Ovechkin Checks Fedorov

Alex Semin cries after receiving his silver medal.

Alex Semin cries after receiving his silver medal.

Today, Russia’s 27 game World Championships winning streak came to a devastating end in a post-olympic rematch against Jaromir Jagr’s Czech Republic team. And much like the match in the Olympics earlier in the year, the pivotal play of today’s World Championships gold medal game was a huge Alex Ovechkin hit. But this time, it was the Russian Machine accidentally laying out and injuring one of his own teammates, Sergei Fedorov (above), which led to Tomas Rolinek’s game winning goal in the second period. Riding stellar goaltending from Tomas Vokoun and an incredible team defense, the Czechs took a 2 goal lead into the third period that they would never relinquish. Our beloved Ruskies fall to the Czech Republic 2-1. Silver has never tasted so bitter.

Like one would expect, the Russians came out and played with fire. But much like the Canadiens/Capitals series, most of Russia’s chances came from the perimeter. And the Czechs waited and pounced on any mistakes Russia made. A sense of real urgency only revealed itself towards the end of the third period. And by then it was too late for Russia.

Semyon Varlamov played exceptionally well as the Russians falls to the Czechs 2-1.

You can't blame Varly. Semyon Varlamov had 23 saves in today's loss.

Both Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin played well but only managed to have a few good opportunities to score. Semyon Varlamov, like he has all tournament long, played exceptionally well and did not surrender any soft goals. (An aside: We still think he should have been player of today’s game over Viktor Kozlov today. Kozlov did nothing but take a killer penalty at the end of the game. Give that man a watch!)

Our own Fedor Fedin blames the coaching of Vyacheslav “Slava” Bykov and Igor Zakharkin for not realizing the potential of such a star-filled Russian roster. People in Russia may blame the superstars on Russia’s roster like Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Evgeni Malkin, but if you watched today’s game, it’s clear the system and coaching is not where it should be. Fedor believes strongly that former Red Wings player Igor Larionov should be named the new coach of the National Team. Make it happen, Russia. The clock’s ticking.

Moving forward, we extend our congratulations to Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin and Semyon Varlamov for winning silver and playing pretty incredibly considering their extremely difficult schedule this year. Playing in a 82 NHL Regular Season, the Olympics, the NHL Playoffs and the World Championships must have taken a huge toll on their bodies and we hope they take the next few weeks to relax and put this year behind them.

Below are a few screen captures from today’s game. Common theme: devastation.

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kovalchuk-devastated

alex-semin-cries

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datsyuk-devastated

girls-from-russia-crying

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rolinek-recieves-trophy

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jagr-smiles-after-winning-gold

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  • BobbyG

    *Sigh*

    So close and yet so far.

    Ovie, I hope your injury isn’t too serious. It’s time now to take a well-deserved rest, you gave it your all. True loyal fans like myself still support you 100%, unlike the fair weather bandwagon jumpers who are only there for you in good times.

    I hope you enjoy your Moscow break and wherever else you go during this off-season. Come back to the Capitals in a few months rested and refreshed for another NHL season. Take time to reflect on the positives and whatever you feel you need to do to elevate your game to an even higher level.

    As always, you were gracious in defeat today. Even though you might be terribly disappointed with a silver medal, wear it proudly and cherish it as a badge of honor for representing Russia so well. Keep your chin up and your head high. Like most of your loyal fans, I look forward to seeing your smiling face again, and very soon.

    Good luck, and peace be your personal journey.

  • Sara Bae

    BobbyG stole all the words right out of my mouth. i still love them all! VPERED RUSSIA! now they can relax and come back next year and dominate. much love!

    p.s. god it is sooo good to have a computer again!!! my laptop was dead for a long time and didnt have access to your awesome blogs!

  • Sara Bae

    Bobby G stole all the words right out of my mouth. i still love them all! VPERED RUSSIA! they can still just come back next year and dominate. much love!

  • Sara Bae

    p.s. the pics of the russian fans crying is so sad it made me want to cry also!

  • Taylor

    The picture of Semin crying broke my heart. Varly gave an amazing effort in the game today. They’ll be fine once they get rid of Bykov.

  • Elle

    Oh Semin :( So let’s just hope this makes them better because honestly in terms of expectations, this year sucked…..reallllllyyy bad.

  • R17a

    >They’ll be fine once they get rid of Bykov.

    I so too think.
    But most likely, he will be the head coach and the Olympic Games 2012 in Sochi
    ….. in vain …..

    =(

  • CapsFan1975

    @R17a

    I understand that this is Bykov’s last tournament as coach. No more World Championships for him. So the Russians will be hiring a new coach anyhow.

    (Let’s hope they don’t bring him out of retirement for Sochi in 2014.)

  • sleza

    the first goal brought some hideous flashbacks from the olympics so i was kinda pleased it didn’t turn out to be same kind massacre… though that only helped as long as there was still hope :(

  • Ringtail

    I am sorry Russia lost. But I think it was poor sportsmanship to take off the silver medals almost as soon as they were awarded. I saw the Russian coach take his off almost as soon as he turned away from the presenter. Childish, churlish, and unworthy of great athletes. Ovi kept his on for a while, by accident or on purpose, I don’t know. I hope on purpose.

  • Cookie Monster

    Ringtail,

    I agree, but unfortunately the second place team has done this before in the WC. The Russians didn’t do anything unusual.

  • Someone

    I can honestly say I have never liked athletes- I think they are usually narcissistic, spoiled and immature, Ovi is exception for me. His behavior is so admirable; I hope he realizes that most, if not all, the negativity directed towards him is based on jealousy, Fans react so violently if he fails because he is supposed to take all their dreams on his shoulders and carry them to victory (and goodness knows he tries.) as an outlet/vehicle for their own dreams. When his TEAM can’t win, people lash out at him as though he somehow betrayed them personally and their dreams..forgetting he, too, is disappointed in himself.. watching the end of that game yesterday was painful to me when I saw our Caps so disappointed after they worked so hard all season..I hope their fans recognize they showed up when many other players passed..

    I hope during Ovi’s year he gets a chance to see how he really does inspire young men to work harder to be like him and the good things that comes out of that inspiration..its great he sees the tee shirts and etc.. but I hope he gets to see the small things.. like kids who work harder at school and at practice because Ovi would (yes, they do say that to me).. the Russian transfer student at our school who finally opened up because he saw his math teacher loves Ovi (and our other big hearted Russians).. I teach school so I see it all the time; I can’t clearly explain clearly here the influence he has ( I have three former students studying Russian culture and language because of him – that can only be a good thing!) and how I deplore the way some media/ and some fans are treating him lately.

    I hope he gets some good rest and perspective on a season that wasn’t just wasn’t meant to be.. and comes back to us refreshed..We look forward to seeing all of our Russians again in the fall. We’ll be back in our matching 8 and 28 jerseys in the front at warmups and cheering you all on!

  • lulu

    I just took for granted that after this disappointing year Ovi and Sasha would win last night. I’m so so sorry for those guys — they gave it their ALL. I agree with the above poster; it’s no consolation now, but come back next year with Backstrom and the guys and build on the great season you had. You can do it, you will do it; you have the heart.

    And sexy Sasha, don’t cry; you love your country and Russia knows it.
    Thanks, guys.

  • Elena

    I cried when our team lost in the final but I consider that in this defeat guilty not only our team judges also much helped to win czech. Moment with delete of Emelin not cost even 2 minutes but then cost for us delete of Emelin before end of the match.Do this fairly?although what I ask, judge from Slovakia and this all said.In general I think that this not our level and we can play much better

  • Elena

    Yes and else Name of Ovi and Semin not Alexander but Alexandr and also this name called Sasha

  • BobbyG

    @Someone: You articulated a lot of the other feelings I had after Russia’s disappointing loss. I also believ a lot of the criticism and negativity towards Ovie is based on jealousy. The media, especially the Canadian press, despise him because he isn’t one of their own, ie, he isn’t Canadian, he’s RUSSIAN. Some of the same people criticisizing him now also criticized European players when the first entered the NHL years ago as being too robotic and not emotional enough. Now, here we have the most passionate and driven hockey player on the planet, who also happens to be the best hockey player on the planet, and the critics are out to drive that individuality and passion out of him. To Ovie I say, don’t listen to these vipers and vultures. Listen to your heart, and play the game you want to play it, the way only you can. You are a special and unique player and, more importantly, you are a special and unique person. Don’t let these naysayers change you.

    My other complaint is as you stated. Fans live their lives vicariously to varying degrees through the accomplishments of their favorite teams and players. When these teams/players win, the fans cry out WE WON. But if the teams/players don’t measure up to what these fans want or expect, all of a sudden it’s YOU LOST and then blame the teams/players for not fulfilling their dreams and expectations. Over the past year, I’ve seen this attitude on the part of fans of the Capitals and Team Russia, but Ovie as a player in particular has been singled out. The YouTube videos to the contrary, he is NOT Superman, he is not a hockey god, he is a human being. Yes, he’s an especially gifted hockey player, but he feels and cries and rejoices and dreams and hurts like the rest of us.

    To Ovie I say what I’ve already posted. Listen to your heart, and also to your family, friends, loyal fans, all those who really care about you. Don’t let the negative voices or the unrealistic expectations of others put any more of a burden on your shoulders than you have already put there yourself. Be the best player you can be, but don’t sacrifice your basic goodness as a human being trying to please everyone. You inspire people to be and do their best because they want to be like you. That is your greatest gift, one to share with the countless nameless people who will never be fortunate enough to meet you in person. Ovie, please remember you are valued and respected by legions of fans. Try to hold on to this thought as you reflect and re-group this off-season.

  • alex

    caps won !!! and that is the fact.the best team in the nhl.i think tournament’s formula should be different : most wins, most points-skip the first round, go strait to the second one. that’s right.in that case the team plays against one who deserves to be there and no more boring hockey.

  • Tim

    Sorry Russia, I was definitely pulling for you guys after it was clear Team USA wasn’t going anywhere; no shame in sliver though, and any team with Jaromir Jagr on it is obviously a good hockey team.

    Very sad picture of Semin, he did so many good things this year and he should be proud. He is clearly a terrific hockey player and seems like a good guy as well. As of course do Ovie and Varlamov – what a goalie!

    What a long season for these guys though, holy crap – I’m glad they’re finally getting some rest, very well-deserved.

    That, and Bykov needs to go. For whatever reason, he doesn’t seem to adjust well to international play. It is a step up for players – but also, apparently, for coaches.