Feb 19, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT
The daggers were out following Russia’s 3-1 loss to Finland on Wednesday, many pointed in the direction of head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.
“Coach Bil” came under heavy fire during the postgame media availability — attended by PHT’s Jason Brough — and it proved to be as dramatic a scene as what transpired on the ice:
Russian journalist scolding the coach for not playing Malkin and Ovechkin on different lines. Great theater in this presser
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) February 19, 2014
First 10 questions at coaches press conference all directed at the losing Russian coach. What theatre. — Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 19, 2014
Russian reporter asks if this was a “catastrophe.” Russian coach Bilyaletdinov: “Let’s not play word games. I said it was unsuccessful.” — Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 19, 2014
Russian coach says it’s difficult to explain why they couldn’t score. He can’t explain it. — Jason Brough (@JasonPHT) February 19, 2014
“I can only say words of apology.” — Russian coach through translator
— Jason Brough (@JasonPHT) February 19, 2014
In terms of game specifics, two things immediately jumped out. One, Bilyaletdinov referenced Alexander Ovechkin‘s lack of goalscoring — Ovi scored 77 seconds into the tournament-opening game against Slovenia, then failed to score again — and reportedly did so without prompting.
Two, according to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, Bilyaletdinov had to be told by Evgeni Malkin to pull Sergei Bobrovsky at the end of the game for an extra attacker.
Bilyaletdinov shouldered the majority of the blame for the loss, saying “I’m at fault for everything” while apologizing repeatedly for the early exit. Speaking of exits, Coach Bil’s ended up being difficult…
Russian coach asked if he would stay in Sochi to watch the Games. Through translator: “No. I’d rather leave.”
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) February 19, 2014
As he tries to leave, Bilyaletdinov cornered at the door pic.twitter.com/QGlC2sQYNS
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 19, 2014
Apr 28, 2015, 3:48 PM EDT
Veteran Finn is a UFA on July 1.
Apr 28, 2015, 3:47 PM EDT
“I don’t want to tear it apart, but I’m not afraid to make changes if I think it’ll help the team.”
Apr 28, 2015, 2:28 PM EDT
Nothing like a little competition to get things done.
Apr 28, 2015, 2:16 PM EDT
Isles defenseman missed the entire opening-round series loss to Washington.
Apr 28, 2015, 1:54 PM EDT
Kicks off on Thursday with the Rangers taking on the Caps, and the Flames facing the Ducks.
Apr 28, 2015, 1:32 PM EDT
Jamie Benn’s having two of ’em!
Apr 28, 2015, 1:09 PM EDT
“I feel like I’ve let people down.”
Apr 28, 2015, 1:08 PM EDT
Was dismissed by the Flyers 11 days ago.
Apr 28, 2015, 12:25 PM EDT
“It wasn’t a perfect fit, to be honest.”
Apr 28, 2015, 12:21 PM EDT
Should be an interesting offseason in Pittsburgh.
Apr 28, 2015, 11:29 AM EDT
Though the former will be on the limp.
Apr 28, 2015, 10:33 AM EDT
Both expected to be ready for training camp.
Apr 28, 2015, 10:01 AM EDT
Occurred late in the second period on Monday night.
Apr 28, 2015, 9:15 AM EDT
Both are unrestricted free agents this summer.
Apr 28, 2015, 8:07 AM EDT
Tuesday’s collection of links.
Apr 28, 2015, 12:04 AM EDT
It’s also tough to say what happens next.
Apr 27, 2015, 11:16 PM EDT
Barry Trotz says he has the joy of a kid and the maturity of a man.
Apr 27, 2015, 10:33 PM EDT
Apr 27, 2015, 10:17 PM EDT
Washington shuts it down, big time.
Apr 27, 2015, 9:55 PM EDT
Some great individual performances propel Tampa Bay.
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