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Datysuk calls pressure for Russia to win gold ‘enormous’

Jan 29, 2014, 11:41 AM EDT

paveldatsyukgetty Getty Images

In 2010, Team Canada overcame enormous pressure to win Olympic gold on home ice. In a matter of days, the Russians will try to do the same in Sochi.

“The pressure is enormous and it’s growing every day,” says forward Pavel Datsyuk, per the IIHF. “Everyone is expecting only one thing from us. And we won’t have the right to make an error.”

The difference between the Canadians in 2010 and the Russians in 2014 is that the former were heavier favorites to get the job done.

On paper, the latter has a dangerous collection of top-six forwards, including NHL stars Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin, and Evgeni Malkin. The Russians look good in goal too, with Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky and Vezina candidate Semyon Varlamov.

It’s the defense that’s potentially problematic, especially against deep teams like Canada, Sweden, and the United States.

The wild card is playing at home — a factor that most expect to be in favor of the Russians. But with all the pressure that comes with high expectations, from fans that haven’t celebrated Olympic gold since 1992, there’s also the chance it could backfire.

Related: Ovechkin says Russia’s ‘mission’ is Olympic gold

  1. joey4id - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    No doubt there will be, and it’s the very reason Datysuk was chosen to be Captain. It’s going to be tough to win gold because the Russian team lacks depth up front, and appear weak on d. The d will have problems against the faster Swedes and TC.

    blomfeld – Jan 27, 2014 at 10:23 PM
    Joey … you’re a very ‘decent’ person as evidenced by your writings … Thailer not so much

    blomfeld, this may become my new signature if you approve. ;-)

    • thailer35 - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      Oiy.

      • patthehockeyfan - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        Agree, thailer. And, P.S. it’s OY!

        I’m not a spelling or grammar Nazi. The word is so rich and represents such a feeling, misspelling it doesn’t do it justice.

  2. jpelle82 - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    i think the russians have a better chance than they did in vancouver based on the fact that the ice is bigger in sochi. i dont think it was a coincidence that canada won gold and the us got silver in both salt lake and vancouver, both were smaller rinks = advantage north americans. i wouldnt be surprised if neither were in the gold medal game in sochi. so…while the pressure is on for russia, at least they have the ice in their favor…i’m still not picking them though.

  3. narfmoo12 - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Is “enormous” greater than “humongous big” ?

  4. 13datsyuk13 - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    With the “C” on Datsyuk the possibilities are endless. Go USA, but a part of me can’t wait to see 13, 71 and 8 on a line together.

    • paperkid96 - Jan 29, 2014 at 7:25 PM

      I think you might be the first person excited to see #71 on any line. at 52 games played 8 pts and -11 it is depressing to see him on any line.

      However I do want to see Datsyuk back soon. I’m a little bothered by the fact that all the local reporting has him focused on returning to get two games in to be ready for the olympics and he doesnt say much about helping the team that pays him. I’m not saying thats really the way he is but that has been most of the local blogging and reporting.

  5. muckleflugga - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    pavel datsyuk …

    simply the best … better than all the rest … a true hockey auteur … only one extant

    i hope he and his red wing komrades don’t suffer injury lugging all that gold and silver home …

    wide spaces for dreams and for living … are open to us by the coming years

    our faith in our fatherland gives us strength … so it was, so it is, and so it will always be

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AOAtz8xWM0w&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DAOAtz8xWM0w

    • guitarhunterdude - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      That was delightfully nonsensical. Thumbs’d up.

  6. pastabelly - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    There is so much parity in world hockey right now that no team should be expected to win the gold. Canada should be favored, but they barely won on their own home ice four years ago.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 29, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      Indeed, Pasta, and sometimes things can happen that seem to defy the laws of physics, such as Belarus beating Sweden in the 2002 quarterfinals. “Yes, there’s always the unexpected, isn’t there.” Major Warden, Bridge on the River Kwai

  7. sochiolympicshockey - Feb 4, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Considering the outcome of IIHF 2007, the pressure is huge, but maybe history does not repeat itself, we wrote a short piece on it at http://tmblr.co/ZmiTgo16P8zat

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