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.
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 .
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.
The Caps desperately wanted to break their two-game slide that has followed their epic winning streak. They played a disciplined, almost subdued games tonight, but that restraint did not bring them a win. Tied from the end of the 2nd period, tonight’s game in St. Louis went all the way to the shootout, where David Perron deflected a puck off of Jose’s back for the winning shot. Blues beat Caps 4-3.
At least we got a point.
Here come your last bullets for a few weeks:
And then Stevie Y announced the Defenseman.
We heard Dan Boyle and Drew Doughty. Then Duncan Keith and Scott Niedermayer. Next was Chris Pronger and Brent Seabrook. And then… the 7th and final defenseman… Shea Weber?
After all the days that have passed since, we here at RMNB have still struggled to understand how Canada’s Best Defenseman, Mike Green, was left off the roster. Even as recently as Friday Night during the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, I professed to Daniel that Mike Green’s Defensive Acumen was at worst an 8 out of 10 – but more realistically a 9. And I said “EASILY” too. This prompted Daniel to investigate my claims as he was quite suspicious. Below are Daniel’s findings. How has Mike Green stacked up against his fellow countrymen and the rest of the NHL this year? See for yourself below the jump. You might be surprised.
Fedor, our dear Russian who never sleeps, noticed this mammoth interview between Sport Express journalist Slava Malamud and Alex Ovechkin two nights ago, which was done right before the Washington/Montreal game. This is Part II of their interview translated. You can check out Part I that we published yesterday here.
Alex Ovechkin “Lundqvist is the coolest”
Slava Malamud– What about Canada?
Alex Ovechkin – Why do I have to think about Canada? Why not the Czech Republic?
SM – Russia – Canada is the trademark of hockey. Hockey as a sport would be absolutely different without that rivalry.
AO – I don’t disagree that everyone’s dreaming about these two teams in the final. But we have a situation where to dream is to damage. We can’t dream, we must play “at this moment”. Moment by moment.
SM – Pretty Canadian ideology. By the way, Don Cherry says again and again that you have a Canadian spirit and that all his countrymates should try to become like you.
AO – I’m Russian. I’m not a Canadian.
SM – You were told that you’re a “hit-n-run” player.
AO – It was just figuratively speaking, it was a joke. I’m “shoot-n-run”…? Seriously, I don’t like this perception. Was Wayne Gretzky “hit-n-run”. Or Mario Lemieux? Or Jarome Iginla? Or Crosby? Why are all Canadians called “hit-n-run”? Let’s not make this thing simpler than it is.
SM – By the way, about Crosby. You have much more assists than him even though he’s a centerman [Ed. Note – Really he’s centerBABY]. You’re one of the League Leaders in assists. But in Torino you didn’t have one. What happened?
AO – I just shoot and teammates score on the rebounds.
SM – Let’s continue about Crosby. Vancouver may be your last chance to prove that you’re better than him outright.
AO – I’ll try to do it, if God will allow us to play in the finals. But really, I want to win more than to prove something.
SM – Short tournaments often are won by the goalies. Whom are you afraid of?
AO – First of all – Brodeur. And the other Canadian – Luongo. When he played in the West i had problems with him.
SM – But others? If someone needs to depend on a goalie, they are not the favorites. Like Hasek and Czechs in 98.
AO – But why, for example, Swedes are not favorites? OK, I’ll name their goalie – Lundqvist. I know him better than others and i think he’s the coolest.
Keep reading: Ovechkin makes an Olympics Guarantee!
The Washington Capitals officially have a defensive crisis. Despite an offensive onslaught, the Capitals allowed (at least) one too many goals in tonight’s match-up with the Senators. With Tom Poti and Shaone Morrisonn out, Karl Alzner and Tyler Sloan did their best to fill in. They failed. The defense seemed incapable of winning battles in the corners or clearing the puck, and the offense seemed too concerned with goal-scoring to be bothered with work in their own zone. These are not new problems for the Caps, but they have worsened in the last five or six games. Led by Alexei Kovalev and Jason Spezza, Ottawa seized on the Capitals’ weakness to win the night. Sens Beat Caps 6-5.
Fedor saw this mammoth interview between Sport Express journalist Slava Malamud and Alex Ovechkin, which was done right before the Canadiens game last night. This is Part I of their interview translated. Part II will come tomorrow!
“My best goal was against Brodeur”
Slava Malamud – You’re still playing games in the NHL but Olympics are getting closer and closer. And very soon your friends and teammates will become rivals, rivals will become friends…
Alex Ovechkin – Yeah, pretty funny feelings. I look at the guys in the locker room and unintentionally think that we’ll play against each other soon. And we’ll play hard. And we’ll struggle against each other. Pretty strange, yes.
SM– How do you get yourself focused before the important games or tournaments?
AO – Nothing special. I go there and play. Goalies have some weird traditions, but goalies are not like the other people. But I like to listen to good music before the game. I put some good hip-hop and think about the game. But usually if you like some music, it will tune you in right. For example, it’s more fun to warm up with music than without it. That’s all.
SM – Are your feelings getting worked up? Even now, a few days before the Olympics?
AO – Sure I’m feeling that I will come to Vancouver very soon. I’ll represent my country and, obviously, I’ve been thinking about it.
SM – But what’s your thoughts? You have something to remember – Torino, Quebec…
AO – No, the last Olympiad is over. I never think about it. And not only because we didn’t have success there. We had some good games there. But why do we have to remember the past?
SM – To learn from it. For example, Pavel Datsyuk said that team was going limp psychologically after the win over Canada.
AO – I have another point of view, but it’s ok. Everyone can to have his own. I don’t want to remember it.
SM – But there were not only bad things, for example, you scored against Brodeur…
AO – Yeah, it was the best goal in my career. Number one!
SM – You put it higher than unbelievable goal against the Coyotes? Higher than pirouette goal against the Canadiens? Higher than all your hat-tricks?
AO – Sure. That was very important and then I played for my country.
SM – But do you have an ideal goal? Goal of your dreams?
AO – I don’t want to dream about an ideal goal. I will remember it better once I have scored it. But an ideal goal… how about an empty netter at the last second. It’s the easiest, and the win is guaranteed.
Keep reading: Alexander talks smack about Canada after the jump!
On January 12th, 2010, the Washington Capitals got smacked down by the Tampa Bay Lightning. That game was marked by a lack of focus, weak goalie performance, and an insufficient will to win. It was only Alex Ovechkin’s fourth game as Captain, so the loss might have hit him hard (see Bradley stealing his fight). Something about that 7-4 scrubbing might have woken the team up. Maybe that loss was the impetus for the 14-game winning streak that followed.
In honor of The Streak (R.I.P.), the Russian Machine takes a fond look back at how it all came together.
The Montreal Canadiens have done what a dozen teams could not do: end the Washington Capitals record-shattering win streak. The game felt like a trap from the opening minute when Scott Gomez triangulated a goal on Michal Neuvirth. It was the second period, however, when everything went pear-shaped. In that period the Caps had only one goal (by Nick Backstrom) to answer a whopping four from Montreal.
Entering the final frame, the Capitals faced a 3-goal deficit. Mike Green erased one of those marks in the first minutes, followed by Brooks Laich nine minutes later. After relying on back-up goalie Jose Theodore to defuse the surging Montreal offense, the Caps waited until the final minute of play to even it up. Employing a gentle deflection, Brooks Laich evened the game up, earned his first hat trick, and secured a guarantee of at least one point.
But then Tomas Plekanec proved to be one man too many for the overwhelmed Caps defense. Before we even had a moment to process it, the streak had ended. Habs beat Caps 6-5. Wah wah wah.
Now’s the part where we blame people:
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