Russian players were expected by many to do more and better at the 2018 World Hockey Championship. Russia ended the preliminary rounds as the second-place team from Group A, and went on to face Canada in the quarterfinals to determine if they could go on and compete for a medal.
It did not happen. Ryan O’Reilly scored the game winner on a 4-on-3 power play with 4:57 into overtime on Thursday, as Canada beat Russia 5-4 and punched its ticket to the semifinals in Copenhagen. While Canada did not manage to have a podium finish, losing 4-1 in the bronze medal game to the United States on Sunday, it did have a better track record than Russia.
No one could really tell why the Russian players were having so much trouble competing at the World Hockey Championship. After all, the team could count on star players such as Pavel Datsyuk, Artem Anisimov, Evgeni Dadonov, Nikita Zaitsev and Pavel Buchnevich.
With the championship tournament coming to an end on Sunday, a Finnish newspaper reported an interesting piece of news that might answer why Russia failed at the Worlds.
As cited by the Montreal webpage Dans Les Coulisses, a Finnish newspaper reported on Saturday that the Russian team went on a vodka binge during the two-week stay in Denmark, as the players stayed in a 4-star hotel in Copenhagen. They have reportedly indulged in caviar as well, which will bring your bill up in no time.
According to a hotel employee who spoke with the Finnish newspaper, the final bill for the Russian team and their indulgences in vodka and caviar came up to over 2.5 million Danish kroner - the equivalent of 355,000 euros, 417,000 US dollars, 536,000 Canadian dollars.
The hotel employee also reported that the Russian team was quite frustrated and disappointed following their 4-3 overtime loss to Canada on Thursday evening.
Many fans noted that the Russian players seemed completely out of it during the first period of the quarterfinals against Canada. It was noted that the Russian team only started to skate and attack in the second period, and it thankfully allowed them to push the contest in overtime. It was however too late...
Let's hope all the vodka and caviar made up for the poor performance overall.