Whereas beating up on Germany might not sound like a giant deal, it confirmed that the Russians aren’t taking their foot off the gasoline within the Czech Republic. This workforce nonetheless seems like a gold-medal favourite.Grigori Denisenko|Andrew ChanTASS by way of Getty ImagesOSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Heading into the event, I noticed Russia as a gold-medal favourite, together with america. The Russians had all the things you’d need in a roster and actually the one query revolved round goaltending: would 17-year-old phenom Yaroslav Askarov be the starter, or would veteran coach Valeri Bragin depend on the older Amir Miftakhov?
Because it seems, each ended up taking part in within the spherical robin and whereas each had their ups and downs, it appears like Askarov might certainly win this entire factor whereas Miftakhov might additionally get the job executed if want be.
As for the remainder of the workforce? Seeing their masterful destruction of Germany within the ultimate round-robin sport confirmed that Russia has what it takes to run the desk right here.
“After we play easy,” mentioned middle and Minnesota Wild choose Alexander Khovanov, “when everybody is aware of their roles, it’s rather more simple.”
Now, you could suppose that waxing Germany proves little, however this was not your typical relegation round-bound opponent. Germany boasts some high-end NHL expertise (led by Detroit Crimson Wings prospect defenseman Moritz Seider, who nonetheless seems like the true deal) and a pair extra potential first-round picks this summer season. Additionally they had a victory over the host Czechs on their resume – a workforce Russia misplaced to earlier within the event.
However the New 12 months’s Eve sport was not shut. Russia held the puck within the offensive zone for lengthy stretches and the workforce’s expert forwards ran wild, with Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Kirill Marchenko tallying two objectives and 5 factors within the 6-1 wipeout. Vegas Golden Knights choose Pavel Dorofyev additionally had a pair and captain Grigori Denisenko (FLA) scored too, so everybody goes proper now.
Not solely that, however the protection gave little away both. Russia surrendered simply 23 photographs on internet and the one purpose by Nino Kinder got here within the third on a play when Askarov made an Authentic Six-style diving poke-check try that went awry. One specific spotlight for the ‘D’ was Montreal Canadiens prospect Alexander Romanov crushing 2020 draft prospect J.J. Peterka with a giant hit on the defensive blueline within the second interval. So sure, heavy hockey is in proper now.
“It’s our power – we are able to play arduous and we’ve bought some massive guys on our workforce,” mentioned energy ahead Egor Sokolov. “It was actually essential for us to crash the online and rating on the ability play too, clearly. It introduced our confidence up and now we’re prepared for the quarterfinal.”
If there was any nitpicking to do from an outsider’s perspective, the Russians did take quite a few penalties towards the Germans – it simply didn’t occur to matter on that specific night time. Having mentioned that, Marchenko nonetheless believes this workforce can get higher.
“After all self-discipline is vital, however we’ve got plenty of issues to enhance on,” he mentioned via a translator. “All our opponents will likely be harder now.”
It begins with the Swiss within the quarterfinal, a program that has generally given Russia suits prior to now. Something can occur within the quarterfinal of the world juniors (simply ask Canada), so the Russians can not take the Swiss flippantly. However the Massive Crimson Machine does have a press release win over Canada and a few constructive momentum from the German sport to work with. They’re massive, they’re proficient and so they’re skilled and at this level, I wouldn’t guess towards them.
“We’re in a very good place proper now,” mentioned Sokolov. “We’re able to go and we’re going to maintain rolling.”
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Tags: vegas golden knights, prospects, florida panthers, minnesota wild, columbus blue jackets, world junior championship, draftConnect: In regards to the AuthorRyan KennedyRyan Kennedy is the affiliate senior author and draft/prospect knowledgeable at The Hockey Information. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all known as his home. He lives in Toronto together with his spouse and children the place he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.