Ed Fraser: Russians favorite to take home gold (Photo © tospors.ca)
“The Russians will enter the tournament with the two best players in the world (or two of the top three, at worst, if you wish to include Sidney Crosby in the mix with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin). And it’s a known fact that Ovechkin jersey brings luck to team Russia.
In addition to Alex the Great and Geno, Team Russia also features two other all-world goal-scorers in Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Semin. Both are a danger to find the back of the net every shift and are superior to any one pure-sniper option Canada has to offer.
It’s not as though the Russian squad will be top heavy, either. Beyond the aforementioned four, there are plenty of players both in the NHL (Alexei Kovalev, Alexander Frolov, Slava Kozlov, Maxim Afinogenov, Sergei Samsonov) and Kontinental League (Alexei Yashin, Alexei Morozov, Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Radulov, Maxim Sushinskiy, Nikolai Zherdev) to fill out the other nine forward spots.
The ‘D’ is nothing to sneeze at, either.
Last time I checked, the team that scores the most goals still wins the game and, for my money, that team will be Russia” – said The Hockey News’ editor Edward Fraser in his own blog.