Websters Dictionary describes fa·nat·ic as marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. This would be a good description of me and I, when it comes to my love for the Russian Hockey. Specifically Russian National Team. I have spouted stats, records, hearsay, in defense of this hockey decorated nation. I have diligently followed its play in Euro-tours, Canada cups, world juniors, world cups and Olympics , I have rejoiced in its many wins and defended losses and came up with excuses to make sense of a loss. I have lost sleep before and after games being to nervous or excited or too mad about them playing or about their play(I know thats sick, but its true). Now why am I saying all this?
Well this morning I was so embarrassed and ashamed to call my self a Fan of Russian hockey. Yes its just one tournament and probably one that not many people know about and yes Russia has won other games and tournaments that others don't know about like the U18 this spring and yes their loss was to Canada in which there shouldn't be much shame since Canada is its only rival....BUT....I have never seen a Russian team, that has had no desire to compete, play or DO ANYTHING...it was absolutely sad...usually Canada is very strong especially against Russia, they are usually strong on the boards, have lots of tempo, lots of emotion and hitting, combined with skill and scoring. Russians usually counter this with speed, great transition, and neutral zone plays that result in odd man attacks in their favor, but what I saw this morning was complete utter lack of anything! This is easily the worst Russian team I have ever seen. They were terribly coached lacking any kind of imagination or even idea of how to match lines, there was no imagination in attack unless you consider a shot from the blue line creative, there was no breakouts, no movement or speed it was literally like watching kids playing men. I was incredibly embarrassed. So there you have it, I have defended and stood strong with this national program in times that I shouldn't have but today I confess Canadians were simply better in EVERY area of the game then Russians, The Russian national team was simply outclassed!!!!!!
Specific points: Nemchinov the ex NHLer and Soviet National team Alumni, showed that he is not the man for the job of coaching the Russian team, he was weak, showed no character on the bench and did nothing to help spark the team that was miraculously still in the game at the end of the second period was down only 1-0 but was being out shot and outplayed in every category, he did nothing. Next is the play of Charipanov all the talk prior to the tournament was that this is the best thing outside of North America, the next great Russian Hockey player. He has been asked to lead this team, and has done nothing but embarrass the jersey and himself, it took serious CSI work to find him on the ice at either game, and the only time he was noticed was being absolutely ROCKED by Sutter, to which I cheered with complete joy, since he is the most useless player. I am not even expecting him to score, Canada was/is better period, so I don't expect him to put up numbers but something, some kind of effort, hit, skating emotion ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nope nothing, just disappeared and was not around, my move if I was coaching these plugs, would be to not even dress him for the next game, which happens to be his home town and the super league team he plays for Omsk. Just put him in the press box and let him watch there, since all he has done so far has been watching, they want to embarrass the jersey embarrass him!!!!
There are so many more things I want to say but I think thats enough, I am considering not going to this series game in Saskatoon, to which I bought tickets too on the day they were available since I am always pumped and have been a fan (fanatic), its not even the loss its how they lost, that is what makes me so embarrassed of this team! Shame! So today I brake the Websters Definition of, intense uncritical devotion, and criticize this embarrassment.
And to top it all of Canucks changed their jerseys to a nightmare that you can see here, my world is falling apart...I need a hug, anyone??