- Yahoo Sports12 days ago
SOCHI, Russia – Julia Lipnitskaia's coach blamed the Russian media's intense coverage of the teen figure skating star for her subpar performance in the Sochi Olympics figure skating competition.
Eteri Tutberidze said reporters bugged the locker room at Lipnitskaia's practice rink in Moscow with listening devices after the 15-year-old left the Winter Games to train for the ladies individual competition. The coach also accused the media of stalking Lipnitskaia's family in her hometown of Nizhny Bardym, a village in the Ural Mountains with a population of just 300.
Tutberidze said the media coverage got so bad that Lipnitskaia had to be evacuated from the practice rink every night to escape reporters. Also, Lipnitskaia had to be booked on numerous flights in order to keep her travel itinerary a secret from the press.
The coach spoke out against the media circus on Thursday after Lipnitskaia fell twice in her long program and finished in fifth place.
"We thought we had a chance here to go back to Moscow to practice at our pace," Tutberidze said. "But journalists just didn't give us a chance to be left alone.
- Puck Daddy12 days ago
SOCHI, Russia – “They look like the Russians,” someone said in the mixed zone as American players were walking to their locker rooms, head down, long faces, empty eyes.
The reference, of course, was about the Russian loss to Finland in the quarterfinal of the Sochi Games. And this was said yesterday after the loss to Canada, not today.
It’s something that stuck with me – the two teams that are rivals, yet seem to have so much in common. Both teams had big expectations: The Russians as hosts and the pressure to win at home for the first time. The Americans as the team that was finally looking actually good enough to win the whole thing.
That “goal by Fedor Tyutin that wasn’t” glued the fates of both teams together in the tournament. They went into different directions from there only to meet the same fate at the hands of the player who seems to know the secret path to the Fountain of Youth – Teemu Selanne.
- Puck Daddy12 days ago
SOCHI, Russia – It was a one-goal game on Friday night. It was also a one-goal game in Vancouver. Just one goal short of breaking the spell that Canada has cast over the U.S. in Olympic hockey.
“It’s not where we want to be,” captain of the US team Zach Parise summed it up.
Four years ago in Vancouver, Sidney Crosby broke millions of hearts with the overtime winner for Canada. This year it was Jamie Benn. The United States had the most dynamic, the most interesting and, according to multiple experts, the best team in the tournament. The U.S. hockey development program has come a long way from that night in Lake Placid. It is now on par with Canada when it comes to the best team in the world. Yet when the two teams meet, the Big Brother has that little edge.
“We had an awesome opportunity,” said David Backes said after the loss. “I don’t think we quite laid it all on the line the way that we needed to in order to win. A 1-0 game in the semifinal against your rival country is obviously a sad day for sure.”
The US was finally viewed as the favorites coming into this game. And this means something, to finally put that Miracle behind them.
- Yahoo Sports13 days ago
SOCHI, Russia – Adelina Sotnikova stood before reporters answering questions about her just-completed dream performance – a lifetime-best 149.95 in a long program that put her on the verge of figure skating greatness. Pictured behind her on the interview zone TV monitors was the only person standing between her and a gold medal, defending champion Yuna Kim of South Korea.
"The Olympic dream was born in 2010 during the qualifications to Vancouver," a somewhat distracted Sotnikova replied in Russian to the host nation's media horde. "And when I was watching those Olympics from the sidelines, I felt that I wanted to have my Games. I understood that it wouldn't be easy to make them, especially now that in Russia there are a lot of strong girls."
Sotnikova stopped talking as Kim finished her free skate. She could not bear to watch anymore as Kim picked up a teddy bear and skated to the bench to await the result. [PHOTOS: Olympic Crush - Adelina Sotnikova]
- Fourth-Place Medal14 days ago
SOCHI, Russia – How are Russians reacting to their hockey team being eliminated from the Olympics without making it past the quarterfinal round?
The reaction is that there was no reaction.
The fans have been quiet, outside of their immediate response at the end of the loss to Finland on Wednesday. As the Russian team was gathered in the center circle of Bolshoy Ice Dome, all the team could hear was loud whistling – the European version of booing. It was the only way the 12,000 representatives of their nation could send their message.
As they were walking away from the Bolshoy their flags were not flying high, but were dragged along a wet pavement. Their eyes were red and their faces pale. They were too shocked to comprehend what happened to them, too stunned to even express their emotion. When the Russians lost to the United States there was anger, there was passion, there was heart.
- Fourth-Place Medal15 days ago
SOCHI, Russia – It sure wasn’t long before the shots were fired against Alex Ovechkin after Russia crashed out of the Sochi Olympics, losing in the quarterfinals against Finland, 3-1.
”Tough to explain the loss, of course, why scored so little. Players who score so many goals for their clubs, like Alex Ovechkin who scored 40 goals for his club [didn’t score]… Right now I cannot explain that.”
Slow clap. These words came from no other than Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, the Russian head coach, someone who has known Alex Ovechkin since he was still wearing a full mask playing for Dynamo.
- Puck Daddy15 days ago
SOCHI, Russia – After the win against Norway that paved the way for Russia to play Finland in the quarterfinals the Russians were still questioned, and quite rightfully so, about the lack of production from their top stars.
Yet there was more talk about the other part of the game – defense. The following exchange took place between the Russian media and Russia’s captain Pavel Datsyuk in the mixed zone of the Bolshoy Ice Dome:
Q. You haven’t conceded a goal in 125 minutes of hockey – is the defensive play this perfect?
“I didn’t hear the question at all.”
Q. You haven’t conceded a goal in 125 minutes…
“I absolutely cannot hear your question… Thank you.”
Datsyuk clearly didn’t want to answer this question not to jinx the team. The last goal Russia gave up was the power play tally to Joe Pavelski of the United States with just over 10 minutes left of the third period of the preliminary round game between the two teams. That would make it over 140 minutes of play since the Russians were scored against. And if one considers even strength goals only, we would have to go back even further to the very first game of the Olympics for Russia against Slovenia.
- Puck Daddy16 days ago
SOCHI, Russia – Alexander Radulov is a beauty and the beast, both in one person.
The raw talent, who will never be tamed. He was 14 when he got kicked out from a sports school in Yaroslavl when his coach called his talent “without promise. ” He was the person who, while staying at the aforementioned school, kicked out doors to his room unable to wait for the jammed locks to be opened.
Alex Radulov will frustrate any fan, coach or general manager with his unruly temper and raw emotion.
In one interview to Sovetsky Sport, he said, “I need to be a little bit calmer, more disciplined, execute coach’s instructions better. I want to talk less to referees. I like to argue, but it is pointless. I am emotional. But if I were more composed, maybe I wouldn’t play hockey anymore. Being expressive is my thing.”
These words were spoken when Radulov was 17. He may as well say it now and it will still be the truth.
Only “lazy” hasn’t been the label for Radulov over the last week, especially in light of his performance against the United States, where he was in the penalty box for both of the goals against Russia.
- Puck Daddy17 days ago
SOCHI, Russia -- After yesterday’s win against Slovakia, the Russians decided not to skip their practice on their day off.
“We won’t have a morning skate tomorrow, so today’s practice was very important.” Evgeni Malkin said. “Because some changes to the lines were made, it was important to practice. Kovalchuk is injured, so he didn’t practice. But everyone else was here, skating.”
As soon as the players were on the ice Ilya Kovalchuk’s absence became a concern. As a reminder, Kovalchuk fell awkwardly after colliding with a Slovakian player in the second period of the game on Sunday. Kovalchuk tried to skate the injury off, but was taken to the locker room midway through the period, but returned for the start of the third and scored for Russia in the shootout. The coaching staff decided to rest Kovalchuk today as a precaution, but Coach Bilyaletdinov said after practice that Kovalchuk will play against Norway.
- Puck Daddy18 days ago
After winning the first two games of the tournament, while scoring more goals than in the entire Vancouver Olympics, Team Finland went back to the style of hockey that has Suomi written all over it.
That style of play – where forwards are trapped at the blue line – can be overcome by quick and skilled defensemen, who join on the rush with speed.
This was good news for Canada, because they have Drew Doughty, who scored both of Team Canada’s goals Sunday night in Sochi.
“Yes. We have to [jump on the play].” Doughty said after the game about the importance of joining the rush. “Especially when they’re just sitting back like that we have to make sure we have speed, because a lot of times our forwards are going to be stopped up at the far blue line. As much as we can jump in and help out the guys on offense, that’s what we need to do.”
After giving up a goal late in the second period, Canada knew that they had to shift into extra gear to go through the minefield of the Finnish defense.