Photo: Bruce Bennett

Wuh oh.

Oh man.

This is gonna be bad.

Russia got knocked out.

Related: Team Russia Knocked Out: Reactions and Sad Photos

Sweden 5, Slovenia 0

The inevitable crushing of the Slovenians should do nothing to mute how excellent they were in their first Olympic games. Sweden has infinity more NHL players and five times the population to draw from. Slovenia played excellently and should be immensely proud of what they have achieved.

Oh wait, they already are:

The Slovenes did all they could to fend off the Swedes, but it was a rout: 33 shots to 19. Alex Steen combined with Daniel Alfredsson, Daniel Sedin got an assist with Loui Eriksson, and Nicky Backstrom aided Loui on a goal of his own. Carl Hagelin shook off a scary hit to get two goals in the final ten minutes. That’s exactly what Sweden wanted to see before they go into a tough semifinal match against Tuukka Rask and Finland.

Here’s Steen’s goal, by way of Pete Blackburn:

Finland 3, Russia 1

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

Uh oh.

Tuukka Rask stopped 37 of 38 shots from a disorganized Russian offense to guarantee Finland a shot at a medal. Ilya Kovalchuk struck first for Russia with a ludicrous power play slapper, but it was all Finland from then on. Juhamatti Aaltonen of Liiga returned fire one minute later, followed by Teemu Selanne (forever) and Mikael Granlund. Someone let Team Russia’s decision-makers know that the the game-winner and the insurance goal were scored by NHL players.

This guy was fantastic:


Russia’s offense never really made sense. They put a KHL scrub on the top line with Evgeni Malkin and Ovechkin. They didn’t take any lessons from Adam Oates– either at even strength or the power play– to maximize Alex Ovechkin’s output. Russia gave Ovi the puck in neutral instead of setting him up in the offensive zone. They didn’t activate him on the power play. They had him playing out of position.  Ovi finishes the tournament with 24 shots, one goal, and a shedload of incoming bile.

It begins…

To his credit, Ovechkin took questions from the press, telling Corey Masisak, “It sucks. What else can I say?” Bobrovsky and Datsyuk later faced the press as well.

So that’s 50 billion dollars down the drain (yeah right). The medal that meant most to the host country has eluded them. Actually, that’s too passive voice. The Russian hockey team was not good enough to win a medal at their own Olympics. Not good enough on the roster, not good enough on the ice, not good enough individually, not good enough collectively.

This is gonna be bad. We’ll be tracking all of the fallout in an open post.

But for now, all aboard the USA bandwagon!

  • You could see this outcome a mile away after the brackets were announced.

  • Not mentioned in my recap: why the hell was Varly the starter?

  • JH

    Please, hockey gods, do not let Canada get the gold. USA USA USA…..

  • Jack Conness

    So disappointing. I am crushed. I hate seeing this. Ovi will now be absolutely demolished in the media. I CAN’T STAND Jeremy Roenick. The dude is a complete moron. Ovi is the biggest disappointment in Russian Olympic history? You’re a joke. Get over yourself. Are you going to bring up the fact he was a +2 in the Olympics? Probably not. But those stats mean so much to NBC when he is a -17 or whatever he is during the NHL season. Double standards people.

    Where was Malkin during the Olympics then? Flopping? No one want to talk about this? Just all on Ovi? C’mon man. This is extremely frustrating. Malkin wasn’t there either.

    And how about the Russian PP? I forgot Ovi is best when he is at the point. Jeez…that’s brutal. Put him at his spot and let him fire away.

    AND WHY DID VARLY START? Bob was lights out and should’ve gotten the start. Varly looked awful. Bob looked awesome at the end of the game. He should of played all along.

    At least I can just focus on the U.S. team now. But once again, disappointing. I feel for Ovi. I hope he can rebound when he is back with the Caps.

  • Diller M

    Gross….. Lets Go USA!!!! I was with the USA all along I swear.


    Russian machine broken – by the Finns. All Russian players, coaches, and the general manager will be relegated to the Gulag League…except those that Putin has shot.

  • William

    Here we go

  • kemiisto

    Gulag jokes are not funny for about 20 years.

  • Catherine__M

    I….did not actually see that coming. Uh-oh.
    (I still have Sweden getting gold, and am cheering for the home team because why not).

  • Mark

    I thought the Russian coaching was very suspect. They never seemed to utilized their skill properly. It looked like 20 individuals trying to win it alone.

    Now I hope it makes Ovi angry and he comes back here ready to destroy his opponents.

  • kemiisto

    Ovi is done. Forget about him.

  • Shawn Murphy

    hell I’ll take anyone over Canada at this point, and if Crosby shines it’ll be even more nightmarish.

  • Shawn Murphy


  • scrubversive

    And Russia’s coaching staff is getting ready to scapegoat plenty of blame onto Ovi. Woo.

  • Catherine__M

    I tried to find a picture of a velociraptor in a hockey uniform and skates…seemed relevant and could be uplifting, but to no avail. The internet has disappointed me today.

  • Matt Lauer

    I will simply point out the immense hypocrisy of a player who never won the Stanley Cup (JR) saying all this stuff about a current player. That is all.

  • bskillet

    Not a huge surprise, seems goalies are stealing the show a bit, hopefully Quick does the same and Carlson gets the game winner for Gold.

  • Diller M

    OR this new mature Ovi will be super fired up and will lead to CAPS to the CUP, scoring 70 goals and recording a positive (+-) in the process, just to say “F*** you NHL on NBC crew ad everyone at TSN”

  • Why do you doubt the 50 billion number? Don’t you know, in Soviet Russia, corruption has you.

  • Owen Johnson

    Then the narrative will be, “Dan Bylsma leads USA to Gold. Martin and Orpik play good defense.”

  • RT23

    Not sure I’ll add anything that hasn’t already been said but here goes.
    1. First I think I need to formally accuse Evgeny Malkin of Treason. (and I don’t care if I misspelled his name) The only explanation for his play is that he is more loyal to Crosby than to his country. His play was inexplicably bad and he seemed to go out of his way to avoid creating any opportunities for Ovi. He’s a Mole.

    2. Apparently Ovi isn’t better going back to left wing. Maybe Oates does get a few things right.

    3. Not sure that moving Semin was a bad move. Nothing was clicking with those three. Popov didn’t help but the broadcasters sure loved his work ethic. Semin at least created some opportunities for the third line.

    4. Other than a few goals I thought Kovalchuck looked horrible also. I know that sounds stupid because they needed the goals so badly but he did look terrible.

    5. Would have loved to see them try Datsyuk between 8 and 28 for at least a few shifts.

    6. WTF were they thinking with the powerplay? I only watched a few minutes of Sweden but they are killing it using Oates’ 1-3-1. Maybe they let Malkin the Traitor design the Russian PP. Again maybe we have to admit that Oates knows a little bit about hockey or at least the PP.

    7. I love Varly but starting him today was idiotic. Overall the coaching was inexplicable. No chemistry on any of the lines. Everyone standing around or cycling on the boards. With this talent they should have been flying up and down the ice. Boudreau style not Hunter Style.

    8. I’m convinced that before he fell hopelessly in love with Maria that Ovi must have slept with the wife, girlfriend, sister, mother and Great Aunt Louise of every single commentator on NBC. And I don’t mean “or” I mean “and” – every single woman in their lives. That is the only possible explanation for their hatred of him. He is the only player they singled out in any negative way at the end. Examle – Blaming him for shooting instead of trying a low percentage pass to Malkin on a give and go in which Malkin wasn’t open? What do you think they would have said if he had tried the pass and it failed? They would have ripped him for not shooting. I’m serious, I think he nailed every woman they cared about. It at least makes me feel better to think that he did so every time they criticize him he can just smile and remember….

    And now I’m watching USA and the Czechs fly up an down the ice the way that the Russians should have.

  • Rhino40

    We can hope so…

  • Guest

    I don’t always root for sports teams from Baltic States…

    but when I do, it’s for the Latvian hockey team.

  • Robert Mattsson

    Please don’t let any North American nation take the gold 🙂

  • RT23

    I don’t always root for sports teams from Baltic States…

    but when I do, it’s for the Latvian hockey team.

  • Guest

    I don’t always root for sports teams from Baltic States…

    but when I do, it’s for the Latvian Olympic hockey team.


    Joke? What joke? Didn’t you hear the armored buses warming up after the game? And awaaayyy they go!

  • Graham Dumas

    How hard were you all pulling for Latvia? I was almost dying watching the time tick down at work…

  • CapsKel

    Ovi and Malkin were both terrible. I think it was a mistake to put them on the same line, honestly.

  • CapsKel

    “Tiredness.” Bad, bad, mistake. Bob handles back-to-backs all the time.

  • CapsKel

    Fire the coach. Two Olympics, no medals.

  • CapsKel

    Wasn’t Ovi’s only goal with Semin on his wing? I think it was a good move in the sense that it helped the third line, but I don’t think Ovi and Malkin played any better without him. I think Ovi and Malkin was a bad combination. I would have split them up after the group stage.

  • Graham Dumas

    That’s a really insightful comment. I thought the same of Bykov in 2010. Are today’s Russian coaches a product of the highly inflexible Tikhonov days, perhaps?

  • RT23

    I agree. Ovi/Malkin wasn’t better without Semin. Semin was better without them. He was way too deferential with them. Everything was just one-touches to get it to one of the other two. On the 3rd line he started making things happen. By the end of the Norway game I was convinced that the only way to improve Ovi/Malkin was to remove Malkin.

  • Arian

    Yes. Hello. Tuukka Rask. Best Olympic goalie.

  • Fedor

    “Juhamatti Aaltonen of the KHL” — let me unsee it, please.
    2013-14 — Kärpät — Liiga

  • freaking wikipedia