You’re not going to score 8 goals on Roberto Luongo.
Canada finished off Russia 7-3 in a game that was physical the entire 60 minutes. At some times the physical play crossed into dirty territory.
Russia’s open style of play and lack of All-Star caliber defensemen led to its downfall. As opposed to the Swiss, who tied Canada 2-2 before succumbing in a shootout, the Russians chose to run n’ gun with Canada’s best. Bad decision.
If Canada plays with the intensity & team chemistry they showed tonight, they will not lose another game. Everyone knew they had the best players coming into the tourney. With the exception of Ryan Miller on team USA(and even that is arguable), team Canada has the best players at all positions. They just have lacked chemistry up until now.
If you want stats check out: http://www.nhl.com/scores/index.html
Now let’s talk about the rough stuff:
Towards the end of the 3rd, Alexander Semin took a Patrick Kaleta type run at Defenceman Dan Boyle. Boyle followed Semin, glanced at the referee & applied the slew-foot takedown in the high slot. The fact that there’s essentially no fighting in Olympic hockey allows players to pull crazy stunts like this with no fear of repercussions. I’m pointing the finger at both of these guys even though people might be quick to first blame the Russian. Dan Boyle’s not exactly a tough-man himself, so they’re both acting out of their usual NHL character.
In a scene caught by the cameras but not referees, Ryan Getzlaf got an elbow to the face while screaming in Evgeni Malkin’s ear. Getzlaf was on the bench, while Malkin stood on the ice. This is another scenario that would not occur or be tolerated in the NHL.
Sergei Fedorov likely took his final Olympic skate for the Russians. Canada outshot Russia 42:28. Corey Perry scored 2 for The Great White North, while Rick Nash, Getzlaf, Dan Boyle, Shea Weber, & Brendan Morrow also chipped in goals.
Evgeni Nabokov was pulled at 6-1, and replaced by Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov was the only winner in the Russians locker room, as he won his game vs. Canada 2-1. I may be wrong, but I think Scott Niedermayer played all 60 minutes for team Canada. He seemed to be out there every time I looked.
Sidney Crosby wants to win. His intensity can be seen and felt. I don’t think he plays any harder for Team Canada than he does for Pittsburgh, but his effort is noteworthy.
I have not seen 2nd seed Sweden play at all in this tournament, so I cannot judge if they’re ready for Team Canada. However, judging by Sweden’s prelim goal output(2,3,4), they cannot afford more than 3 goals vs. Team Canada. I believe that if the Red Leaf plays with the chemistry, passion & physicality we saw tonight, they’re going to strike gold.
Sabre Notes: Dmitri Kalinin scored Russia’s First goal with a screened floater from the point. Max Afinogenov scored Russia’s 2nd goal of the night.