SOCHI, September 12 (R-Sport) - Legendary Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak admitted Saturday to R-Sport that he is worried by poor performances from the Russian national hockey team in the run-up to next year’s Winter Olympics.
A Russian team without NHL players lost two of its three games on the Euro Hockey Tour last month, going down 2-0 to Finland and 2-1 to the Czech Republic but beating Sweden 2-0.
“This situation is worrying,” said Tretiak, who serves as head of the Russian Hockey Federation. “I saw the games and I can say that there’s a lot of dedication but unfortunately not enough execution.”
“Unfortunately, those skilled players either aren’t there yet or they’re not yet showing their skills.”
Russia’s staff are visiting NHL arenas across North America “watching every match of the candidates” for the national team, Tretiak added.
Tretiak was keen to point out that Russia’s Euro Hockey Tour roster was far from the best available as coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov picked a young team.
“Our coaches are looking at the youngsters,” he said. “It’s great that we have the Euro Tour, where we can look at our players.”
Russia will host the Winter Olympics for the first time in Sochi from February 7 to 23.
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