Thread: Sochi 2014
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12-22-2011, 09:35 AM
  #89
Slitty
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I'll agree with Alessandro that defense is the most interesting part of this future team, with the most unanswered questions. It is mainly a question of whether younger players currently on the verge of establishing themselves in the NHL (Orlov, Voynov, Emelin) manage to do it convincingly enough to displace the current veterans. Personally, I am a strong proponent of a 7-man defense for the added flexibility it gives, but considering that Russia is most likely to go with 8 - I will predict accordingly. I will also leave Markov out of the prediction, merely because his future is currently beyond assessment. Anyways:

Kulikov-Nikulin
Voynov-Chudinov
Tyutin-Nikitin
Orlov-Volchenkov

With, under favourable circumstances for both, the possibility of a Markov-Emelin pairing. The first replacement for any player not able to consistently prove themselves on a higher level over the next two years (Chudinov, and to a lesser extent Orlov/Voynov) or fading with wear and tear (Volchenkov) would be Korneev. In this case, he would be paired with Nikulin.

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