Advertisement

Select Page

World Cup Of Hockey Preview: Russia

World Cup Of Hockey Preview: Russia

As the hockey world prepares for the return of the World Cup of Hockey, the staff at InGoal Magazine will take a closer look at the goaltending situation for all eight teams, including likely starters and style of play leading into the pre-tournament exhibition games. We started with the Czech Republic, then Team EuropeTeam North AmericaFinlandSweden and the USA. Today we take a closer look at Russia:

Sergei Bobrovsky looks to be the best bet to start for the Russian team at the World Cup. (InGoal photo by Clint Trahan)

Sergei Bobrovsky looks to be the best bet to start for the Russian team at the World Cup. (InGoal photo by Clint Trahan)

The Russians enter the World Cup of Hockey with no goaltenders from the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

This is less surprising, perhaps, when considering which goalies were chosen: two veteran players who are well-respected in Russia and a rising star, all with national team experience.

Sergei Bobrovsky and Semyon Varlamov have both appeared on Russian rosters on and off since 2012  and split time in the Russian net during the Sochi Olympics in 2014. Andrei Vasilevskiy has played for Russia’s team in several junior world championships and the IIHF Men’s World Championship in 2014.

Bobrovsky and Varlamov are both 27 years old and in the prime of their careers. They both have maintained save percentages around the NHL league average over their careers and they both are seasoned starting goaltenders.

Sergei Bobrovsky

 Games PlayedSV%5 vs 5 SV%HD SV%Record
2015-16 Season37.908.915.77915-19-0

Bobrovsky has the best resume of the three.

In addition to Vezina trophy in 2013, he has a .930 in his 29 games with the national team. Unfortunately, multiple groin problems slowed Bobrovsky last season, limiting him to 37 games and a .908 save percentage. Groin issues can be tricky and  frequent groin issues can sometimes be a hint of a more structural hip concern.

In short, it’s not yet clear that Bobrovsky’s going to be back to his previous levels of play, even after an offseason of treatment and recovery. If he is, he should clearly have the inside track on the starter’s position.

Take a look at Bobrovsky’s WCoH mask here

Semyon Varlamov

 Games PlayedSV%5 vs 5 SV%HD SV%Record
2015-16 Pro Season57.914.923.80827-25-3
Semyon Varlamov will be splitting time with Bobrovsky in the net for Team Russia.

Semyon Varlamov will be splitting time with Bobrovsky in the net for Team Russia.

Semyon Varlamov should enter World Cup training camp as the No. 2 goalie. He has experience playing for the national team, but has been dogged by inconsistency on that stage.

Varlamov’s one World Championship appearance in 2013 was excellent, but his play at Sochi the next year left something to be desired. He hasn’t played an international tournament since. Combine that with a below-average 2015-16 regular season and it’s tough to put Varlamov in the driver’s seat.

See Varlamov’s WCoH mask here

Andrei Vasilevskiy

 Games PlayedSV%5 vs 5 SV%HD SV%Record
2015-16 Pro Season24.910.925.80011-10-0

Breathing down the necks of both of these veterans is Vasilevskiy. He turned 22 in July and comes into camp riding the tide of a surprise Stanley Cup Playoff stint where he backstopped the Tampa Bay Lightning to within a game of the Stanley Cup Final. He is not nearly as experienced at the senior level as his creasemates but is considered to be wildly talented if he can put it all together.

If push comes to shove, Vasilevskiy’s a fine backup option for the Russians.

About The Author

Clare Austin

Clare Austin is a reluctant "stats nerd" living in Nashville, where she has never worn a cowboy hat or boots.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

InGoal Partners

Follow InGoal on Social

ingoalmag
2 days ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy w

550

1

Andrei Vasilevskiy was the game’s first star and Jake Allen kept his team in it as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Take a minute to enjoy some of their best work in tonight’s Save Story.

Read InGoal Magazine