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10-30-2011, 02:41 PM
J17 Vs Proclamation
Join Date: Oct 2004
Originally Posted by
If you insist that it is a fact that "clearly in the last 5 years the level of (Russian) talent has been below what you might expect," how do you explain the fact that the Russians beat Canada, 5-3, to win the WJC Gold Medal last year, and in 2009, before they performed their typical stomping of Sweden in the Gold Medal game, Canada came within 3 seconds, and a lucky bounce off the body of Kulikov, of losing to Russia in regulation time (ultimately winning a shootout). Both games were played in NA in front of Canadian spectators entirely. Your assertions just don't seem to match up with the facts.
In the last 5 years, the Russian Junior squad has peformed rather indifferently. Certainly not up the upmost consistent high quality one might expect.
Last year was great and i was very happy to see such a result, but must also reason with the fact that the event was won almost purely on the shoulders of Kuznetsov and Tarasenko. Exclude those two, and you aren't making it past Finland. I remember in the early stages of the event, everyone was saying how meh Russia looked and discussing the issues within the Russian development system. Yes, they eventually won, but it was an event won on many "coin flips" (situations that could have gone either direction in the final 3 games). Kuznetsov and Tarasenko were absolutely spectacular. It's a gold medal and it certainly highlighted a new found spirit within the camp and a better selection policy, but Russia in terms of overall ability, were IMO clearly the 4th best team there.
Just look at the names from last year. Orlov, Kuznetsov, Tarasenko ; all future National team players for sure. Outside that? Paranin impressed me (could certainly become a national player one day), but nothing else really stood out. The overall depth of the team was in individual talent way behind the other Big 3 IMO.
This years potential squad might not have the same success, but i think it's a much more individually talented team that will in 10 years time, have far greater individual career success. Im no expert of course, and may be wrong, but thats just what i see.
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