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11-21-2012, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Fulcrum View Post
I would rather start Tkachev than Yakimov (if take him at all!). Yakimov lack of speed will be exposed on the big ice much more.

I think this Defense is A LOT better than last year, even with Yarullin and Nesterov's blunders. I generally like everyone on that Defense line and I am glad Pedan is not even considered. Last year the only KHLer was Arzamastsev.

Also, as the SSS showed- anyone on this team can score. The stats for Team Russia were very balanced. Even if teams manage to contain Yakupov or Grigs everyone else is very capable on putting the puck in the net. I like that.

Like I said before, overall this is a much more balanced team than in the past few years, even if it's missing the sharp edge of Kuznetsov or Tarasenko.
I really love the way the defense played at the SSS, especially the last half of the tournament. They skated so well and handled the puck beautifully, and you could see their confidence growing throughout the tournament. They appeared to be "buying into the system," much the way Coach Bill's team did in the WC's in the spring. They not only cleared the defensive zone effectively, but also started moving it up to the forwards so that it could get in the offensive zone. The more time in the offensive zone the better, because only good things can happen. If the defense plays this well in Ufa, Russia has a really good chance, IMHO. Goaltending is really solid, too. I would have even liked to have seen more of Ustinskiy, because he looked really good in his only appearance.

Also, I can't say enough about Sigarev. He came into the August series really unheralded, but he has been at times the best and most effective forward, IMO. Tkachev is not far behind if at all. I also liked Zhafyarov (so nifty with the puck), Shenfeld, and Moser, all of whom may be left by the wayside for Ufa.

Last edited by Yakushev72: 11-21-2012 at 12:01 PM. Reason: addition
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