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The future of Russian NT could/should be decided in the next 5 days

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Old
02-24-2010, 11:53 PM
  #26
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Originally Posted by superroyain10 View Post
I have to defend Nabby a little bit. First three goals, he didn't have a chance on. Completely blown coverage by the Russian defense combined by a powerful Canadian offense....the fourth, fifth, and sixth goals Nabokov should have stopped, but I think after the score was 3-0 Nabokov's confidence was lost. At that point, Canada was steamrolling Russia and Nabokov had likely lost confidence in his team. I mean, Morrow shouldn't have been able to walk out in front; on the fifth goal, no way Getzlaf should have been able to walk in like that, and Perry was left completely untouched. Weber's shot Nabokov should have easily stopped, but Ovechkin had a few seconds where had he stuck his stick in Weber's lane, that puck goes out of play...Nabokov also made some great saves early on...

Russia was just unprepared. Maybe someone should have dropped the gloves? Really seemed like they were asleep during the game...
You realize Weber blew one THROUGH the net the other day, and he had a one timer pass that had Nabakov moving laterally, right?

That was an NHL Caliber goal on an NHL Caliber goaltender. You can't fault him on it.

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02-25-2010, 12:00 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Siberian View Post
It would an idiocy to replace the most successful coach in new Russian hockey history.

He used to be successful. Losing 7-3 in quaterfinal is not exactly a "success" to me. It's a ****ing catastrophe if you will.

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02-25-2010, 12:05 AM
  #28
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the shoulda pulled nabby after the 1st intermission, and AT LEAST after goal 5. he was done after goal 5 you could see it in his eyes. bryzgalov has been playing awesome lately so it's not like your going to some bum.

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02-25-2010, 12:06 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Pyke View Post
You realize Weber blew one THROUGH the net the other day, and he had a one timer pass that had Nabakov moving laterally, right?

That was an NHL Caliber goal on an NHL Caliber goaltender. You can't fault him on it.
So just because that goal by Weber against Germany was a great shot, this one was? I haven't looked at the replay but IIRC, it wasn't a great shot.

Also, Weber didn't blow one through the net; the netting had come loose and Weber's shot found the gap.

Also, in big games, you expect your goaltender to make tough saves...even if Weber had picked the top corner, that isn't an unstoppable shot...

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02-25-2010, 12:14 AM
  #30
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Can't blame this one on Nabby or the coach.

It was this simple: one team came ready to play, the other didn't.

Canada losing to the USA was the best thing that could have happened to them. The extra game against the Germans allowed for a lot of experimenting and chemistry to develop. It got them on a roll.

But let's also be honest, Russia has arguably 4 of the best 5 or 6 individual players in the world, but after that, the depth drops off.

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02-25-2010, 12:17 AM
  #31
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One has to be really impressed by the Canadian coaching. They did all the homework with the guys who coached at the Worlds, fixed their own holes and found holes in Russia's game.

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02-25-2010, 12:24 AM
  #32
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Canada's top tier talent +or- Russia's top tier talent
Canada's offensive depth >>>> Russia's offensive depth
Canada's defencive game >>>> Russia's defencive game

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02-25-2010, 12:38 AM
  #33
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Even though Nabby has been playing well this year and seems to be on top of his game, I don't see him making the Sochi team sadly. His play in these Olympics show exactly why. I'm not saying he's played badly, but I just think with their defense they need someone who is quicker and more athletic, I.E Semyon Varlamov, that can keep up with the high octane offense that Canada brings in Olympics after Olympics.

That being said, they need a shut down defenseman or two. They won't make it far if they rely on their offensive firepower as much as they have done for this tournament. Teams just have more balanced teams, I.E Sweden, or shut down defense, I.E Switzerland, that can solve that type of game relatively easy.

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02-25-2010, 12:41 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by fly4apuckguy View Post
Can't blame this one on Nabby or the coach.

It was this simple: one team came ready to play, the other didn't.

Canada losing to the USA was the best thing that could have happened to them. The extra game against the Germans allowed for a lot of experimenting and chemistry to develop. It got them on a roll.

But let's also be honest, Russia has arguably 4 of the best 5 or 6 individual players in the world, but after that, the depth drops off.
4 of the best 5 or 6? I would say that is very, very arguable. Ovechkin and Malkin clealry belong there, but after them, Kovalchuk isn't nearly a good enough all-around talent to justify being up there...he has also won very little worth mentioning...Datsyuk is a fine player but top 6 would be a stretch, especially after you factor in defensemen and goaltenders...for a one-year-run I definitely take Keith, Lidstrom, and/or Brodeur over Datsyuk...

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02-25-2010, 12:41 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by bobbybobcat11 View Post
Even though Nabby has been playing well this year and seems to be on top of his game, I don't see him making the Sochi team sadly. His play in these Olympics show exactly why. I'm not saying he's played badly, but I just think with their defense they need someone who is quicker and more athletic, I.E Semyon Varlamov, that can keep up with the high octane offense that Canada brings in Olympics after Olympics.

That being said, they need a shut down defenseman or two. They won't make it far if they rely on their offensive firepower as much as they have done for this tournament. Teams just have more balanced teams, I.E Sweden, or shut down defense, I.E Switzerland, that can solve that type of game relatively easy.
Problem is we are not very good at developing dmen. Gonchar is on his last legs and outside of Markov and Volchenkov we don't have any legit world class dmen and there aren't any in the pipeline as far as I know.

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02-25-2010, 12:43 AM
  #36
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No excuses. Russia lost this game fair and square, just as I predicted some 12 hrs ago. A scoreline of 4-2 Canada would be a better indicator of the two team's relative strength, if not for Nabby.

There are things which can, and which cannot be changed about this team. First of all, I would still argue that depth is a non-factor in Olympic hockey. Just look at the Swiss team, which held the mighty Canada and US teams to 3 goals (not counting the US EN goal). Russia is weak on on role players and D, but it is still >>>>>> Swiss on paper.

So, with a roster to beat (on paper), coaching explains 80% of this team's failure. Bykov is a IIHF-caliber coach, period; on top of this, he did a sloppy job of scouting his NHLers and their respective strengths and weaknesses. It would take an accomplished NA coach, a former Russian NHLer turned coach, or a European wizard like Kruger or BAG to revive this team, teach it to play a disciplined game and produce a result next time around. I really do hope that Fetisov fires Bykov in the next 5 days, and appoints Nemchinov as a stand-in, before a long-term solution is found.

Even if coaching is resolved, Russia will still be facing the remaining 20%, which is poor teamwork. This goes beyond hockey. Russians are ****** team players in general, since the average mentality turned very individualistic since the fall of Communism. Can this be cured? Not in my lifetime, I am afraid.

Congrats to all Team Canada fans, a rematch of group game vs. USA is what I would like to see in the final, with Canada taking the gold medal.
His personal vendettas against certain players hurt. A guy like Kovalev could have made a huge difference.

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02-25-2010, 12:47 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by DanTHEMan71 View Post
The very first thing they need to address is defence. It looked shaky all tournament and finally when it was put up against Canada it unravelled.
I felt really really bad for your defensemen. They're going to get crucified in the media, I'm sure, but they were getting very little support from your forwards and you just can't defend like that. Even if you have a D stacked with Lidstrom clones, there's not much you can do but collapse towards your own goal under the pressure.

There's a fine line between "stretch pass" and "cherry picking". IMO, your high-profile forwards crossed that line tonight, and the coach either didn't realize what was happening, or couldn't do anything about it (like staple people to the bench!).

I don't know the internal dynamics of the Russian side - is there a defenseman on that team with the stature and respect (eg. like Canada's Niedermayer) to get away with telling Ovechkin to get his **** together and help out his teammates?


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02-25-2010, 12:49 AM
  #38
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Problem is we are not very good at developing dmen. Gonchar is on his last legs and outside of Markov and Volchenkov we don't have any legit world class dmen and there aren't any in the pipeline as far as I know.
You're forgetting Kulikov.

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02-25-2010, 04:57 AM
  #39
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Originally Posted by fly4apuckguy View Post
Can't blame this one on Nabby or the coach.

It was this simple: one team came ready to play, the other didn't.

Canada losing to the USA was the best thing that could have happened to them. The extra game against the Germans allowed for a lot of experimenting and chemistry to develop. It got them on a roll.

But let's also be honest, Russia has arguably 4 of the best 5 or 6 individual players in the world, but after that, the depth drops off.
Can't blame it on the coach? It's the coaches job to ensure the team comes ready to play.

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02-25-2010, 05:47 AM
  #40
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Originally Posted by DanTHEMan71 View Post
The very first thing they need to address is defence.
Russia cannot "adjust" it's defense because the current crop of Russian defensemen is not good enough. Russia won two consecutive Gold medals in World Championships in spite of their defense, and in 2009 they were badly outplayed by Canada in the final even though they managed to win that one.

Take a look at the defensemen that Russia produced in the late 1970's and 1980's: Vyacheslav Fetisov, Alexei Kasatonov, Vasili Pervukhin, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, Sergei Babinov, Igor Stelnov, Sergei Starikov, Alexei Gusarov, Igor Kravchuk, Vladimir Konstantinov, Valeri Shiryayev, Mikhail Tatarinov, Vladimir Malakhov and Sergei Zubov (Tatarinov is included here because he was a really excellent player in his younger days and mental health problems ruined his career). I would also include Sergei Gonchar, Alexei Zhitnik, Boris Mironov and Dimitri Yushkevich as products of Soviet hockey school. All of them are better than any defenseman that Russia produced in the late 1990's or 2000's with an exception of Andrei Markov!

After the USSR disintegrated Russia simply stopped producing any quality defensemen. Age groups 1982 and 1983 produced Fedor Tyutin, Anton Volchenkov, Denis Grebeshkov and Ilya Nikulin. They are OK, but they really pale in comparison to these former greats. After age groups of 1982 and 1983 Russia has produced zero defensemen that are good enough to play regularly in the NHL. Yes, zero. Dimitri Kulikov might change that after this season is over though.


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Going into Sochi, Russia has 4 years to develop a tougher Russian game.
Sochi is too early for Russia to make any serious improvements. Russian team in Sochi will be worse than the Russian team in Vancouver, especially on defense. Markov will be four years older and slower. Gonchar will likely be gone. Nikulin, Tyutin, Grebeshkov and Volchenkov won't develop anymore. Hopefully Dimitri Kulikov can make a serious breakthrough before Sochi to ease the pain, and it would also be good to have another young Russian defenseman (maybe Dimitri Orlov?) to develop into a similar player as Kulikov.

Kovalchuk, Malkin, Ovechkin and Semin will still be on top of their careers in 2014. Datsyuk will probably have declined by some. Morozov will be gone (he was a non factor in Vancouver anyway). So will Kovalev. Frolov will still be around and hopefully he will be selected (he should have been selected to this team ahead of a non-factor Zaripov).

Russia looks thin on center with no great center waiting on the wings. Artem Anisimov has a change to develop into a solid 2nd or 3rd center for Russia, but in order to keep competitive Russia needs another Zhamnov- or Yashin -type centerman emerging from age groups of 1990-1993 to be a good side-kick for Malkin in 2014,


For a longer term Russia needs to develop its hockey program from root level. It has to get more kids to play hockey. Canada and the US both have 10 times more kids playing hockey than Russia. Russia also needs more rinks being built around the country to spread the game further than just a few cities like Togliatti, Yaroslavl, Magnitogorsk and Moscow. These are big challenges, but then again, if Russian clubs have millions of dollars to spend on foreign players they must also have money to invest more on junior hockey!

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02-25-2010, 06:00 AM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Peter25 View Post
Russia cannot "adjust" it's defense because the current crop of Russian defensemen is not good enough. Russia won two consecutive Gold medals in World Championships in spite of their defense, and in 2009 they were badly outplayed by Canada in the final even though they managed to win that one.

Take a look at the defensemen that Russia produced in the late 1970's and 1980's: Vyacheslav Fetisov, Alexei Kasatonov, Vasili Pervukhin, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, Sergei Babinov, Igor Stelnov, Sergei Starikov, Alexei Gusarov, Igor Kravchuk, Vladimir Konstantinov, Valeri Shiryayev, Mikhail Tatarinov, Vladimir Malakhov and Sergei Zubov (Tatarinov is included here because he was a really excellent player in his younger days and mental health problems ruined his career). I would also include Sergei Gonchar, Alexei Zhitnik, Boris Mironov and Dimitri Yushkevich as products of Soviet hockey school. All of them are better than any defenseman that Russia produced in the late 1990's or 2000's with an exception of Andrei Markov!

After the USSR disintegrated Russia simply stopped producing any quality defensemen. Age groups 1982 and 1983 produced Fedor Tyutin, Anton Volchenkov, Denis Grebeshkov and Ilya Nikulin. They are OK, but they really pale in comparison to these former greats. After age groups of 1982 and 1983 Russia has produced zero defensemen that are good enough to play regularly in the NHL. Yes, zero. Dimitri Kulikov might change that after this season is over though.



Sochi is too early for Russia to make any serious improvements. Russian team in Sochi will be worse than the Russian team in Vancouver, especially on defense. Markov will be four years older and slower. Gonchar will likely be gone. Nikulin, Tyutin, Grebeshkov and Volchenkov won't develop anymore. Hopefully Dimitri Kulikov can make a serious breakthrough before Sochi to ease the pain, and it would also be good to have another young Russian defenseman (maybe Dimitri Orlov?) to develop into a similar player as Kulikov.

Kovalchuk, Malkin, Ovechkin and Semin will still be on top of their careers in 2014. Datsyuk will probably have declined by some. Morozov will be gone (he was a non factor in Vancouver anyway). So will Kovalev. Frolov will still be around and hopefully he will be selected (he should have been selected to this team ahead of a non-factor Zaripov).

Russia looks thin on center with no great center waiting on the wings. Artem Anisimov has a change to develop into a solid 2nd or 3rd center for Russia, but in order to keep competitive Russia needs another Zhamnov- or Yashin -type centerman emerging from age groups of 1990-1993 to be a good side-kick for Malkin in 2014,


For a longer term Russia needs to develop its hockey program from root level. It has to get more kids to play hockey. Canada and the US both have 10 times more kids playing hockey than Russia. Russia also needs more rinks being built around the country to spread the game further than just a few cities like Togliatti, Yaroslavl, Magnitogorsk and Moscow. These are big challenges, but then again, if Russian clubs have millions of dollars to spend on foreign players they must also have money to invest more on junior hockey!
Wow, that's the type of answer you'd see in a case study.
address current problem, forecast what future problems might be and end it off with a recommendation (usually high capital or infrastructure spending!)

but why is it that russia "stopped producing any quality defensemen" after the ussr disintegration? People wanted glory and being a defensemen wasn't the way to achieve that?

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02-25-2010, 06:12 AM
  #42
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Originally Posted by Peter25 View Post
Russia looks thin on center with no great center waiting on the wings. Artem Anisimov has a change to develop into a solid 2nd or 3rd center for Russia, but in order to keep competitive Russia needs another Zhamnov- or Yashin -type centerman emerging from age groups of 1990-1993 to be a good side-kick for Malkin in 2014,


For a longer term Russia needs to develop its hockey program from root level. It has to get more kids to play hockey. Canada and the US both have 10 times more kids playing hockey than Russia. Russia also needs more rinks being built around the country to spread the game further than just a few cities like Togliatti, Yaroslavl, Magnitogorsk and Moscow. These are big challenges, but then again, if Russian clubs have millions of dollars to spend on foreign players they must also have money to invest more on junior hockey!
It might be too late for 2014, but some quality centers are actually on the horizon. 1990 Loktionov, 1992s Kuznetsov and Namestnikov. 1994 Grigorenko

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02-25-2010, 06:22 AM
  #43
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The hockey program went from one extreme to the other. Since the iron curtain fell.

It used to be the ultimate in positional play, passing and team work above all else.

Now the team plays more as individuals and instead of being over coached, is hardly coached at all.

Its not the talent of their defensemen, its the system or lack there of.

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02-25-2010, 06:23 AM
  #44
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Sochi is too early for Russia to make any serious improvements. Russian team in Sochi will be worse than the Russian team in Vancouver, especially on defense.
You nailed it. This is why the coaching staff needs to make a change in the gameplan. If you dont have a quality crop playing D, you make the whole team play a more defensive game.

Russia could learn something from the Czechoslovak school of hockey. Tight team D, lightning fast counterattack. Unfortunately, I do not see Russia's superstar forwards adjust to this type of play.

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02-25-2010, 06:27 AM
  #45
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Take a look at the defensemen that Russia produced in the late 1970's and 1980's: Vyacheslav Fetisov, Alexei Kasatonov, Vasili Pervukhin, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, Sergei Babinov, Igor Stelnov, Sergei Starikov, Alexei Gusarov, Igor Kravchuk, Vladimir Konstantinov, Valeri Shiryayev, Mikhail Tatarinov, Vladimir Malakhov and Sergei Zubov (Tatarinov is included here because he was a really excellent player in his younger days and mental health problems ruined his career). I would also include Sergei Gonchar, Alexei Zhitnik, Boris Mironov and Dimitri Yushkevich as products of Soviet hockey school. All of them are better than any defenseman that Russia produced in the late 1990's or 2000's with an exception of Andrei Markov!
Yes, but it's not quite that bad.
Players like Gusarov, Kravchuk, Babinov, Stelnov, Tatarinov, Shiryaev, are no better than the likes of Grebeshkov, Volchenkov, Nikulin, Tyutin, etc.

I wouldn't say it all defensemen problems. The big difference is between the play of USSR and current Russia team's defense.
For example, 1987 USSR defensemen were crap beyond Fetisov and Kasatonov but played 1987 Gretzky and Lemieux equal because of team defensive responsibility.

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02-25-2010, 06:52 AM
  #46
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I would suggest some blame be shifted to Russia's team selection people. Everyone is on Bykov but he just threw what he had out there. On quite a few occasions Russia raised its level to match Canada's but weren't able to maintain the intensity. That to me is a personel issue moreso than a coaching problem. Any player that can't get up for an Olympic elimination game is beyond being capable of being coached into it.

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02-25-2010, 07:16 AM
  #47
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I still cant believe that there wasnt some inside or even outside factor (partying ..) for such bad play..WHY u ask?..Ovechkin..He should be hitting and going crazy in such game and he was playing some fancy soft game..If he leads with physical play, others can follow..I almost get a feeling Bykov said dont play physical, dont wake them up, bla bla bla..It is other way around as i see Russians play best when they get mad and physical..

It is almost like they never learn...

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02-25-2010, 07:22 AM
  #48
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russia needs to produce new dman. markov is hurt and gonchar is getting old.
True. But the other Dmen should not be as horrible as they were yesterday. No checking, no getting back, constantly out of position, overplaying. It's as if they never played hockey before.

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02-25-2010, 07:23 AM
  #49
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It's hard to win Canada, if you have 1 elite two-way forward and others are just floating primadonnas.

Malkin must improve his defense, faceoffs. Every center must have a good two-way game, nowadays. Look at elite Cs, who has worse defense than Malkin? Nobody!

Ovie and Kovy must also improve their workrate and defense. Even all-time floater, Pavel Bure, played defense when it mattered (NHL playoffs for example). Why can't those two guys realize it? It ain't South East...

Overall, Russia must play with some system. You can't run-and-gun with Grebs, Kalinin, etc on your blueline.

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02-25-2010, 07:32 AM
  #50
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Great debate here. Love it. Intelligent comments from all parties. One has to look at the development of positional hockey players, and of defencemen. Plus, I'm still not convinced that Russia produces enough quantity of good goalies. Russia should send some analysts to Finland and Québec to find out why these small bourgades produce so many quality goaltenders per capita.

As for role players, the Russians were never great in producing them. With the old Soviet regime, the emphasis was put on puck control 5-man unit play. Plus superb conditioning.

Today, the world has caught up on the conditioning stuff. Plus, hockey has changed styles. Other countries, namely Canada and the US, have developped solid youth programs, that have seen the sport flourish. Hockey Canada is probably as powerful as some nations' governments, for crying out loud. The money that's poured into the organisation is equal to none in Canada. The US has developed a great "US National" program. It has given great results, to the point where their teams can compete for gold in practically any competition.

The Russian Federation needs to start from bottom. What made them glorious was their team play. Today, because of the power of attraction of money and glory, the young stars want to shine individually. Hockey Canada has taught over the last 15 years, to many young players, that team work is the only way to go. Thus the results at the world juniors, etc.

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