Recently, the hockey community did just that, was surprised, puzzled, made guesses and generally engaged in versions. Oleg Znarok is still listed as the head coach of SKA, as his assistant Hariys Vitolins, in the Russian national team at Znarka contract until May 30, but he’s already three weeks out of business as a consultant on vacation. If the coach who led the national team to Olympic gold, there was no conflict with the leadership of the SKA and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, why would such a suddenness, accompanied by the silence of the main figure and the vague explanations of the hockey bosses?
We were offered to adjust quickly, not to make assumptions, concentrate on preparing the national team and support the acting. head coach Ilya Vorobyov. Permanent assistant Znarka put before the fact at the last stage of preparation, and Ilya Petrovich hit the pool with his head. Not that he was completely out of the loop – after all, quite a long time at the headquarters of the national team. But everything happened too unexpectedly, and the process of forming a team from a relatively planned instant turned into force majeure. You can say as much as you want that the more or less optimal composition is collected only by the end of April, that unavoidable and permanent changes do not give a complete idea of the team’s capabilities, that the head coach-debutant should be given the opportunity to get comfortable, but …
Team Russia with a fairly updated coaching staff (as assistants to Vorobyov was joined not sniffing gunpowder at the international level Alexei Kudashov and Anvar Gatiyatulin) lost five matches in a row (!) In the two final stages of Eurotour. And only in the final game of the Swedish game with the Czech team managed to win in half with a sin. I do not remember anything like this even in a period of timelessness. To reduce the sad results exclusively to the working training moment is not very correct: the Russian team, even if its composition changes to the beginning of the championship and even during it changes, after similar feats in the final stage of preparation, if it did not fail the decisive battle, then it did not get to the titles.
At least half the foundation Ilya Vorobiev already had in the Czech Republic and almost two-thirds – in Stockholm. It’s another matter what kind of two-thirds it was and what further strengthening was expected. By the time the composition was announced, it was finally clear that there was still no one to strengthen.
Tabout that the only player of the team with a star status was the captain appointed 39-year-old center forward Pavel Datsyuk, in itself speaks volumes. There would be no objection if they announced in advance: the planned headquarters replacement, the main task of the season in Pyeongchang was fulfilled, we are bringing to Copenhagen a young and hungry to victories team. So no, we wanted to do without drastic changes, but in the end it turned out to be neither two nor one and a half.
To begin with, it turned out that the most valuable player of the Olympic tournament, sign striker Ilya Kovalchuk and the defense team of the Olympic team Vyacheslav Voinov will not help the team. Both are going to return to the overseas league, Kovalchuk generally has everything on the ointments, but that’s hardly the case. There was not a clear explanation – it is believed that the decision is a joint with the coaching staff. Center forward Vadim Shipachev forgot by default. With the best sniper of domestic hockey Sergey Mozyakin, the former headquarters seemed to be negotiating. From the present, neither to him, nor to his former partner in Magnitogorsk, Danis Zaripov, who became a five-time winner of the Gagarin Cup in Ak Bars, did not receive any offers.
Several potential transatlantic rescuers were already free. Alexander Radulov held a qualitative season, “Dallas” in the playoffs did not hit, “Tasmanian devil” was free, but, as is usual with Radulov and happens in recent years, the invitation to the team forward ignored. Waiting for the retired from the playoff stars – goalkeeper Sergei Bobrovsky, strikers Vladimir Tarasenko and Artemy Panarin, as well as defenders Ivan Provorov and Nikita Zadorov, but someone was prevented from injury, someone was tired.
If the list of candidates was replenished with overseas assistance, it was mainly due to the “second echelon” – with the possible exception of the forward of “Florida” Eugene Dadonov and the defender of “Toronto” Nikita Zaitsev. By the time of the preliminary application, there were six foreign players in the squad, three of them were debutants of the world championship. Regarding whether Stanley Cup will be waiting for any of the fighters in the Cup – first of all Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Evgeni Malkin and Nikita Kucherov, – the explanations for the headquarters of the national team were followed by vague ones: neither “yes” nor ” no “was not said.
Nor was the situation better with local cadres. Surprisingly, there was not one representative of Ak Bars, who just won the Gagarin Cup. Yes, the legionary link did the weather in the final, but the best play-off goalkeeper – and quite deservedly – was Emil Garipov, the best sniper was Stanislav Galiev, who returned from overseas, did not spoil the creative center-forward Vladimir Tkachev. The last two looked decent in the only match won by the Russian national team of Eurotour, but they did not get invitations with the phrase “they are tired”. I do not remember that Tkachev and Galiyev talked about fatigue, and even more so that they “have no emotions left”. Immediately followed a reasonable question: what, who played in the finals CSKA hockey players, as well as the St. Petersburg army team, unlike the “leopards” who spoke at the Olympics, were less tired?
Going to Denmark army Olympians was 15 people. Not 23, as it was in Pyeongchang, but also a fair amount. Ilya Vorobyev, who is also cited as SKA’s mentor, may have already become a hostage to the choice. About his future in the team, the vice-president of FHR Roman Rotenberg did not say anything definite: “Now all thoughts about our country, about our team”. Those who care about the country will not have to answer for anything. Unlike the same Ilya Vorobyov.
What in the end? As a result, there were 26 hockey players in the list, the application is limited to 25. In the preliminary composition of 14 Olympic champions, including the goalkeeper’s Olympic team in full: Vasily Koshechkin, Ilya Sorokin, Igor Shesterkin. Of the 13 debutants of the world championships, too, four “not tired” gold medalists Pyeongchang.
The price of these medals will be checked in Copenhagen and Herning, where the main competitors are brought by mighty, not like Olympic ones, compositions.
DFor the first time, it takes the primacy of peace. Russia interrupted the first attempt to get it with the help of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who unexpectedly appeared at the International Ice Hockey Federation Congress in Bratislava in the spring of 2011, delivered a fiery speech and ensured the victory of Russia’s bid for the 2016 World Cup, Denmark and Ukraine . Then even Vladimir Vladimirovich just got used to hockey, not like now.
By the way. The first match of the group stage of the Russian team is held on May 4 with France, the third – on May 7 with Belarus. This is painfully reminiscent of the infamous 2000 championship in St. Petersburg, which opened in the presence of Vladimir Putin, also a match with France, but was closed without him. Because on the day of that, the first inauguration on May 7, the star team of Russia lost for the fourth time in a row – and it was the brothers-Belarusians, two days later having completed their inglorious path at home championship.
I’m not hinting at anything. I only warn that ready to be everything.