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06-01-2013, 12:46 PM
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IMO, success or failure at Sochi will have nothing to do with guys like Tarasenko, Yakupov, Kuznetsov and Kulikov. These are all talented guys who are unproven at the senior level of hockey. What is critical is high level performance in goal and on the defensive side of the defense corps. In the debacle against Canada in 2010, it was the meltdown by Nabokov that resulted in 6 pucks in the net by early in the second period, just as in the QF of the WC this year, it was 5 pucks in the net early in the second period that caused Russian spirits to fizzle out and an embarrassing 8-3 loss to result. Defense and goaltending are critical for Sochi, and at this point, it doesn't look all that promising.

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