Team Finland started well the first period, putting a lot of pressure over Varlamov. But despite a long 5-on-3 chance with Alexei Emelin and Dmitry Kulikov in the penalty box, the Finns didn't manage to score. With the teams back on even strength Kulikov had a good chance getting out of the sin bin, but he was hooked down by a defenceman, thus drawing a penalty for Bykov's team. On the consequent man advantage team Russia cycled well the puck, but couldn't get it into Vehanen's net.
Maxim Afinogenov News and Interviews
Team Russia released the preliminary roster for the upcoming 2010 World Championship, that will be played in Germany from May 7th to 23rd.. Bykov and Zakharkin made some changes from the LG Hockey Games line-up. The roster is made up of 11 NHL players and 12 KHL players. The team's captain isn't decided yet. Most likely the starting goaltender duties will be shared between Eremenko and Varlamov, with Koshechkin acting as third goalie.
Alexander Eremenko (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
Vasily Koshechkin (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
Semyon Varlamov (Washington Capitals)
Konstantin Korneev (CSKA Moscow)
Vitaly Atyushov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
Dmitriy Kalinin (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
Ilya Nikulin (Ak Bars Kazan)
Alexei Emelin (Ak Bars Kazan)
Denis Grebeshkov (Nashville Predators)
Dmitry Kulikov (Florida Panthers)
Maxim Afinogenov (Atlanta Thrashers)
Evgeny Artyukhin (Atlanta Thrashers)
Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Alexander Semin (Washington Capitals)
Alexei Tereschenko (Ak Bars Kazan)
Artem Anisimov (New York Rangers)
Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey Devils)
Nikolai Kulemin (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Maxim Sushinsky (SKA St. Petersburg)
Sergei Mozyakin (Atlant Mytischi)
Sergei Fedorov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
Viktor Kozlov (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
Alexander Frolov (Los Angeles Kings)
Alexander Svitov (Avangard Omsk)
The 2010 Olympic Hockey Tournament has probably been the biggest disappointing ever for Team Russia. The early quarterfinal elimination against Team Canada was the worst result ever.
As soon as the tournament was over for Russia, we published the Top 5 reasons for this fail, now RussianHockeyFans.com judged all the players on the roster.
Team Russia lost 7-3 to Team Canada in the 2010 Olympic Tournament's quarterfinal.
A goal by Ryan Getzlaf gave the Canadians an early lead. Team Russia didn't use a powerplay chance and Dan Boyle made it a 2-0 game at the twelfth. Rick Nash scored the 3-0 goal some seconds later with a quick counterattack.
But the Russians didn't give up and with a blue line shot by Dmitriy Kalinin cut down Canada's lead after fourteen minutes.
After a good scoring chance wasted by Ilya Kovalchuk, Brendan Morrow restore Team Canada's three-goal lead with less than two minutes to go in the first period.
Not much later Maxim Afinogenov with a nice shot scored the second goal of the game for the Russians, but midway through the game Corey Perry scored again after a neutral zone error by Sergei Zinoviev.
Russia added one goal to the count with a blue line slapshot by Sergei Gonchar to finish the second period 7-3.
In the third period team Russia tried hard and got a big chance with Evgeni Malkin, but they didn't manage to shift the momentum.
With this win Canada advances to the semifinals, where they will face Slovakia.
Team Russia » Ovechkin-Datsyuk-Semin, Kovalchuk-Malkin-Afinogenov and other lines at Team Russia practice
The Russian team practiced for the second time in Vancouver.
According to the Russian channel "Russia 2" the lines were:
Ovechkin - Datsyuk - Semin, Grebeshkov - Korneev.
Kovalchuk - Malkin - Afinogenov, Gonchar - Tyutin.
Zaripov - Zinoviev - Morozov, Markov - Nikulin.
Radulov - Fedorov - Kozlov, Kalinin - Volchenkov.
"I was sure that our line would look like that", said Evgeni Malkin to Russia 2. "I agree with the coaches, it's an optimal combination".
"I supposed that our line would look like that because we played together during the Olympic camp", Ilya Kovalcuk told Russia 2. "It is a good, interesting and dynamic line. I think if we try hard we can be very useful to the team."
Translation by RussianHockeyFans.com
The official Russian Hockey Federation site has released Team Russia's roster for the Olympics in Vancouver.
Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks, NHL
Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix Coyotes, NHL
Semyon Varlamov, Washington Capitals, NHL
Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens, NHL
Ilya Nikulin, Ak Bars, KHL,
Dmitriy Kalinin, Salavat Yulaev, KHL
Konstantin Korneev, CSKA, KHL,
Denis Grebeshkov, Edmonton Oilers, NHL
Fedor Tyutin, Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL
Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL
Anton Volchenkov, Ottawa Senators, NHL
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings, NHL
Sergei Fedorov, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL
Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta Thrashers, NHL
Maxim Afinogenov, Atlanta Thrashers, NHL
Danis Zaripov, Ak Bars, KHL
Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals, NHL
Sergei Zinoviev, Salavat Yulaev, KHL
Alexander Radulov, Salavat Yulaev, KHL
Viktor Kozlov, Salavat Yulaev, KHL
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, NHL
Alexei Morozov, Ak Bars, KHL
Russia's coaches Vyacheslav Bykov and Igor Zakharkin call this roster 'preliminary' and say that the final roster will be known on the 15th of February.
9 out of 23 players represent the KHL which makes its slightly less than 40%.
4 players come from Salavat Yulaev of the KHL, the team coached by Bykov and Zakharkin.
Habs' Andrei Markov and Thrashers' Maxim Afinogenov liked joke when they played for Dynamo Moscow of the KHL in the 2004/05 season, according to their former partner Yakov Rylov.
Rylov gave an interview to Russian site sports.ru where he recollected some stories with Markov and Afinogenov. RussianHockeyFans.com offers you a translation of some parts of the interview.
"Once Max Afinogenov made a bad pass and [Dynamo's head coach] Krikunov exclaimed: "What are you, blind?". The following day the team gathered in a room for the game analysis. Max took a seat in the first row and put on strong glasses. You know, the ones that enlarge your eyes considerably. Krikunov came in and started laughing.
At one moment there were rumors that Mikhail Grabovskiy (now playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs) would get traded from Neftekhimik to Dynamo. First he was expected to come right at that moment, then he was expected to come after the season. So one day there was a practice and Markov and Afinogenov were skating in jerseys with Grabovskiy's surname on the back."
Darryl Dobbs, a popular The Hockey News writer, wrote on his blog about Maxim Afinogenov's very good start this year in a new scenario, opposed to the last two years' bad numbers.
The Moscow native signed this summer a one year deal with the Atlanta Thrashers worth a relative low amount of $800,000.
The shifty Russian had 134 points in 133 games for the Sabres between 2005 and 2007. In 2007-08, he was pretty much a write-off due to injury and then last campaign he got off to a slow start. In this case, Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff didn’t have a whole lot of patience. And who would? Afinogenov was coughing up the puck on a regular basis and was also snake-bitten in the scoring department.
Things are different in Atlanta. Coach John Anderson didn’t have many weapons in his arsenal and had to use what he was given.
So despite posting just three points in six games (and a minus-4) to kick off the campaign, Afinogenov was allowed to play through it. Patience – in the case of both the team and the player, it’s what low expectations buy you. That patience has made the Thrashers a multi-line threat.
Afinogenov now has 20 points in 20 games and is back to his old, productive self. He has played more than 56 games just twice in the past seven years, including 36 games during the lockout, so injuries are still a concern, but he’s a safe bet to remain close to a point per game. Pencil him in for 70 games (to play it safe) and 66 to 71 points.
On another THN feature, Brian Duff put Afinogenov as #1 amont the "one year deal wonders" of this season.
Afinogenov's early-season surge will prove to be a turning point for Thrashers GM Don Waddell, who could use a few deals/contracts to go his way.
After showing up for only the first year of his final three-year deal in Buffalo, crazy legs Max appeared destined for the Kontinental League or anywhere but the NHL after an embarrassing six-goal, 20-point season.