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Sundin says he was ‘almost disgusted’ by Russia’s performance in Olympics

Feb 21, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin won a gold medal with Team Sweden in 2006, so he knows a bit about what it takes to win on the international stage.

That’s why when Sundin sounded off to TSN Radio in Toronto about the performance of Russia, it’s worth at least paying attention to.

“I was almost disgusted by their performance when they played Finland,” said the 43-year-old who played 18 seasons in the NHL. “I look at the Finnish team and they’re missing key players. They don’t have any of their big stars and now [Rask] is hurt and that Russian team is stacked with great players and to come out and have that performance they had in the quarterfinals. It was an absolutely heartless performance.”

Sundin went on to question the Russians desire further saying if the presence of Russian president Vladimir Putin couldn’t inspire them, he didn’t know what else could do it.

As Sundin mentions, Finland had a host of key players missing including Mikko Koivu, Valtteri Filppula, and Aleksander Barkov. Russia’s key players like Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin, and Evgeni Malkin had less-than stellar performances in the Olympics but for the most part their offense didn’t do enough to help them win on the whole.

Still, when retired players are coming out of the woodwork to pile on, it’s a sign things in Russia need to change if they’re going to win a medal in 2018.

  1. imleftcoast - Feb 21, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    Why should these guys want to win for Putin? I don’t think anyone on Team Canada is winning to please Harper.

    • sunderlanding - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      I think it’s more of a reference to the fact that they’re playing in front of their country.

  2. vm113 - Feb 21, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Actually, Datyuk was stellar all tournament. Ovechkin had a gutless performance. Malkin tried but he was held back by Oveckins inability to do anything but shoot the puck no matter how badly timed or how low quality the shot was. There was no structure as a team. They were pathetic to watch.

    • abizzle03 - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:24 PM

      I don’t understand why everyone down votes your comments about Ovechkin. If anyone watched the Russian games, they’d know you’re spot on. His selfish play killed them in this tournament and he singlehandedly took away Malkin’s playmaking ability with his constant, worthless shots. Malkin worked his butt off defensively only to never see the puck again once it made its way to the lazy 8.

      • 19inarow - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:48 PM

        Taking so any shots is how he scores so many goals. He’s got a relatively low shooting percentage; he pretty much always shoots.

      • abizzle03 - Feb 22, 2014 at 8:53 AM

        That’s my point. All he wants to do is shoot. That’s his game and that’s fine. Don’t waste a top player like Malkin though who creates plays with the puck in possession. You diminish Malkin’s ability to have an impact on the game so that Ovechkin can shoot incessantly. Why not let Ovechkin do his thing with a less skilled center whose only job is to give him the puck every time and let Malkin do his thing with guys who will play off of him? It’s not like Russia has Canadian level depth at forward and was forced to play superstars together. It’s moot now but it would have at least been worth a shot.

  3. csilojohnson - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    I dont see why anyone would do anything to please either of those tools.

  4. druhlman - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    I agree with vm how was Datsyuk less then stellar? He was one of the only players that actually showed up.

  5. blomfeld - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:14 PM


    Everyone is now only too familiar with the usual refrains … he’s petulant, he’s selfish, he’s childish, he’s self-centered, he’s lazy, he’s insolent , he’s one-dimensional, he’s ‘not’ a real captain, etc, etc, etc. However the bigger question which now looms ahead in the wake of this ‘disastrous’ representation of his country is this … will the Washington Capital’s continue to bankroll this ‘high-flying’ self-absorbed parasite ? It’s a difficult question to ponder no doubt, however I believe that the answer is ‘nyet’ in no uncertain terms ! And I also believe that his tenure with the Capital’s organization will ‘cease’ as early as this coming summer, be that vis-a-vis a trade, a move to the KHL or a simple liquidation.

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:14 AM

      Blomfeld, I said would NOT auto down vote your comments anymore, but seriously, you are saying OV might get “liquidated”…

      • blomfeld - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:22 AM

        friend … things are ‘going to happen’ this summer, make no mistake about it …

  6. muckleflugga - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    how can someone be almost disgusted …?

    i thought the russians put in a good show for lack of preparation and unreal pressure … playing an unnecessary extra game on terrible ice after playing a determined and dogged norway the night before did not help

    finland got up a goal and simply ragged the russians at every turn … the roles could easily have been reversed … but heartless … get real

    canada under similar pressure messed the bed in vancouver but benefitted from one lucky break after another to steal an undeserving gold … just ask bill mcreary

    me …

    i just can’t wait to see the four hundred and sixty fifth thousand three hundred and twenty second replay of the so-called golden goal [ oh wait … raaaaaalph … where were we ]

    datsyuk less than stellar … so where does his lordship and spawn of the canadian hype machine … sidney crosby rate … based on his output

    the basement suite in a two-hole outhouse …?

    just when did a ringless no-show like sundin rate air time … tsn must be dredging the retirement homes for material

    • blomfeld - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:31 AM

      20 mil for a ‘has been’ bald-headed Swede ? … hell ya ! :) (Mike Gillis, 2009)

      Flugga … you’re constantly hammering the nail of truth ‘square on the head’ here at PHT, which explains why you get so many thumbs down from the gathered ‘electronic’ sheep !

    • leafsilluminati - Feb 22, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      Sundin is one of the greatest of all time! Show some respect! At least he’s got a gold medal, unlike your American disgrace of a hockey squad!

      • dueman - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        That “American disgrace of a hockey squad” has Leaf’s star Kessel, and JVR on it you moron! How can you call yourself “leafsilluminati” and make an idiotic comment like that? You should have just ended your comment after “gold medal” or maybe added that Sundin is also a Hall of Famer. Besides, why get all bent over anything that muckle says? Do you get all bent when a five year old calls you stupid head?

      • leafsilluminati - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        Kessel and JvR are two players. Although it seemed like it this tournament, they are not THE squad. There are another 20 players on the team. The US hockey squad was a disgrace, because they straight up QUIT, against Finland. Kulemin plays for Russia, but because he plays for the Leafs that means the Russian squad wasn’t a disgrace? Please buddy

  7. icrew29 - Feb 22, 2014 at 7:05 AM

    The Russian team would have been better off without him! I don’t know where that term GR8 came from but he is far from that. OV needs to play, tennis, golf or boxing, he is not a team player.

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