- © RIA Novosti. Grigory Sokolov
© RIA Novosti. Grigory Sokolov
MOSCOW, December 16 (R-Sport) - The Russia team that won this weekend's Euro Hockey Tour stage is capable of beating the Canadians and triumphing at the Sochi Olympics, Russian Hockey Federation president and legendary Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak said Sunday.
A team packed with NHL stars including Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin blazed through the Channel One Cup beating Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic with an aggregated scoreline of 14-2.
"Beating the Canadians? Why not?" Tretiak said. "This team can win. With slick, clinical and stable play, of course it can."
All that remains to turn the team into genuine world beaters at its home Olympics next winter is to eliminate the petty errors and tweak the roster, Tretriak said.
"There are mistakes, and the team is not finalized, it's hard to predict who'll play in Sochi. But the team has its signature, and the players are maintaining the correct course."
Russia is under immense pressure to deliver the gold medal at its home Games, and hopes the NHL will release the country's top players in order to do so.
In a warning of the grim consequences if it does not, last month Russia won only one of its three games in the previous Euro Hockey Tour in Finland playing without its NHL contingent.