SOCHI, February 17. /ITAR-TASS/. The players of the Russian national ice hockey team realize that the whole country expects them to win the qualifying match of the Olympic tournament against Norway, Yevgeny Malkin, forward of the Russian national team, said after the training session.
The Russia-Norway match will be played in Sochi’s Bolshoi’s Ice Dome on February 18. The game starts at 16:30 Moscow time. The winner will qualify for the quarterfinals of the Sochi Olympics, to play against Finland.
“Norway’s national team is an average, good team that acts in an organized way,” Malkin said. “In tomorrow’s game it is important to score in the first period and then to carry the matters to the needed result. We must press on the Norwegian players and keep control of the disk. There are no weak players in this tournament. So we will exert ourselves one hundred percent. The Russian national team is objectively the favourite. We are aware that the whole country looks forward to our win,” Malkin said.
He said rearrangements were made in the links of players on the team. “For instance, I will be playing in a link with Aleksandr Ovechkin and Aleksandr Popov. All the guys continue playing. Anyway, we always aim to win,” he said.
Malkin believes that the Russian national team must give time to training in powerplay before the decisive games of the Olympics.