Russia's Lines

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by Ovechkin_mvp, Feb 6, 2006.

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  1. Ovechkin_mvp

    Ovechkin_mvp Registered User

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    Forwards:

    Kovalchuk - Datsyuk - Kovalev
    Ovechkin - Yashin - Afinogenov
    Frolov - Malkin - Sushinsky
    Kharitonov - Kozlov - Korolyuk

    Defence:

    A. Markov - Volchenkov
    Zhitnik - Kasparaitis
    Gonchar - D. Markov

    Tyutin (7th defenceman) and there's....well......Kulyash (?)

    Goaltenders:

    1. Nabokov (just signed a huge contract)
    2. Bryzgalov
    3. Sokolov (probably won't ever play, since he publicly admitted fearing to play vs North American teams)

    We surely could have used Fedorov, even as a 4th line center, and Samsonov instead of Kharitonov.

    Why Morozov wasn't selected, still puzzles me.

    As for Mogilny and Zubov, oh well, they better learn from Canadians what it means to be Proud to play for your country

    As much as I want my team to win, Bronze Medal - Tops.
    Yet, anything could happen :jump:
     
  2. artilector

    artilector Registered User

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    Hasn't Malkin been played with Kharitonov and Sushinsky for the nat'l team for a while? If so, it seems a good idea to keep them together, unless there is a combination that is obviously a better match..

    With the top two lines, I think the question is obviously how to best use Ovechkin and Kovalchuk: since Russia is not as balanced/deep as Canada/Czechs, if other teams will be able to shut (K)Ovy down, its hard to see Russia scraping up enough goals.

    The thing about Kovalchuk, I've watched his last games, he's kind of regressed to looking for one-timers.. he is not fighting on the boards, he's not patient with puck-possession, not moving fast enough without the puck... unless someone digs out the puck for him and then sets up his cannon, he often simply disappears. I hope he'll be more active in Turin, but if he plays how he plays now, I don't know if Kovalchuk-Datsyuk-Kovalev will have enough grit to get control of the puck against a team like Canada.

    Its also a mystery to me who'd be best to play with Ovechkin. He's a one-man team in Washington, and he plays like it. I think he's the best player in the world on the rush right now, and for that he basically just needs someone who'll be able to win the puck in defensive zone, give it to him, and then keep up..

    I have not seen enough Superleague forwards and also Frolov/Afinogenov to make a good judgement, but I'm thinking:
    1. Kovalchuk requires Datsyuk to play up to potential
    2. Kovalchuk+Datsyuk+Kovalev may not be strong enough to win the puck against Canada
    3. Ovechkin can play with anyone.. just needs space and someone to win puck possession
    4. Never seen Yashin with Kovalev on the same line, but they seem a good match to control the puck in the offensive zone, both big, strong, very skilled..
    5. Kozlov plays better with a star on his line (e.g. Bure in FLA)

    So I'd throw this out:

    Kovalchuk - Datsyuk - Korolyuk
    Frolov - Yashin - Kovalev
    Kharitonov - Malkin - Sushinsky
    Ovechkin - Kozlov - Afinogenov
     
  3. octopi

    octopi Registered User

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    I was thinking Oveckin and Datsyuk end up on the same line because they played together in the RSL.

    That is one potent looking forward group, BTW. :eek:
     
  4. Ovechkin_mvp

    Ovechkin_mvp Registered User

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    I agree with your comments on Kovy, yet, do not underestimate what large ice surface adds to his game.
    He's going to be very hardl to control, and frankly, battling along the boards - isn't as crusial on the large ice surface.

    I still think Kovalchuk needs Datsyuk to feed him for those one-timers, just like Savard does in Atlanta and a quick right winger. What about Afinogenov?

    Kovalchuk - Datsyuk - Afinogenov
    Ovechkin - Yashin - Kovalev
    Kharitonov - Malkin - Sushinsky
    Frolov - Kozlov - Korolyuk

    What are your thoughts?
     
  5. artilector

    artilector Registered User

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    Well, I really hope you're right about the bigger rinks, but for sure, North Americans will try to pin Russia in the zone, and without physically dominant defenders, the forwards must be able and willing to work hard and support each other, like the Czechs do so well.

    I said:
    Kovalchuk - Datsyuk - Korolyuk
    Frolov - Yashin - Kovalev
    Kharitonov - Malkin - Sushinsky
    Ovechkin - Kozlov - Afinogenov

    You said:
    Kovalchuk - Datsyuk - Afinogenov
    Ovechkin - Yashin - Kovalev
    Kharitonov - Malkin - Sushinsky
    Frolov - Kozlov - Korolyuk

    I am not sure that Kovalchuk needs a fast linemate like Afinogenov as much as Ovechkin does.. again, based on what I've seen in their recent NHL play - Kovalchuk has not been really trying to beat defenders with his speed, he's mostly trying to gain the zone and get himself into the slot; whereas Ovechkin often has nobody to pass to because he constantly challenges defenders with speed, and his linemates can't keep up (I've never seen Ovechkin as part of 3-on-2 in Washington!)

    I definitely agree that Kovalchuk has to be paired with Datsyuk; and I think the scheme you suggest is good in that Afinogenov will also probably benefit greatly from Datsyuk setting him up.. On the other hand Yashin and especially Kovalev will not be able to keep up with Ovechkin, so it will take away from what he brings to the transition game.. and the fourth line, while serviceable, might have a very hard time generating offense, because all these guys, as far as I know, have been inconsistent.

    In my scheme, chemistry is also uncertain - I have no idea how Kozlov would mesh with Ovechkin and Afinogenov, or whether Frolov/Yashin/Kovalev would work like I think it might. I've read in posts here that Ovechkin has played with Datsyuk in the Superleague and with Malkin in international tournaments, so there's more food for thought.

    I know even less about defensemen, though. Kasparaitis and Tyutin have been alright in New York, but both make enough mistakes... as do Zhitnik, Gonchar and Kuljash! Haven't seen the others much.. However, in the past it somehow seemed to me that Russian D-men play more responsibly in the national team than in the NHL, more so than forwards - hopefully it will be true in Turin.
     
  6. Ovechkin_mvp

    Ovechkin_mvp Registered User

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    In the last games, Afinogenov, Samsonov and Kasparatis were Russia's best players.
    Yashin is always there, yet he never shines, nor does Kovalev.

    Kovalchuk - Datsyuk - Afinogenov and
    Kharitonov - Malkin - Sushinsky

    in my opinion are no-brainers, then we have to put Ovechkin with a good center, and the only one left is Yashin. I mean Kozlov's work ethics are questionable at best.

    Kovalev is quick enough to stay with Ovechkin, in my opinion.
    Ovechkin, Yashin and Kovalev - all have size and endurance.
    Yashin's a bit slow, but all he needs to do is to make that first pass, and he's good at it.

    So, I think

    Ovechkin - Yashin - Kovalev could be Russia's Power Line.
    and Kozlov's line is probably the weakest of them all, but they won't get much icetime anyways.

    Defence:

    Kaspi and A. Markov will do fine
    Gonchar is the perfect powerplay specialist.
    Volchenkov is Russia's finest stay at home defensman
    Zhitnk has been OK this year, and he's been there before, thus along with Kaspi bringing the much needed blue-line experience to an otherwise young defence squad.


    D. Markov, Tutin - well they are at best 5 & 6 defencemen.
     
  7. The Mars Volchenkov

    The Mars Volchenkov Registered User

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    Volchenkov is really coming into his own this year, maturing into a great stay at home defenseman who has offensive ability that goes untapped. No longer goes for big hits every game, but picks his spots. One of the best shot blockers in the league.
     
  8. WhiskeyYourTheDevils

    WhiskeyYourTheDevils yer leadin me astray Sponsor

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    lines look good, but I would love to see a PP with:
    Ovechkin - Malkin - Kovalev
    Kovalchuk - Gonchar
    OOOH thats nast

    ONE TIMER CITY BABY
     
  9. Ovechkin_mvp

    Ovechkin_mvp Registered User

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    Wow, that looks like an avalanche coming down at you. :clap:
     
  10. artilector

    artilector Registered User

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    Why is the first line a no-brainer? Have they played before?
    As far as work ethics, I think Kozlov's are at least as good as Yashin's. He is an underachiever, true, but maybe Ovechkin can take him to a higher level and give Russia another scoring line, instead of a throwaway line.
    On a rush, no way. Kovalev is pretty slow - very shifty, though, which makes him seem quicker, but nowhere near Ovechkin. When starting a rush from their own net, speed is not a great factor... But if there is an opportunity off another team's turnover, neither Kovalev nor Yashin have the speed to take advantage of it and make it into a 2-on-1 or 3-on-2 with Ovechkin. Someone like Afinogenov can do it..
    So you think Russia is better off playing three lines? I think it might work for a game or a period, but in order to win the gold in this deep field, Russia will need four good lines..
    Otherwise, yeah, I'd love to see Ovechkin - Yashin - Kovalev pin Canadians in their own zone for a while :)
     
  11. ShadowFax

    ShadowFax Registered User

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    Look for a Ovechkin Malkin Afinogenov line. They were probably the best line for Russia in the world championshios last year. They will probably be a line again.
     
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