Thread: Sochi 2014
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04-23-2014, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
I am also skeptical of what Znarok will accomplish. He will still face a relative lack of depth in the talent category, especially on defense, where the defects are so marked that it makes Gold Medals, or even medals for that matter, extremely unlikely.

It probably would have helped somewhat if Bil would have done simple, obvious things, like changing line combinations to get Malkin and Ovechkin off the same line, where Malkin's selfish play negated any real positive effect that could be derived from Ovechkin's ability to score. But in the end, the team was undone against Finland by two dreadful defensive plays by Nikitin and Voynov. After the score was 2-0, you could just feel that the guys realized that the tournament was over.
For some philosophical aspect, I'm going to post translated parts from Finnish hockey magazine Jääkiekkolehti's article on the post-match treatment of Bilyaletdinov here:

After getting "eaten alive" by Russian reporters post-game:

"Team Finland head coach Erkka Westerlund was astonished at the "grilling" of his Russian colleague.

- Sports shouldn't be like that. That was not what the meaning of sports is supposed to be, Erkka rolled his eyes and watched from the corner of his eyes how the Russian media literally cornered Bilyaletdonov.

YLE commentator Hannu Jortikka reminded before the post-game interviews had even begun that the mentality that "this is how sports goes, respect the result and move on" does not exist in Russia. "Absolutely not. In Russia, it's always someone's fault. Always." Jortikka declared.

For Westerlund, such a predatory search for someone to blame was completely alien.

- For me, sports is more a journey than a destination or a result. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, then you set new goals and move on.

- We approached this game by thinking that we have a tremendous opportunity to lay everything on the line and see how far we can go. If that's enough and we win, great, but if not, we move on.Most important is that we got everythign that's inside us, on that ice."

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