Team Russia, the host country of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, announced its roster for Men’s Ice Hockey. The Russians are seeking their first gold medal in Olympic competition since NHL players began playing at the games. Winning it in front of their home fans would be a great accomplishment for the players chosen.
The Russian roster is comprised of 15 players from the National Hockey League and 10 players that are playing in the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League).
Here is the roster:
GOALIES: Sergei Bobrovsky, Semyon Varlamov, Alexander Eremenko
FORWARDS: Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Radulov, Viktor Tikhonov, Artem Anisimov, Nikolai Kulemin, Valeri Nichushkin, Denis Kokarev, Alexander Popov, Sergein Soin, Alexei Tereshchenko, Vladimir Tarasenko
DEFENSEMAN: Andrei Markov, Nikita Nikitin, Fedor Tyutin, Slava Voynov, Anton Belov, Alexei Emelin, Yvegeny Medvedev, Ilya Nikulin
The Russians are looking to bounce back from the last Olympic games where they lost in the quarterfinals to Canada. The team is not lacking in star power and elite offensive talent. The leaders of this group are Datsyuk, Ovechkin, Malkin and Kovalchuk. The Russians are as creative as any other team that is going to be at this tournament. This groups biggest asset will be to use the big ice surface to their advantage and cycle the puck in the offensive zone.
Goaltending looks to be a strong point on this team as well. The tandem of Bobrosky, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in the NHL, and Varlamov will need to play at the top of their game in order to give the Russians a chance at gold.
A big question regarding the Russian team though is whether or not they will succumb to the enormous pressure of playing on home ice. Will they be able to put all the distractions aside and just be able to focus on playing hockey. They have the talent to win, it is just a matter of them putting it all together in a short tournament to be successful.