Can Russian men's hockey team handle the pressure?

Russia's Alexander Ovechkin slides into the boards during a team practice at GM Place in Vancouver,...

Russia's Alexander Ovechkin slides into the boards during a team practice at GM Place in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday, Feb. 15, 2010. (Andre Forget/QMI Agency)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:35 PM ET

SOCHI - How about two top lines of Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Malkin, Alexander Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Alexander Radulov and Valeri Nichushkin?

Or, if you want, throw in Alexander Semin.

The Russians boast some of the best top-end talent in the Olympic tournament, but their skill level has never really been in question.

The anticipation when it comes to the hosts is what kind of “team” will the Russians have? It often feels as though the Russian squad is never greater than the sum of its parts.

They may be skilled, but their commitment to the team game more often than not leaves a lot to be desired.

 


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