World Cup of Hockey 2016 Preview: Team Russia



This weekend, the 2016 World Cup of Hockey will begin, bringing with it the biggest superstars in the National Hockey League.  Starting September 17 in Toronto, eight teams will vie for the championship in a tournament not played since 2004.  Let’s take a look at the chances for Team Russia.

by Bryan Vickroy

When it comes to international hockey, the Russians haven’t been able to live up to the expectations of their proud nation since the demise of the Soviet Red Army teams of yore.  Following an extremely disappointing result at Sochi, the Russians enter this tournament with possibly the most dangerous top line ever assembled. 

All that firepower might not be enough to overcome the deficiencies on the blue line, and possibly in net.  Russia is one of the most difficult teams to project, but the talent level might not be there to end up winning it all.

WCOH History

1996 WCOH:  3rd Place

2004 WCOH:  6th Place


Potential Lines

Left Wing                                         Center                                       Right Wing
Alex Ovechkin (WSH)                  Evgeni Malkin (PIT)               Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)
Vadim Shipachyov (KHL)           Evgeny Kuznetsov (WSH)     Evgenii Dadonov (KHL)
Vladislav Namestnikov (TB)       Pavel Datsyuk (DET)             Nikolay Kulemin (NYI)
                                                           Ivan Telegin (WIN)
Left Defenseman                              Right Defenseman
Andrei Markov (MTL)                    Alexei Emelin (MTL)
Dmitry Kulikov (FLA)                    Alexey Marchenko (DET)
Dmitry Orlov (WSH)                      Nikita Zaitsev (TOR)
Nikita Nesterov (TB)
Semyon Varlamov (COL)
Sergein Bobrovsky (CBJ)
Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB)

Best Case Scenario

Powered by a high octane offense, steady goaltending allows them to win games in their group, and lead a path to potential new glory for Mother Russia.  If they can manage to get into the finals, they might might be able to win by outscoring everyone.

Worst Case Scenario

The scoring only comes from one line, and the back end is torn apart by stronger teams.  The team loses early in round robin play, and never has a shot of making it out of the group play stage, furthering the decay of a once mighty power.

Team MVP: Alex Ovechkin

Breakout Star:  Evgeny Kuznetsov

Leading Scorer:  Alex Ovechkin

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