While you were sleeping, the Russian hockey federation took to announcing their initial 16 player roster for the World Cup of Hockey this September.
|D Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens||L||4||30||34|
|D Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers||L||1||12||13|
|D Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals||L||7||18||25|
|F Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals||R||40||18||58|
|F Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks||L||18||16||34|
|F Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks||R||22||35||57|
|F Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins||L||24||27||51|
|F Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals||L||20||45||65|
|F Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning||L||24||26||50|
|F Nikolay Kulemin, New York Islanders||L||6||9||15|
|F Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings||L||13||23||36|
|F Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues||L||30||25||55|
|F Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning||L||10||17||27|
|G Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning||18||11||5||0||2.64||0.914|
|G Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche||44||22||17||3||2.79||0.912|
|G Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets||27||11||13||1||2.65||0.911|
Here’s Russia’s jersey:
— NHL (@NHL) March 2, 2016
No real surprises on this roster. They were required to announce 16 players and at least two of them had to be goaltenders. Russia opted for the 10 forward, 3 defensemen, and 3 goaltender combo.
Keep in mind, Russian officials announced earlier KHL players would be kept off the initial roster for the tournament. Those players include Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Radulov.
Here are a couple things that stand out about the Russians:
— Clearly they’re very dangerous offensively. Ovechkin, Malkin, Panarin, Tarasenko, Kuznetsov, and Kutcherov currently sit within the top 25 in league scoring.
— Granted this is a roster for a tournament in September, but the starting job could be up in the air. Bobrovsky and Varlamov shared the duty in Sochi. Varly isn’t having a stellar season. Bob’s health and confidence have been shaky at best.
— Some current NHL’ers not on the roster that were on the team in Sochi include Fedor Tyutin, Nikita Nikitin, and Valeri Nichushkin
— The players from the KHL are the wild card here. Teams have until June 1 to announce their entire roster for the tournament.
— One fascinating thing to keep an eye on is if the Russian team will attempt to put Slava Voynov on their roster. Remember, this is basically an NHL tournament. Unless the league wants a massive zit on their tournament, they’re going to do what they can to make sure Voynov stays at home.
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