Alex Ovechkin Loves Big Hits In The Olympics Too

Alex Ovechkin Looking Intense (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Alex Ovechkin Looking Intense (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

This is totally a secret, so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE keep this between you and me. Last Thursday night instead of staying up late to watch Team Russia lose to Team Slovakia in the Shootout (damn the bad ice thwarting Ovechkin’s last chance), I watched the movie “Whip It” with my SOULMATE Ashley on her 16 inch laptop. Sigh. So the next morning, not only did I spit out my coffee when I saw Russia lost, I started cursing when I saw our readers talking about some incredible, bone-crunching hits Alex Ovechkin laid out to Zdeno Chara, Lubos Bartecko and Pavol Demitra on Twitter. BAH totally missed it!

But because of youtube and the awesome internets, I found what I missed… And then some. So prepare yourself people. After seeing what I’m about to show you, I came to this conclusion: Alex Ovechkin is a more savage hitter in the Olympics than during the Regular Season (unless he’s angry at Evgeni Malkin). Check out a history of Ovechkin’s Olympic Sized Hits below the jump via Youtubes and Photos.

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Olympics Force Realignment of Hockey Fans

We are currently looking down the barrel of a big hockey day. At noon Pacific Time the re-sorted Team Russia will be facing off against Jaromir Jagr, Tomas Fleischmann, and the Czechs. This afternoon will see the battle of the ages: Canada versus USA. The staff at RMNB has found that the Olympic hockey tourney has Balkanized American hockey fans to such a degree that it merits discussion. Unfortunately, we are not mature enough for real discussion, so here’s a bunch of jokes about Sidney Crosby:

Let’s analyze the psychology of each type of fan.

Washington Capitals fan, neophyte

Possibly unaware that Jaromir Jagr ever donned the Caps red and white black and brown, the Caps bandwagon limits its gaze across the International Dateline to Russia. Russia sports no fewer than six former Washington Capitals, and their play is (supposed to be) as aggressive as the home team’s. Canada sacrificed any chance of garnering the Caps newbie’s support when Steve Yzerman passed over @GreenLife52. Team USA stirs up some base patriotic vitriol, but the unfamiliar roster and lack of hype surrounding the team undermines any appeal to the Johnny-come-lately Caps fan.

Washington Capitals fan, with an autographed Dale Hunter jersey

The Caps fan of the Bondra era still mourns the Cup-round blowout of 1998 and is filled to the brim with bile for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Because of this long-brewing rivalry, the ancient Caps fan, peering over his 401k report towards a standard-definition television, cannot bring himself to root for any team containing a Penguin. Canada and Russia lose any chance at garnering his favor because of Crosby and Malkin, respectively. Grandpa Caps fan somehow overrides his Penguinphobia when considering Brooks Orpik’s presence Team USA; perhaps it’s the dusty memory of Lake Placid 1980 or the manly gristle of Ryan Miller’s unkempt facial hair.

Pittsburgh Penguins fan, there but for the grace of God

The Pittsburgh Penguins are one of the most talented teams in the NHL, but their geographical origins have rendered them far flung in the Olympiad. This puts the fans in an awkward position, as they must now reconcile the relative vitality of their favorite players in order to pick a team to root for. Should their allegiances drift above the border to Mike Richards and Sidney Crosby, he of the private jet? Or perhaps Evgeni “Geno” Malkin’s dynamism will excite the inner fan despite his Washingtonian linemates? And then there’s Brooks Orpik sporting the nation’s colors, piggybacking on nationalistic fervor. Frankly, no one’s got it tougher than the Pens fan for the next week.

Gretzky

Gretzky’s rooting for Ovechkin. After that torch-lighting SNAFU, 99 wants nothing to do with his countrymen.

Old-school Puckheads

The hockey faithful from days of yore consider Sidney Crosby to be the second coming of Mario Lemieux. When Jeremy Roenick, who always looks like he has just gotten out of the shower, speaks, the senior hockey fans must be restrained from throwing slippers at their TVs. To this fan, Team USA lacks a marquee name or a hockey pedigree worthy of his support. Nay, the Puckhead’s eyes invariably look to Canada, as surely a decent hockey player could hail from nowhere else. This fan, to the surprise of thinking people everywhere, discusses the gold medal as if has been bequeathed to Canada from on high, and the mountiess need merely show up and claim their prize. Even if this fan played for the Bruins and coached for the Islanders (and beat up a fan with his own shoe), this dude will become his ultimate obsequious self only when speaking in praise of Team Canada.


What strange bedfellows this tournament has wrought? In the past week I once caught myself cheering Evgeni Malkin. I’ve seen a hockey blog for a rival team that must not be named (but rhymes with “the dense fog”) herald the skill of Alexander Semin. I’ve seen hockey’s own John McEnroe, Jeremy Roenick, become the loudmouthed defender of the Washington Capitals against Mike Milbury’s attacks. Before the week is out, I may yet high-five a Penguins fan.  Ick.

When March finally arrives, we’ll all need showers.

Evgeni Malkin Moved to the First Line For Team Russia, Will Center Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin

Reunited and it feels so good?

Malkin to center Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin on the first line for tomorrows tilt against the Czech Republic.

Earlier today, RussianHockeyFans.com broke the news that Team Russia’s First Line was getting an upgrade for tomorrow’s game against the Czech Republic. Alex Ovechkin & Alex Semin will now be centered by Evgeni Malkin. Talk about instant offense…

Yes that’s right, the Russians have now reunited the friends-turned enemies-turned friends again in Ovechkin and Malkin. Awesome. Also, RussianHockeyFans.com has the new Powerplay & Even-Strength Line Pairings for tomorrow as well:

New power play lines
According to Mikhail Zislis of Sport-Express, here are the new powerplay lines:
1. Alexander Ovechkin – Pavel Datsyuk – Evgeni Malkin, Kovalchuk – Gonchar
2. Alexander Semin – Viktor Kozlov – Alexander Radulov, Andrei Markov – Ilya Nikulin.
Ovechkin and Radulov were positioned in front of the goalie, screening him.

According to sports.ru, the new top two lines look like this:
1. Alexander Ovechkin – Evgeni Malkin – Alexander Semin, Sergei Gonchar – Fedor Tyutin.
2. Ilya Kovalchuk – Pavel Datsyuk – Maxim Afinogenov, Konstantin Korneev – Denis Grebeshkov.
The other two lines remain the same:
3. Alexei Morozov – Sergei Zinoviev – Danis Zaripov, Ilya Nikulin – Andrei Markov.
4. Viktor Kozlov – Sergei Fedorov – Alexander Radulov, Dmitriy Kalinin – Anton Volchenkov.
Evgeny Nabokov will start in Goal

And don’t worry, nothing’s changed on the PK. Viktor Kozlov is still one of the forwards. Man, if that’s not a chink in the armor, I don’t know what is.

Anyways, a few hours ago, Ovechkin discussed Evgeni Malkin moving to the first line with Soviet Sport’s V. Slavin. And RMNB has the translation first. Check it out:

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The Great Mother of the Great 8

alex-ovechkin

Every time Alex Ovechkin flies off the bench for a shift, you can see in his powerful stride that he will leave it all on the ice. Alex’s deep passion had to come from somewhere, and we believe that a lot of it comes from his mother Tatyana.

RMNB recently sent Fedor out to learn more about the Ovechkin family’s strong athletic heritage, specifically his two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Mother, Tatyana Ovechkina. Many people know that Tatyana was one of the greatest basketball players in Russian History, but there’s a a lot more to know, and we’re here to share.

Below the jump, find out about the people who inspired her, why she picked the number eight, and what she really thinks of her son. Enjoy!

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Alex Ovechkin: I WILL CRUSH YOU (Photo: Fotobank.ru / Getty Images)

Alex Ovechkin mentally crushing you (Photo: Fotobank.ru / Getty Images)

While TJ of Alex Ovetjkin has been absolutely tearin’ up the Translation Game right now for The Olympics (check out his awesome work here), the Russian Machine has taken a more gradual approach. Unlike TJ, we prefer Fedor continue to eat meals, sleep 8 hours a day and exercise. So tonight, we present Artem Zagumennov’s interview with Alex Ovechkin after he immediately got off the plane to Vancouver. His article was published on Championat.ru yesterday morning.

Below the jump, find out about Alex Ovechkin’s SHEEP-CRET, who he partied with on the plane over & how many sticks he brought to Vancouver.

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Wednesday Webhits: Who’s Going To Bring Home The Gold?

Wednesday Webhits - Who's going to bring home the Gold

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time for another Wednesday Webhits! The big topic of the week is obviously the Winter Olympics, and Puck Prospectus has given us a nice break-down of the top four Olympic hockey teams from a statistical perspective. And don’t worry, this post is not all about international competition, as we also take a look at the top scoring blue lines in the NHL, the top individual scorers (naturally with a healthy Washington presence), and – in a follow-up to a link from last week – what the optimal shift length should be. (Take note Sashas)

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What You Need to Know About Olympic Hockey Rules

The world of post-lockout NHL has been crazy.  We’ve spent the last few years getting used to the faster pace, more frequent power plays, two-line passes, and gimmick endgames; and I think we’re sorta comfortable with it now.  The Vancouver Olympics follow the slightly different IIHF rule set, so we thought it’d be nice to give you this quick primer on the changes.  Feel free to quote these at a cocktail party to sound smart.

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Russian Machine Not Want Silver: Predictions For Olympic Hockey

Colossus sez, "Organic steel is not silver, tovarisch!"

Colossus sez, "Organic steel is not silver, tovarisch!"

We’ve decided there’s not enough saturation of opinion on the Internet.  Nay– the tubes are too filled with cold, hard fact; intelligent analysis; and sober discussion.  To fix this dire problem, the staff at Russian Machine Never Breaks gathered in its subterranean bunker (27 floors beneath The Greene Turtle in Frederick, Maryland) and put together their predictions for the 2010 Olympic Hockey tournament.  And if you were expecting us to be in the tank for Mother Russia… well, take a look for yourself.

Our predictions are behind the jump!

Alexander Ovechkin: Jagr Will Relive A Bit of the Past

Alex Ovechkin happy to be reunited with his countrymen. (Shaun Best/Reuters)

Alex Ovechkin + Olympics = Happy. (Shaun Best/Reuters)

Tonight, RMNB is pleased to present our first translated interview from the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Earlier today, Sovsport.ru caught up with Alexander Ovechkin after Team Russia’s Morning Skate and posed The Great Eight questions about one of Russia’s biggest rivals in the Olympics: The Czech Republic and their enigmatic superstar Jaromir Jagr. Many people have been overlooking the Czechs in the Olympics, but don’t lump the Russian Machine into that group.

The Czech Republic has been a huge thorn in Team Russia’s side over the past decade. They beat the Russians 1-0 in 1998′s Nagano Winter Games to win Olympic Gold behind the stellar play of Dominik Hasek. And then they kicked the Ruskies completely off the podium in the 2006 Olympics, beating Team Russia 3-0 to win Bronze in Torino.

Below the jump, RMNB’s Fedor Fedin translates the interview between Ovechkin and Sovsport. Find out how Ovi compares himself to Jagr in his prime, what the Czech’s chances are to win the Olympics and his opinion on fellow Caps Tomas Fleischmann and Michal Neuvirth .

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Let's go Russia Flag

First, RMNB taught you how to correctly pronounce the names of some of Team Russia’s Best Hockey Players. After the significant attention our post received, we figured our readers desired to learn more. So today, RMNB is going to teach you how to root for the Russian National Team in Vancouver with style. Yes that’s right, like a Ruskie! Take it away Fedor.

Are you fan of the Russian Hockey Team? Are you going to root for Russia in the Olympics? If you’ve answered yes to both questions, then you’ll probably be interested in the most popular fan chants in Russia and how to pronunce them. I’ve included easy and difficult chants.

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