Russia Eliminated, Coach points finger at Ovechkin

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Updated: February 19, 2014
ovechkin-malkin-first-line-team-russia

The Russian Federation was stunningly eliminated today from the Olympic hockey tournament after a 3-1 quarter-final loss to Finland.  The quarterfinal ouster marks the second consecutive Olympics in which Russia made an early exit.   It is even more stinging for the Russian people because of the hosting of this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  No doubt, with the undying love of hockey in Russia, the failure of the hockey club to win the gold is more disappointing than any event, sport, or individual in the Olympics.  In fact, for many Russian, hockey was the only portion of the Olympics that really mattered.

As for Washington Capitals’ superstar Alexander Ovechkin, he had 24 shots on goal, scoring on his very first shot, 77 seconds into his Olympic performance.  After that, Ovi went scoreless in 23 shots.  Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov wasn’t shy in pointing a finger at Ovechkin.

“I can not explain.” why Ovechkin scored only one goal

As for Ovechkin, heartbreak is the only true feeling he has right now.

“It sucks,” Ovechkin said, per NHL.com’s Corey Masisak. “What else can I say?”

“I don’t know. That’s a big question,” Ovechkin admitted to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman. “It’s tough. It’s the second Olympic Games that we lost in that kind of game and it’s bad.

“Team fight, team play ’til the end and nobody gave up, but we didn’t score second goal and it was pretty hard.”

As for Caps fans, we all hope that the early ouster from the Olympics this year does not lead to similar results for Ovechkin upon his return to the NHL after a horrible 7-3 loss to Canada in Vancouver in 2010.   Pittsburgh Penguin Evgeni Malkin struggled as well, posting 1 goal and 2 assists, that’s it.  Two of the big stars failed to produce for Team Russia.  That’s the bottom line.

We shall soon see.