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Team Russia latest news: Fedorov misses practice, Kovalchuk out of Malkin’s line, Nabokov to start against Czechs

Team Russia latest news: Fedorov misses practice, Kovalchuk out of Malkin's line, Nabokov to start against Czechs

Team Russia latest news: Fedorov misses practice, Kovalchuk out of Malkin’s line, Nabokov to start against Czechs (Photo © Shaun Best, Reuters)

Here is the latest news from the Russian team at the Olympic Games 2010 in Vancouver.

Evgeny Nabokov will start in the game against the Czech Republic
Igor Zakharkin, Russian coach to Pavel Lysenkov of SovSport: “We think that with Nabokov in the net our players feel more confident.”

Sergei Fedorov missed a practice
Zakharkin: “Fedorov has an individual program. But he’s alright, there is no injury.”

New lines in the game against the Czech Republic
Zakharkin: “Maybe we are going to swap the center forwards. We think that Kovalchuk’s efficiency should be higher. We remember what chemistry Malkin and Kovalchuk had at the World Championship 2008, but two years have passed and they are different players now, their styles changed too. There is a bit of imbalance on the Kovalchuk-Malkin-Afinogenov line. We hope to fix it.”

Only first three shootout players were known beforehand in the game against the Slovaks
Zakharkin: “We knew who would have first three shootout attempts, but when it went on… Bykov has a good intuition, but this time it didn’t work. We hoped that the game wouldn’t get to the shootout. Now we are going to make a list of players beforehand.”

New power play lines
According to Mikhail Zislis of Sport-Express, the new power play lines look like this:
1. Alexander Ovechkin – Pavel Datsyuk – Evgeni Malkin, Kovalchuk – Gonchar
2. Alexander Semin – Viktor Kozlov – Alexander Radulov, Andrei Markov – Ilya Nikulin.
Ovechkin and Radulov were positioned in front of the goalie, screening him.

Update: Team Russia’s coaches swap Malkin with Datsyuk
According to sports.ru, the new top two lines look like this:
1. Alexander Ovechkin – Evgeni Malkin – Alexander Semin, Sergei Gonchar – Fedor Tyutin.
2. Ilya Kovalchuk – Pavel Datsyuk – Maxim Afinogenov, Konstantin Korneev – Denis Grebeshkov.
The other two lines remain the same:
3. Alexei Morozov – Sergei Zinoviev – Danis Zaripov, Ilya Nikulin – Andrei Markov.
4. Viktor Kozlov – Sergei Fedorov – Alexander Radulov, Dmitriy Kalinin – Anton Volchenkov.

Translation by RussianHockeyFans.com

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