Skip to content

Ovechkin: Russians got ‘casual’ after early lead vs. Slovenia

Feb 13, 2014, 11:13 AM EDT

OviRussia AP

After scoring twice in the opening four minutes against Slovenia on Thursday, Russia looked like it was primed for a blowout win.

Just one problem — the Russians took their collective foot off the gas.

Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk acknowledged as much following the 5-2 win, saying a combination of the quick start and frenzied home crowd had an effect on the remainder of the contest.

“We started really well, but after when we got the lead 2-0, we played more casual,” Ovechkin said, per the Olympic News Service. “We can’t play like that in the future.”

Kovalchuk, who netted the eventual game-winner on a late second-period power play, said Russia was guilty of whipping the puck around too much and a hesitancy to fire away.

“In the second period we got too relaxed, but we gathered ourselves back in the third period,” he said. “We started to pass more in the second period, that is why we were told to shoot more during the break.”

The Russians out-shot Slovenia 18-4 in the first period, but just 17-10 over the final two frames. Slovenia gradually worked its way back into the game and trailed by just one goal heading into the third period, before Valeri Nichushkin and Anton Belov scored to put the contest out of reach.

It does have to be said, though, that Russia displayed tremendous energy and tenacity to start the game, led by the Ovechkin-Evgeni Malkin-Alex Semin line. The trio was responsible for both of the opening goals — Malkin set up Ovechkin for the first, Ovechkin set up Malkin for the second — and clearly fed off the electric atmosphere at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.

“Crazy crowd, unbelievable atmosphere out there,” Ovechkin said. “It’s great. It’s unbelievable.”

Related: Russia opens with win, beats Slovenia 5-2

  1. blomfeld - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    ‘GOLD MEDAL NOT STAY MY BODY’

    In all seriousness, I say that the Russians ‘might’ get a sniff at bronze and nothing more. The challenge however for the US and Canada will indeed be ‘dubious’ officiating, as it’s a given that the Russians (ie: Putin, salt mines, work farms, etc) are not going to take this lying down.

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      Thumbs downs via the jealous.

      • blomfeld - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:39 PM

        It’s okay James, as ‘such’ is often the price for speaking the truth …

  2. romo2dez88 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    I LOVE Olympic hockey, that is all .

Featured video

Illegal hits are down -- but will it last?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Staal (3277)
  2. C. Crawford (3180)
  3. P. Stastny (2496)
  4. M. Gaborik (2480)
  5. E. Kane (2398)
  1. A. Kopitar (2248)
  2. V. Hedman (2130)
  3. D. Heatley (2048)
  4. J. Franzen (1938)
  5. N. Foligno (1898)