2010 Olympics: Russia – Czech Republic preview (Photo © Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Team Russia‘s opponent in the third round robin match of the 2010 Olympic Tournament will be team Czech Republic. The Czechs, lead by the evergreen Jaromir Jagr, feature a very good lineup with plenty of NHL caliber players.
Russia has to skate past Czech Republic in order to secure the first seed in the Group B and get a bye into the quarterfinals. The Czechs are on the top of the standings with six points in two games. The Slovaks follow with five points, but they played three games.
Team Russia will try hard to put the 1-2 defeat against Slovakia in the past. “It’s always tough to lose, but it’s good to have it happen now in the tournament,” Alexander Ovechkin told espn.com.
Most likely team Russia’s lineup will undergo many changes. Vyacheslav Bykov will swap Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk. “We try different combinations”, said Bykov to sportbox.ru, “so that it would be possible to vary the lines if necessary.”
With this changes Ovechkin and Malkin will be paired together. “I think that now in our line there will be more speed and physical play”, Ovechkin told Sovietskiy Sport. “We have to play our game and try not to do too much, or we won’t be successfull.”
Evgeny Nabokov is going to get another start after the first win over Latvia, while Sergei Fedorov is going to play after missing a practice.
The puck is going to be dropped at the local 12 AM.