SOCHI, Russia — Alex Ovechkin on one wing. Evgeni Malkin in the middle. Alex Semin on the other wing. That was one of the Russian lines today at practice, the team’s first here in Sochi with both KHLers and NHLers.
Not a bad trio, right?
Semin, of course, Ovechkin knows well from their time together with the Washington Capitals.
“I know him right away,” said Ovechkin. “As soon as I get the puck on the left side, I know where he’s going to be.”
As for playing with Malkin: “He likes to control the puck, control the game.”
Malkin probably won’t mind the opportunity to set up two of the top snipers in the game, either.
Meanwhile, Pavel Datsyuk (groin) didn’t practice today, and it’s still not known if he’ll be ready for Thursday’s opener versus Slovenia. Head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov was hopeful, but offered nothing definitive.
If healthy, Datsyuk will likely center wingers Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov, based on what we saw today.