The men’s hockey competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi begins Feb. 12, and one of the top gold medal contenders is host nation Russia.
The Russians have a ton of elite talent at forward, with Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin, Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and KHL superstar Ilya Kovalchuk forming one of the top trios at the Olympics.
The team has some weaknesses on the back end, including a lack of experience, but there’s enough two-way talent for the Russians to reach the medal round. Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will give Russia a dependable presence in net — something the nation lacked at the two previous Winter Olympics.
As the host nation, Russia will be under immense pressure to return to the medal stand after failing to finish in the top three four years ago in Vancouver.
Check out the video above for a full Team Russia preview.