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Varlamov joins Ovechkin, Semin on Russian squad

Three current Caps and three former ones have been named to the Russian national hockey team that will compete in Vancouver, according to the roster posted on IIHF.com.

Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin made the 23-man roster. No surprise there. But rookie goalie Semyon Varlamov making the cut was never guaranteed, despite his impressive NHL stats. Varlamov, who is currently nursing a minor groin muscle strain, joins veterans Evgeni Nabokov and Ilya Bryzgalov as Russia's trio of netminders.

Former Caps Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov (both of whom now play in the KHL) and Sergei Gonchar are also on the team.

From the IIHF:

The final Olympic rosters will be registered on February 15 at the directorate meeting one day prior to the beginning of the tournament. After that date, no replacements are possible.

Now that I'm done opening presents, I'm going to work on my story for tomorrow's paper, which focuses on whether Mike Green will join the Caps' party at the Olympics in February.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 25, 2009; 8:35 AM ET
 
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Comments

I can't believe that Viktor Kozlov is one of the best 12 forwards Russia has... I like the guy but top 12 Russian? Fedorov borderline...

Posted by: JSchon | December 25, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I believe you forgot to include longtime D.C. defensive lynchpin and Stanley Cup chamption Sergei Gonchar in your list of Russian hockey olympians.

Posted by: SanfordBeckett | December 25, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Interesting. Great that Varly got recognized. Now if he can just get healthy and stay that way.

Tarik, thanks for the unexpected gift of a Christmas post! Happy holidays to you and to all Caps fans!

Posted by: yotman | December 25, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

JSchon:
And a merry Christmas to you! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 25, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas to you too Boo... and to all CI'ers, and former CI'ers...

Posted by: JSchon | December 25, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure they had to incluce a couple guys from the KHL, might as well be those two.

Posted by: joek443 | December 25, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@SanfordBeckett


Don't worry. Gonch was included in Tarik's list.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 25, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I would love to see Datsyuk centering a line with Ovi and Semin. I consider him the best Russian center in the business. Love the Pavster; he's one of my favorite non-Caps.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 25, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Oh well, guess the Russians aren't going to borrow Mikhail Davidovich Zelnekov for the Olympics.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 25, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I posted this on the last thread but I noticed something odd: the translation sites seem to refer to Grebeshkov as "scallops". Well, I guess we now know what Denis Grebeshkov translates to: Denis Scallops.

And we recall that TominFla referred to DesLauries as looking like a lobster.

So, we finished our road trip eating scallops or lobsters. Note to Tom: next time the Caps play Edmonton, you should eat either scallops or lobster in commemoration. (Except what happens if it's a home game against them -- use a red sauce so we can rock the red.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 25, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the CI staff and the CI posters. A new post--lovely present to your readers.

Congratulations Varly on making the Russian team. Having so many current and past Caps players on the Russian team is quite outstanding--says much about the strength of the Washington Capitals. I'm glad also that the supposed 50/50 between the NHL and the KHL has been weighted more towards the NHL. After the US team I'm rooting for the Russians then the Swedes. Sorry to our Canadian boys on our team but I'm not rooting for the Canadians.

And my son is very happy--he got a Bruins jersey. We may be in the southeast division but outside of the Caps my son is all about the other Eastern conference divisions. At least he has the good taste to not ask for a Pens jersey. Or maybe he knows that I will never ever go there. I can handle Boston.

LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 25, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

That's really cool for all of them. I can't imagine a better feeling than taking to the ice (or some other playing surface) with your country's name on the front of your jersey.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | December 25, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Kozlov is somewhat of a mystery to me as well. Him over Kovalev or Yashin? hm...


Is Zherdev even playing this year?

Posted by: richmondphil | December 25, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure they had to incluce a couple guys from the KHL, might as well be those two.

Posted by: joek443 | December 25, 2009 9:57 AM |


Yashin? Zaripov? Nikulin?

There are a handful of KHL'rs on the roster. It doesn't really change the fact that Kozlov is a weird addition, especially over guys like Yashin and Kovalev.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 25, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

well then hopefully they will have a bad team and won't win the Gold which would be better for the Caps...

Ovie would be pissed off and would try to take out his frustration in the playoffs and make'em pay.

Posted by: joek443 | December 25, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Let's remember that besides Green, Flash and Osala have a chance at their respected rosters.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 25, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the CI staff and the CI posters!

@richmondphil

Yashin and Kovalev may be better players than Kozlov ...

... however, will the Russian team be better with one of them instead of Kozlov?

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | December 25, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The final Olympic rosters will be registered on February 15

i would be surprised if this is the exact roster when it is registered

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 25, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Green has much of a chance to make team canada, it's a long shot at best.

Posted by: joek443 | December 25, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Green's chances for making Team Canada were significantly affected by the IOC allowing Canada to use the NHL-size rink. On the Olympic size rink, I think Green would be a high selection. I'm suspicious of the process for allowing the non-spec rink size. Sure, it would cost something to convert GM place and some seating capacity would be lost, but I have no doubt that Canadian officials exaggerated these impacts. They want to reduce the open skating/passing style and force it more in the direction of their preferred hitting/holding style.

Posted by: zmega | December 25, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Best X-mas present ever. The Russian roster is siiiick! Quite a few KHLers picked over NHLers. I pretty much agree with the choices. This is a team absolutely loaded with skill. All the KHL forwards they picked are awesome. A little surprised that Fedorov made it, but I guess it's for his experience and everything he's done in the past. He hasn't been particularly impressive in the KHL this season at 40. I was hoping they'd take Artyukhin for when we play Canada and the US. Also surprised that LA's Frolov and KHL's leading scorer Sushinsky have been left off.

Posted by: ranndino | December 25, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I think the Alexes between Datsyuk would be sick but I am guessing they will try them with Feds like they did in the World Championships. Maybe Feds can get into Sasha's head again and get him locked down for when he comes back after the Olympics.

GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: pkendrick | December 25, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@ JSchon & others.

First, happy X-mas everyone. Second, I'm not at all surprised that Kozlov made it because he's been very impressive for the Russian team that played in the just finished Channel One cup (I watched all 3 Russia games. Overall, he looks rejuvenated playing in the KHL.

Please don't assume that the amount of KHLers means that this team isn't that good. Every KHL forward they've included is an extremely highly skilled player. Zinovyev, Zaripov, Morozov are all great players and if they chose to would be top 6 material on pretty much any NHL club. And I don't think Radulov needs much of an intro. Offensively they're the best team in the Olympics.

Goaltending looks good too. The only weak link might be the D, but it's still not exactly crappy with the likes of Gonchar, Markov and Volchenkov (one of the best defensive D in the NHL IMO).

Posted by: ranndino | December 25, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh and Merry Christmas everyone.

Posted by: pkendrick | December 25, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

One more thing. I think Fedorov was taken more as a penalty killer and Kozlov provides the size and great board play which will be important since these Olympics will be played on an NHL size rink. The smart way to put together a good national team is not to just take the best 12 forwards, but guys who fit certain roles. You will see Canada do this even more than Russia. They often include some checking forwards over more purely skilled offensive guys.

I can't wait for this to get going. BTW, the world junior championships start tomorrow and the NHL Network is showing a lot of the games. The first game is Latvia vs. Canada. I'm actually not from Russia itself, but from Latvia (of course, it was all one country when I was growing up) and this is the first time we qualified for the WJC. Just hoping we can keep it to under double digits vs. Canada. At this level even Russia has a hard time competing with them.

Posted by: ranndino | December 25, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

JSchon:
Even the CO'ers?!? :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 25, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Especially the CO'ers...

Posted by: JSchon | December 25, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

...or maybe Fedorov was included as an enforcer :) He dropped the gloves today in the game vs. SKA St. Petersburg.

http://news.sportbox.ru/Vidy_sporta/Hokkej/KHL/spbvideo_KHL-Draka-v-matche-HK-MVD-Metallurg-Mg

Apparently the guy he tried to fight did something dirty to his brother Fyodor earlier in this game. Wasn't much of a fight as everyone else including Fyodor came flying in.

Posted by: ranndino | December 25, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Good on Varly for making the squad, and Merry Christmas to you and yours. Ovi and Semin went without saying, I think.

Team Russia looks to be the most offensively dangerous team in the tournament.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 25, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Today's interview with Varlamov about making the team. Use Google Translate to get the gist.

http://news.sportbox.ru/Vidy_sporta/Hokkej/Team_Russia/spbnews_Semen-Varlamov-Pomogu-chem-smogu

Posted by: ranndino | December 25, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Sergei Gimayev, the main hockey analyst on Russian TV predicts the following lines in his interview:

1st: Ovechkin - Datsyuk - Semin
2nd: Kovalchuk - Malkin - Afinogenov
3rd: Zaripov - Zinovyev - Morozov
4th: Kozlov - Fedorov - Radulov

These lines makes a lot of sense to me because they keep a lot of familiar club pairings together. Our Ovie & Semin, Kovy & Mad Max who have been awesome together in Atlanta this year, the whole 3rd line was arguably the best in the KHL when they played together for Ak Bars Kazan until recently. Kozlov & Fedorov obviously played together for us, as well. Radulov seems to play very well regardless who he plays with.

Posted by: ranndino | December 25, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

tarik- thanks for the great reporting. i always look forward to your articles.

and glad varlamov made the olympics. he seems like the nicest kid...

Posted by: anon94 | December 25, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Yashin and Kovalev may be better players than Kozlov ...

... however, will the Russian team be better with one of them instead of Kozlov?


Posted by: FCKoeln1 | December 25, 2009 11:54 AM |


I don't know, but that's why I am not a GM/Coach.

However, Kovalev is WELL-respected by Russian hockey players as is Yashin. They are both considered great leaders by the Russian players.

Kozlov brings size to their lineup though, and he has great chemistry with some of the other selections. Kovalev and Yashin would be more finesse, which they don't need more of.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 25, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

they aren't that strong on defense... that will hurt their chances.

Posted by: joek443 | December 25, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Must be a typo. Surely they meant SLAVA Kozlov from Atlanta!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Posted by: CAP-lanta | December 25, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Another note, if Im not mistaken, I believe Fedorov did center the 2 Alex's when Russia won the World Championship in 08.

Happy Holidays!

Posted by: malujoker | December 25, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I was just about to post but Ranndino and others beat me to it. Kozlov had one particular skill last year, that of corraling the puck and holding it in the corner. Also I seem to remember a good plus/minus.

THEREFORE, it is possible that Kozlov will be happy with 4th line duty as a grinder, as a winger for Feds, and that Yashin didn't want such duty.

I see Kozzie as a rich man's Boyd Gordon in this tournament, and he might pull that off well.

Oh, Santa brought me a little plastic Ovechkin action figure. Out of the package you take it and post it on the stand. It's the pose where he's skating fuill speed to the side with his stick raised. Santa is one cool dude!!!

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 25, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

You know, I might root for Russia. Ovechkin is my favorite player. I don't think I can root against him. It's impossible to root against our favorite players. I can easily "not root" for Canada due to Crosby.

Also, the NHL Network is broadcasting a bunch of the WJC games starting early tomorrow. With cold weather here is Florida (60's), and therefore stuck home from the beach all week, it's either a WJC game or the Encore Western channel all day.

I will also try and clean at least one thing per day. Yesterday I mowed the lawn and today I scrubbed down the back patio. The "list" also includes oil change and eye doctor to use 2009 benefits.

Don't forget to use up your eye benefits!

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 25, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Yup. I'm rooting for Team USA first, Russia second, and whoever plays Canada third. Canada has been smarmy and arrogant about this whole Olympic thing and I very badly want to see them humiliated.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 25, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

@ josk443
Russia has always been much better offensively than defensively. Their strategy is the best defense is offense. With the forwards they have & Markov with Gonchar moving the puck up to them they won't be defending much.

Posted by: ranndino | December 25, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Kovalev didn't make it because he's been pretty terrible this year. Bykov had a lot of guys to choose from and he picked ones that are having good seasons and fit roles.

Posted by: ranndino | December 25, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas to all.
Just got home from two days of family stuff and saw the news that Varly made the team...congrats to him. Congrats to the Alexes as well, though I don't think there was any doubt that they would be there. Happy to see Feds on the team as well. Funny, I just asked a friend the other day if it would be unpatriotic of me to cheer for Team Russia first and the USA second.

Two friends and I will be at Verizon Center Monday for the Carolina game. I can't wait...it's my first live game this season. Bears games Saturday and Sunday, Caps on Monday...I think I'll be in hockey overload.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 25, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: huangzhixian181 | December 25, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

ranndino:
Thanks for posting the Fedorov "fight" video. He fights about as poorly as Semin! :)

Posted by: tess2201 | December 25, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Patriotic or not, if Team USA comes up against Russia, I will root for Ovi and Semin.

And nobody can force me to root for Ryan Miller. Criminy - he's a Sabre.

Are any Caps playing for Team USA? I don't think so.

I will root for USA in the WJC due to Carlson. And I will root for Russia in the Olympics because I want Ovi to get the Gold Medal.

I hope the Capitals organization has a celebration for all the Olympic athletes when the players come back, after the break. I can imagine the DC fans will applaud Ovi with gold as much as they'd applaud any American with gold. And that's because Ovi gives 100%, 24 hours a day, and we would be applauding him, what he's accomplished, and because we recognize what it means to him.

The Lord, they say, moves in mysterious ways. Creating the greatest player in the world, making him Russian, and then assigning him to DC, to revive a moribund franchise, well, it may not qualify as "mysterious." Professional hockey, though, like the International Space Station, has the ability to transcend politics and make everyone human. It is, as they say, a "good thing."

Good luck, Alex, and bring home the Gold.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 25, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Nicely said! I have to agree. When it comes to hockey, I want Ovi to win the gold.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 25, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Nobody's announced who's on Team USA yet, but the Caps do not have many to choose from:

* Chris Clark (S. Windsor, CT)
* David Steckel (Milwaukee, WI)
* Brian Pothier (New Bedford, MA)
* Tom Poti (Worcester, MA)

and that's it. I don't expect any of these guys to be seriously in contention for Team USA slots. The Bears:

* Sean Collins (Troy, MI)
* Chris Bourque (Boston, MA)
* Zach Miskovic (River Forest, IL)
* Jason Bacashihua (Dearborn Heights, MI)

Again, highly unlikely...

But my teams, in order of preference, are:

* Team USA
* Team Russia
* Team Czech Republic
* Team anyone-but-Canada

Posted by: irockthered | December 25, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Tominfl1: nice philosophizing today! Your Ovie action figure sounds pretty cool too. I'll be wearing my new #52 Red jersey to Monday night's game---my second live game of the season.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 25, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

this is why nobody cares about olympic hockey except the usual hockey fans and the participation by the NHLers have been a failure.

you don't root for individual players when it comes to the olympics, you root for the flag... that's what made these games special, those days are long gone.

Posted by: joek443 | December 25, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

@joe443

If people are watching Olympic hockey then having NHLers participating is not a failure. I usually root for all US athletes during the Olympics but this time I feel a connection with the Russian team because of the Russian Caps players. And I don't feel too much of a connection at the moment with the US team. That could change for me by the Olympics begin. But I WILL be watching.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 25, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

dccitizen1: Good luck on Monday!

I was a political philosophy major, you know, back in the day, 30-some years ago. And I don't think I've forgotten any of it. These occasional forays on my soap box are merely my way to stay in touch with my younger self.

Merry Christmas to all. Remember, Santa says, "Ho, ho, ho! I hate Devils!"

To Marty Brodeur: Rocks and sticks and a super-sized five hole. Sorry, Marty.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 25, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I would much rather watch the Jim Craigs, Mike Ramseys, Davey Christians, Neal Brotens, Ken Morrows, etc even if they're just college kids that nobody ever heard of than these millionaires.

Posted by: joek443 | December 25, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

joek443: Sorry, but we must respectfully disagree.

Look, I love my country. Although I never served in the military, you can take my word on that. Does this make me a turncoat to root for Ovi and his team?

Well, I guess many would say so. Will I be waving a Russian flag on the staff out front? No, only one flag could ever go there. And how many countries would I die for? Only one, ever, mine.

Back when they were all amateurs, I would agree with you 100%. But it isn't like that anymore. This is a very difficult subject. I would never turn my back on my country. And I'm not. I'm just rooting for Ovechkin, my favorite athlete.

Alex Ovechkin has unleashed a torrent of fandamonium throughout the DC area. Many of his greatest fans are small children. They don't understand this flag business. Can you blame them for rooting for Alex? Can their parents say, "No, little Billy, you can't root for him until next week?"

Merry Christmas, joek443. You're a mighty fine hockey fan.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 25, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas everybody:

Besides our win over the Sabres, my best present was Neuvy's great game. He really seems to have gotten the hang of it; I can see what a great boost to this team having two good goalies is going to be.

Question: can they trade Theo or do something else to get rid of him before the playoffs? We would be so much better off if Neuvy was here instead.

Posted by: caraveli | December 25, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Let's give Theo a chance to win a Stanley Cup before he goes to another team next year. He deserves it.

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 26, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I'll be honest, I will be rooting for Russia and USA both. How can you not? I'd be great to see Team USA and Russia play for the gold.

I'll be rooting for the uniform for the USA and for Ovi, Jizz and Varly.

You're such a turncoat Benfromfl

Posted by: JSchon | December 26, 2009 2:51 AM | Report abuse

How did Simin get the nckname of Jizz?

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 26, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

That would be great--team USA against team Russia for the gold.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 26, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz.....lol
you have the nerve to call a team smarmy and arrogant? WHAT ARE U SMOKING?
Don't embarass yourself and this blog which such silly comments.

Posted by: wendel2 | December 26, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

How did Simin get the nckname of Jizz?

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 26, 2009 7:35 AM

well... hmmmm... ahhh...
ok - this might help
it is a non technical term for one of two ingredients required for conception - think - not the egg - and a way to tease him about his last name, if pronounced incorrectly

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 26, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

Serious question: do you really not know? If not, look up the word on dictionary.com. I can say it's not something I enjoy my boys running around shouting loudly.

Recently, Brads let it loose in an on-air interview; I am sure much to the dismay of Sasha.

Posted by: Steakum | December 26, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

OMG I am so embarrassed. I haven't felt this naive since I went to a concert in my youth (many many years ago) and thought all the funny smelling smoke was the equipment burning. I can still hear my sister laughing at me. Well I never did walk much on the wild side.

BUT I am going to use Sasha for Semin's nickname. I may be a fuddy duddy but I feel a sort of maternal pride in our young guns and I simply can't go there with that nickname. Shame he can't get his name spelled and pronounced correctly as has Varly.

(I'm still blushing)

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 26, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@wendel2

No need for hate, particularly during the holidays. I have also detected a fair amount of Canadian xenophobia on the part of commentators, bloggers, and posters. And of course we Americans never show bias and favoritism (tongue-in-cheek). Good or bad the Olympics brings out nationalistic fervor.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 26, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@capsyoungguns no hate just amazement at stupidity that comes out of some people

Posted by: wendel2 | December 26, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Nicky may want to rethink not finishing his checks on Ovie. You know Ovie given the chance will finish on Nicky and smile at him as he skates away. They can only play each other twice at the most, so there will be gigantic bragging rights for the next 4 years. To many of these guys, the olympic and world championships are more imortant than the stanley cup.

Posted by: RichC3 | December 26, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Lighten up Wendel... most of stuff here is pretty tongue and cheek...

A lot is lost is translation in this media...

Posted by: JSchon | December 26, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

ok schon if u want to put your tongue in some's cheek u go ahead on that...........

Posted by: wendel2 | December 26, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@capsyoungguns - I don't think it is accurate to call the sentiments expressed here as "xenophobia." I think the resentment is focused on the Canadian hockey establishment. It might be called the "Don Cherry syndrome," favoring a goonish style game, so long as it is practiced solely by Canadian players. There have been lots of examples recently, from the disparate disciplinary treatment of Ovi and Koci to the apparent loading up of Team Canada with Flyers players, with Mike G. considered to be a marginal prospect. My impressions of Canada and Canadians, based on living near their border, my work, and extensive travel from Vancouver to St. Johns, has left me with very positive impressions. However, the actions of the hockey establishment are another matter.

Posted by: zmega | December 26, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

It's ok, I'm with you. Sasha, it certainly is. I first heard the term from my oldest teenaged son. He said he's even seen it on a #28 jersey at a Caps game (also reported elsewhere).

I never knew it was an inside-the-locker-room nickname until Brads spilled it. I was like, "wait a minute! I know he means Semin, what did he call him?" Ughhhh! I am old enough to be a fuddy duddy on certain use of language. Trying to teach my sons better than that, but too many have no compunction about certain usage.

Posted by: Steakum | December 26, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Happy holidays everyone!! Here is to the Caps.....catching up with them Devils.

We need to make a statement in this game since they have had the upper hand in every game we have played this far.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 26, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I noticed that Marcus Johnasson is on the Swedish national team for the world juniors.

Posted by: zmega | December 26, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Also, Orlov and Kugryshev on Team Russia.

Posted by: zmega | December 26, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@zmega

No I didn't mean xenophobia on the part of CI posters. We can all get cranky sometimes and disagree a lot, but we are all Caps fans. I meant more when I explore other online sites, read other commentators regarding the Canadian team vs the Russian team, and the US kinda gets thrown in there in the mix. It's a little bit like the whole Ovi vs Crosby thing. Some of the sentiments I've read sound a lot like rehashing old attitudes about the USSR during the cold war. And Ovi is the cro magnon symbol of that evil empire--that kind of xenophobia.

In general I love Canada, the country is gorgeous, and goodness knows the culture of hockey is so strong there. Indeed Ovi has probably more Canadian fans than US fans outside of this area. Well to be more accurate really he has a lot of fans outside of Pittsburgh. Ha Ha.

I am really excited by the upcoming Olympics and my loyalties are divided. I am excited by the Russian team and I am sure I will be excited by the US team by the time the Olympics start. I recognize the risks but how great is it that so many of our players are elite enough to be on their country's team, not just the Russian players. And though I know it's a team sport, I'm afraid I'll be rooting against the Canadians really because of Crosby. And if Green makes the team my loyalties will be tested even further.

I've always been a fan of Olympics. Really where else can I see curling!!! And the figure skating is to die for.

@steakum

Still embarrassed the penny never dropped for me with regards to Sasha's "gotta remember how young the guys are" nickname. I'm still dealing with "crap" and "weenie" with my son. Thank goodness he hasn't gone there yet. I think I have to catch up or I will be in for a lot of razzing when he's a teenager.

@wendel2

Glad no hate. I'm still caught up in the holiday spirit made all the sweeter by the fact that there is a game tonight. I think it's a risk putting Neuvy in tonight but why not see how much he's up for. BB did stick Varly into the playoffs after all. That's still bigger than the Devils. BB does like to see who can bring the big game when necessary. It's a little bit like "survival of the fittest!"

Lets Go Caps

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 26, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone cares I've just completed a monumental task resembling a dissertation on the Russian Olympic squad for Bleacher Report.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/314529-analysis-of-russias-olympic-hockey-squad

Sheesh. Now I can go eat and get ready to watch the first WJC game on NHL Network, before tonight's Caps game.

Posted by: ranndino | December 26, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

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