NHL Hall of Famer and Toronto Maple Leafs great Mats Sundin had some quite interesting comments about Russia’s performance in the Men’s Hockey Tournament at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Sundin spoke to TSN 1050 this morning prior to the Canada-USA Semi-Final game.
“I was almost disgusted by their performance when they played Finland… I look at the Finnish team and they’re missing key players. They don’t have any of their big stars and now [Rask] is hurt and that Russian team is stacked with great players and to come out and have that performance they had in the quarterfinals. It was an absolutely heartless performance.
“It was very disappointing and I don’t think it’s very good for hockey either to have them out of their home tournament. You wonder when you have Putin in the stands on home ice and you can’t get heart out of these guys? What’s going to bring it out? I don’t know.”
“Even though you’re nervous or you have a lot of pressure built up, you can always still get into the motions and show that you’re actually trying… We didn’t see anything of that in the quarterfinal.”
Well, there’s not much you can say about that. Sundin was obviously not impressed with the Russian performance, as were a lot of people. The Russians were expected to win the Gold Medal Game and they didn’t even make it the Semi-Finals.
The fact that their superstars Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin were nowhere near the level needed spoke a lot about their performance. A lot has been said that a few of the players were playing as individuals and not as a team.
Sundin is a very respected name in the hockey world and was the captain of Team Sweden when they won the Gold Medal at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. He knows what he’s talking about and I’d take his word on almost anything.