Russia will be able match high-end skill with anyone at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but questions will continue to linger about the team's depth after the host country's 25-man roster was announced Tuesday.
Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk lead a roster that will be trying to win despite the pressure of being on home ice. The Russians also will be trying to make up for a disappointing performance four years ago in Vancouver when they were blitzed by Canada in the quarterfinals.
Those four superstars will be expected to provide a lot of offense, along with former Nashville Predators forward Alexander Radulov. Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens and Fedor Tyutin of the Columbus Blue Jackets are the two veteran NHL players on the defense corps. Semyon Varlamov (Colorado Avalanche) and Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets) are among the three goaltenders, while 2010 starter Evgeni Nabokov (New York Islanders) and backup Ilya Bryzgalov (Edmonton Oilers) did not make the team this time around.
Young NHL players Valeri Nichushkin and Vladimir Tarasenko are among the forwards picked, but top prospect Evgeni Kuznetsov, whose representation has cited a better chance to make the 2014 Games as the reason for staying in Russia instead of joining the Washington Capitals, did not make it.
Here is the 25-man roster for Russia, which is in Group A with Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States:
Defensemen -- Anton Belov, Edmonton Oilers; Alexei Emelin, Montreal Canadiens; Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens; Evgeni Medvedev, Ak Bars Kazan (KHL); Nikita Nikitin, Columbus Blue Jackets; Ilya Nikulin, Ak Bars Kazan (KHL); Fedor Tyutin, Columbus Blue Jackets; Slava Voynov, Los Angeles Kings
Forwards -- Artem Anisimov, Columbus Blue Jackets; Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; Denis Kokarev, Dynamo Moscow (KHL); Ilya Kovalchuk, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL); Nikolai Kulemin, Toronto Maple Leafs; Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Valeri Nichushkin, Dallas Stars; Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals; Alexander Popov, Avangard Omsk (KHL); Alexander Radulov, CSKA Moscow (KHL); Sergei Soin, Dynamo Moscow (KHL); Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues; Alexei Tereschenko, Ak Bars Kazan (KHL); Viktor Tikhonov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
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