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06-02-2013, 09:22 AM
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Riga/Yaroslavl
Country: Russian Federation
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
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.
After what I saw at the WC, I would say that you shouldn't write off Kulikov that early, as I believe not much of our defenders are better than him.

And about 2010, Nabokov was pretty good before the 4-th goal actually, but after it Bykov should've changed him for Bryz. I believe that this was the second most important mistake by Bykov after not breaking 'Ovechkin-Malkin-Semin VS Nash-Toews-Richards' matchup.

For the Sochi, I have faith for Varlamov in goal with Bobrovsky as his backup. Actually, I don't quite understand why Varly has been so heavily criticized after USA game, because if we look at the 4 goals he let in, I can blame him only for the last one (and even in this case we should remember that at this moment the defence completely stopped), but he was able to 'compensate' it by making the save when USA should've scored the 9-th.

Last edited by Caser: 06-02-2013 at 09:27 AM.
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