When the United States faces Russia on Saturday (7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN), it’s shaping up to be the most-anticipated game of the opening round.
For the Americans, they know they’re not just going up against Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, and the rest of the team but also the crowd as they told Yahoo! Sports.
“Obviously this will be a lot like playing Canada in Vancouver with the hostile atmosphere,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said.
Team USA knows all about what that was like after facing Canada twice in 2010 in Vancouver. They’ll have to recreate some of that success they had if they want to send the Russian fans home disappointed.
“We’re going to play a Russian team that’s at home. They’ve got their home country cheering them on. They’re going to need no motivation for sure,” forward David Backes said. “[They have] a skill level on that team that’s probably the highest in this tournament so we’re going to have to work our butts off, do the little things, and play our blue collar hockey in order to win that game.”