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Taking the world by storm

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Russian blue liner takes home bronze, earns top defenseman honors

Andrei Markov and Larry Robinson are the only Canadiens defensemen to ever crack the tournament All-Star team at the World Hockey Championship.

MONTREAL - It may not have been the medal he hoped to win, but Andrei Markov hardly left the 2007 World Hockey Championship empty-handed.

Sidelined with a knee injury suffered against Finland in the semi-final following a collision with Sean Bergenheim, Markov was not able to suit up for the bronze medal game. His teammates soldiered on without their blue line general, picking up a 3-1 win over Sweden, paving Russia's way to the podium.

The victory marked Markov's second bronze medal at the Worlds, with the Habs defenseman having also brought home bronze from Norway in 2004. The result may have been a letdown for the favored Russians, but Markov's performance at the event was anything but disappointing.

With three goals and five assists in eight games to go with a plus-5 rating, Markov was a shoe-in for the tournament All-Star squad where he was joined by teammates Aleksey Morozov and Evgeni Malkin. Rounding out the squad were Kari Lehtonen and Petteri Nummelin of Finland and tournament MVP Rick Nash of Canada.

Skating with the stars
Andrei Markov is the second Habs defenseman to ever be named to the World Hockey Championship All-Star Team.
2006 Andrei Markov D
2001 Martin Rucinsky F
1999 Saku Koivu F
1999 Martin Rucinsky F
1981 Larry Robinson D

Markov also earned top defenseman honors for his efforts, becoming the first Habs blue liner to do so in over 25 years. After being bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the upstart Oilers in the spring of 1981, Larry Robinson extended his hockey season by suiting up for Team Canada at the World Hockey Championship in Sweden. With Canadian coach Don Cherry looking on from the bench, Robinson picked up a goal and an assist in six games to lead Canada to a fourth-place finish.

Canadiens to have earned top forward honors include Russia's Alex Kovalev (2004) and Finnish captain Saku Koivu (1999).

Markov, scheduled to become an unrestricted free-agent on July 1, will be in Montreal in the coming days to have his left knee examined by team doctors.

Manny Almela is a writer for

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