On Saturday night, the hopes and dreams of a once proud hockey nation went out with a whimper as the not so mighty #RedMachine was once again sent home early from a best of tournament. Usually a role reserved for Finland, the Russians were eliminated from contention against old foes Canada in this years edition of disappointment.
Canada capitalized in the first period thanks in part to what I believe was an attempt at defense by Dmitry Kulikov and relied heavily on clear team MVP, Sergei Bobrovsky who kept the opposition at bay. Russia drew three penalties in a 5 minute span yet the score remained unchanged. He finished with 42 saves.
The sleepwalking of the first period continued through the second after numerous man advantages went by the way side until Nikita Kucherov gave Russia the shot in the arm it needed. Evgeny Kuznetsov’s goal would give Russia the lead few envisioned and it looked like for once this team was actually going to show up at a major tournament.
That dream died quickly as the Canadians tied it within one minute. Onto the third we went where it all went to hell for Russia as the Canadians scored three unanswered goals to punch their ticket to the final. For Russia it was another failure in the eyes of many as the superstars of the NHL could not deliver. What’s next for this team is anyone’s guess but they did give a semi valiant effort for 8 minutes or so. With the conclusion of the tournament for our boys now set we can begin looking forward to the start of the NHL season.