Nabokov started in goal for Russia at the 2006 Olympics and will be making his second Olympic appearance. In 2006, he helped lead Russia to a fourth-place finish, recording three shutouts and a 1.34 GAA in seven games. He finished second in the tournament among all goaltenders with a .940 save percentage.
At the 2008 World Championship, Nabokov led the tournament with a 1.78 goals-against average, recorded two shutouts in five games and was named the tournament’s Best Goalkeeper en route to a gold medal. He was also named Team Russia’s top player, he stopped 25 shots in the thrilling 5-4 overtime gold medal game.
Nabokov, a Russian citizen, was granted an exception by the IIHF to play for Russia after initially playing for Kazakhstan at the 1994 World Championships (C Pool).
Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.
— Sabres forward Jack Eichel on transitioning from college hockey to the NHL