Rus­sians still looking to hit stride

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

VAN­COU­VER (CP) — The Rus­sians haven’t ex­actly been steam­rolling their Olympic com­pe­ti­tion ei­ther.

Head­ing into to­day’s quar­ter­fi­nal game against Team Canada, there are ques­tions in the Rus­sian camp about chem­istry and form. Even af­ter a 4-2 victory over the Czech Repub­lic to wrap up the pre­lim­i­nary round Sun­day, many of the play­ers in­di­cated they weren’t sat­is­fied with the team’s over­all per­for­mance.

“It’s re­ally too early to make any de­ci­sions, any con­clu­sions,” said goalie Ev­geni Nabokov, who will start in net against Team Canada. “ We have to put to­gether a good game.”

There is a sim­i­lar feel­ing around the Cana­dian team as it heads into a must-win game against its tra­di­tional in­ter­na­tional hockey ri­val, set­ting up a com­pelling matchup. Once goldmedal co-favourites, only one of the coun­tries will have a chance to play for a medal here.

Just like Canada, Rus­sia had one loss in the pre­lim­i­nary round (a 2-1 shootout de­feat to Slo­vakia) and now faces a tough road to the fi­nal.

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