Thread: Sochi 2014
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04-13-2014, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
Why? The problem wasn't on the players chosen, twice it was on being outcoached (2006 and 2014) and once just being outplayed (2010).

As for Malkin, it was obvious that he had the wrong linemate in Ovechkin. They just aren't the fit for each other. Malkin was doing just fine with other linemates at the 2012 Worlds. Had Bilyaletdinov shuffled lines a bit, the outcome could have been different. But we all know that changing lines or strategies during a game/tournament has never been Russia's forte.
Getting rid of Bykov and Bilyaletdinov were the easy solutions (the RHF might want to take a second look at Bykov after Sochi). Bilyaletdinov probably should have been dumped after the 2013 Worlds, but by then it was too late. If Russia wants to have a better performance and keep getting better, something entirely different will have to be done. The system still isn't producing enough good players to win an international competition where all the best players are there.

In the end, they had to put guys like Kulyomin, Anisimov, Popov, Tarasenko, Tereschenko, Voynov, Nikitin, and Tyutin, and those guys aren't good enough to compete in a tournament where all the best players were there. Ovechkin, Malkin and Kovalchuk didn't play well enough to justify the whole system focused around them. The absence of strategy and tactics can best be fixed, IMO, by thinking outside the box and creating some semblance of a disciplined national team model. A national team model could only be created in Russia, and would have to be built around the KHL. The big NHL stars would of course be welcome, but they would have to make themselves available to buy into the team concept.

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