ice as a big factor in their pick explanation if I recall correctly, though I'm not sure it is actually beneficial. Ice size helps though.

maclean 01-21-2014 09:08 AM

if russia is fourth in terms of talent, who is third? i'm assuming sweden and canada in the top two

JackSlater 01-21-2014 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maclean (Post 78445033)
if russia is fourth in terms of talent, who is third? i'm assuming sweden and canada in the top two

Canada, USA/Sweden, Russia.

Fantomas 01-21-2014 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackSlater (Post 78445507)
Canada, USA/Sweden, Russia.

That's your opinion.

Fantomas 01-21-2014 10:40 AM

Only Canada (Crosby, Stamkos) can match Russia's top-end talent (Ovechkin, Malkin, Datsyuk).

Also, the Russian KHLers are extremely underrated. But that's good, should other teams underestimate them this will be in Russia's favor.

CanadianSharks 01-21-2014 10:42 AM

I'm hoping for:

Gold - Canada
Silver - Russia
Bronze - Switzerland/Finland

JackSlater 01-21-2014 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fantomas (Post 78448675)
Only Canada (Crosby, Stamkos) can match Russia's top-end talent (Ovechkin, Malkin, Datsyuk).

Also, the Russian KHLers are extremely underrated. But that's good, should other teams underestimate them this will be in Russia's favor.

Well if the KHLers are comparable to the likes of Kulemin, Nichushkin, Anisimov, Belov, Emelin, Nikitin and Tyutin... that top end talent is going to have to all play at their absolute best. Russia's incredible talent drop off is why, on talent, they are clearly below Canada, Sweden and USA.

Acallabeth 01-21-2014 10:58 AM

A bold prediction. Our defense compared to Canada/US/Sweden is terrible.


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