Pavel Datsyuk spoke as what he is, the captain of a proud and determined team. Datsyuk, who regularly dazzles for the Detroit Red Wings, contributed three assists against Norway today, helping put his Russian team into a quarterfinal match against Finland on Wednesday. "After first few games, lots of pressure, lots of nerves," he said. "Now it's tournament, more open." Team Russia recovered from a sub-par first period to hammer Norway, 4-0, at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. The Russians had to play a qualification game after failing to place among the top four seeds following group play. The Russians haven't looked imposing yet, but Datsyuk sees progress. He described today's score as "good result, what we needed," then spoke of needing to improve against Finland, the No. 4 seed that has rested since Sunday. The Finns lack offensive power, but their goaltending can leave opponents frustrated. "They have good team, they skate well and have good goalie," Datsyuk said. "Lots of guys from NHL." Team Russia's strength is supposed to be an offense crammed with skilled forwards, but there was a power play against Norway that saw Russia fail to even register a shot on net. After four games, Team Russia has two commanding victories, against Slovenia and Norway, a shoot-out victory over Slovakia and a shoot-out loss to Team USA.
Pavel Datsyuk helps Russia survive: 'We feel OK' going into Finland matchup
Detroit Free Press | Feb 18