Pavel Datsyuk will not play for Russia on Saturday night against Canada in their World Cup semifinal game. Datsyuk has been bothered by a lower body injury that also kept him out of their first round game against Finland. He had been a game-time decision leading up to the game, but did not take the ice for pre-game warmups. It’s a big loss for Russia because Datsyuk is still their top-line center and had been skating on a line with Alex Ovechkin and Vladimir Tarasenko before the injury. He recorded two assists in his two games for Russia. Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov will center that line instead. If Russia does not beat Canada on Saturday we could have very likely seen the last
Some will roll their eyes, and maybe even note that John Tortorella was saying the same sort of stuff. “This is a team that hasn’t really had an identity over the last couple of years and I think that’s the first thing we need to establish,” Lucic said yesterday, per the Edmonton Journal. “You have the right coach, you have the right GM and you have the right superstar to lead the way.
“We are extremely excited to have Alexander signed for the next four seasons,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said in a release. Like Steen, Backes was a vested, veteran leader and, like Steen, Backes was pretty long in the tooth heading into the final year of his deal.