The current Beijing 2022 Olympics is full of mysterious moments. The number of unexpected outcomes of hockey matches never fails to amaze the fans. Experienced specialists throughout the games issued up-to-date predictions to help the viewers to place sports bets because it turned out to be extremely difficult.
The Russian team was able to defeat such a strong opponent as Sweden in the semi-final. By the way, it is interesting that the last time these teams played against each other was as much as 16 years ago! Considering how much time has passed, it was extremely difficult to restore the details of that game, but we did it.
In 2006, the national team, led by Alexei Zhamnov, won the Scandinavian team with a surprising score of 5:0. But now, a result like this, unfortunately, can only be dreamed of.
With regards to this match, at first glance, it was extremely difficult, even for the true professionals, to determine who would become the favourite of the game. The experts, as usual, shared their predictions, which helped the fans to bet on hockey. As we know, the Russian team managed to defeat such a strong team. Because of that, the Swedes took only fourth place, but Russia received a well-deserved silver award.
Was this game easy for the Russian team? The answer is obvious because everything was decided by the shootouts. Many say that this option for determining the winner is not entirely objective. Some countries even want to abolish them. The Russian team was not the absolute dominant throughout the game. However, the Russian players had a certain energy that everyone else felt from them as well.
Thinking back to the famous 2006, it is difficult to say whether the Russians have forgiven the Scandinavians for their “trick”. We will remind you that the Swedish team lost to Slovakia on purpose to avoid playing with Canada. As a result, that burden fell on Russia. Back then, this story was all over the media. However, as we said above, the Russians still defeated the Scandinavians. And that’s despite the fact that the composition of the Swedish team included many well-known players – Sundin, Alfredsson, Lidstrom, Lundqvist, the Sedin brothers. Only Forsberg could not participate because, at that time, he had minor health problems.
The 2006 Olympics in Turin started badly for the Russian hockey team. They lost to then Slovak bronze medalists with a devastating score of 3:5. This game was remembered by many, partly because of the scandal between the head coach and the goalkeeper. Vladimir Krikunov accused his trainee of irresponsible behaviour. That is because Bryzgalov, due to certain circumstances, arrived at the Olympic village a little later than his teammates. According to the head coach, it was this factor that led to the failures of the whole team in the game. Of course, the coach was wrong, but his decision was firm. The goalkeeper was never allowed to participate in any other Olympic game. He never managed to come to an agreement with the coach. Even though this had no effect on the course of the further games at all. The media asked Krikunov: why was he so cruel to Bryzgalov; To which the head coach stated that the team generally does not listen to him well and does not follow a number of instructions and requirements.
According to an expert assessment, the removal of the goalkeeper had almost no effect on the team. After all, it already had a lot of star players. For example, Bryzgalov was replaced by the experienced Evgeni Nabokov, who played for the national team of Kazakhstan throughout his youth. Also, experienced hockey players such as Viacheslav Fetisov and Igor Kuperman manifested themselves. By the way, Nabokov was remembered by many for his outstanding game at the goalpost when he managed to prevent the Canadians from scoring 27 times. Then, the Canadian team was stronger than ever and consisted of numerous well-known star players. But even that did not stop the Russian team.
Interestingly, in the final game, the opponents managed to score only once – and that was when Evgeni was off the ice rink, so they scored into an empty net. Swedish goalkeeper Lundqvist played well too, but the rest of the team didn’t do so good. And even these missed goals mean nothing because every game is a matter of chance.
Vladimir Krikunov prepared the national team for the 2006 Olympics perfectly well. Some experienced athletes had to be replaced due to injuries, but their places were taken by the hockey players of the same high status. The famous Kazan trio, consisting of Zaripov, Zinovyev and Morozov, also did not take part in the Olympics. Mozyakin, unexpectedly for everyone, became one of the best scorers, although his candidacy was never really taken seriously. The athlete performed well at the Riga World Championships, which is probably why he was accepted into the national team. In general, the quality of the Russian team raised a lot of questions.
At the European Hockey Championship, Kharitonov, Malkin and Sushinsky were brought together for the first time. The players played so well together that at the Olympic Games, the coach did not have anything to say to them. Vladimir is a responsible and experienced coach. Sometimes he jokingly says that no one has ever seen the real composition of the Russian team.
Then the Russians defeated the Canadian hockey players but lost to the Finnish and Czech teams. As a result, they lost everything they achieved and were left without rewards. Those Olympic Games ended in a scandal featuring the head coach, although the media focused on the legendary victory that everyone had been waiting for for a long time. The national hockey team of Sweden became the winner of the Olympics.
So what about in Beijing?
At the Beijing Olympics, the results are as follows: Finland has gold, Russia has silver, and Slovakia has bronze. The Swedes did not win a medal. The question is – why was the Slovakian team a little stronger?
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