Evgeni Nabokov wants back on the Russian Olympic team. He’s been part of their previous teams in 2006 and 2010 and he wants to be part of the 2014 team in his home country.
As NHL.com shares, Nabokov wants to show he can help get his country the gold medal they’ve been longing for and doesn’t like that he’s being put in the backseat behind the likes of Sergei Bobrovsky and Semyon Varlamov.
“I do not understand why everyone considers me a reserve player,” he said. “We have a coaching staff, and none of them has said anything about who will be the first goaltender and who will be the second or third. I am happy to be on the national team, and that is enough.”
If that’s all he wants, he may get his wish but the competition will be tough.
Bobrovsky is coming off a Vezina Trophy-winning season that saw him almost single-handedly lead the Blue Jackets to the playoffs. Varlamov has had his ups and downs in Colorado, but he’s had strong performances in recent years at the World Championships.
Meanwhile, Nabokov’s performance in the 2010 games was less-than helpful for his case and how he played against the Penguins in last season’s playoffs for the Islanders was not so hot either.
When you throw in the two KHL goalies who were invited to Team Russia’s camp, Vasily Koshechkin and Kostantin Barulin, things may not pan out at all for Nabokov.