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mwagner468

Are Russian players "really" lazy

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So I preface this with saying I am a competitive dancer.(yes I am straight) In the dance world the Russian dancers are the most disciplined, hardest working dancers. I always that that was kind of the culture in Russia. Yet in Hockey the Russian players are always branded as soft most often floating type of players (excluding Datsuyk of course) Do you feel Russian players just dont care about the Stanley cup playoffs, or do you believe this just to be a fallacy all together?

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Fedorov like Dats was/is an exception to the rule.

Still wear my Fedorov jersey time to time as he was my favorite Wing when I was kid. Russian players get a lot of crap always have. There are some exceptions though but in general I prefer North American players.

p.s. Add Vladimir Konstantinov and Malkin as not being lazy players.

Edited by St. Michael (the Red Wing)

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Not just Russian players....many players don't care about the Cup. Most recently Suter and Parise, who will now never see it again unless they do a Discover commercial with Peggy.

A championship used to be the focus of everyone and was cherished, now these guys could care less about winning, as long as they have a bloated contract, are playing with friends and are worshiped by their fans. It's turned into the NFL and NBA.

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Russians players are often lone stars who might work hard but don't function very well in a group. This is one reason the russian national team rarely has any success, all those stars but they can't play together.

Edited by Ekmanc

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Seems like an unfair stereotype because of a couple of players. Who exactly are you talking about? Yashin?

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First, no, it's absolutely not true. But a lot of adult hockey fans in the 80's and 90's were bred with that Cold War mentality, and misinterpreted the playing styles of some of the Russians who defected at that time. Any stereotype based on an entire nationality of players is obviously unfair - Konstantinov and Darius Kasparatis were extremely rugged players who just happened to share the same nationality as guys like Alex Kovalev. But if you ever watch European soccer, there are just cultural difference in sport that Americans will not accept. For example, American athletes fully accept doing anything to gain an edge (bending the rules, steroids in baseball, trying to hurt opponents), yet diving or embellishing injury of any kind is a violation of the "man code" and completely dishonorable. In other countries, however, this is seen as a "trying to get an edge", really no different than stepping out of bounds but failing to correct a referee who doesn't make the call.

Still, the "soft" or "lazy" accusation gets imputed to the whole when North American fans see something like this:

I never though that Fedorov was "soft" or that Kozlov was "lazy", but I heard that all the time. There was a famous Sergei Fedorov quote where he said if his name were "Sam Jones", he would be considered a much bigger star than he was. There's been this tacit requirement that the bar for Russian players is much higher in the NHL (and still is). In other words, if you're Jordin Tootoo or Cal Clutterbuck and spend most of your time scrapping and running people in corners, North American players are romanticized for doing that, while a Russian who did that but couldn't score probably couldn't even stay in the NHL.

I think it's getting noticeably worse for Russian players in the NHL, and the KHL is a prime reason for that. Nobody wants to make a long-term commitment to these guys when there's always the threat that they'll pull a Radulov or Hudler and end up back overseas. I think that's a legitimate concern for would-be employers, but we can do with out the Don Cherry-style xenophobia.

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Fedorov like Dats was/is an exception to the rule.

Still wear my Fedorov jersey time to time as he was my favorite Wing when I was kid. Russian players get a lot of crap always have. There are some exceptions though but in general I prefer North American players.

p.s. Add Vladimir Konstantinov and Malkin as not being lazy players.

And Larionov.

There's just something about certain guys like Semin and Kovalev that spells lazy. You can say the same about Penner before the Kings cup run this year. Franzen is lazy.

There's lazy players from everywhere...

Nev likes this

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Russians players are often lone stars who might work hard but don't function very well in a group. This is one reason the russian national team rarely has any success, all those stars but they can't play together.

Which is funny you say that because back when Russians played as "Soviets", they were known for having superior chemistry and obsessive preparation stereotypical of a communist environment. There are stories about the KLM Line where they were placed together at a young age, always roomed together, and were inseparable.

It seems like Russian players are either too unselfish ("Shoot Larionov! Shoot the puck! Shoot!" - Every Wings fan in the 90's) or they're selfish goal scorers like Bure, Kovalev, and Ovechkin who don't care about their teammates. I think it's B.S. There's years were Nash struggles to get 20 or 30 assists despite scoring 40 goals, but nobody ever calls him selfish for trying to skate through entire teams on defense.

I think Red Wings fans have a much more evolved perspective on Russians because we had a whole decade of success with Russian players who were successful, likable (mostly) and team-oriented. Most NHL fans haven't had that experience with Russians - they treat them the way Detroit treats goalies. I remember 24/7 last year where they showed Ansimov on the Rangers doing the "sniper" thing with his stick. When I saw that as a highlight, I thought it was a total Richard move. But behind the scenes on 24/7, he explained that somebody told him to do it once in the KHL, and he really had no clue it was going to be a big deal or sign of disrespect. I think a lot of Russians are just misunderstood like that. Obviously, there are some with legitimate work ethic problems, but that's true of any nationality.

Edited by StormJH1

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We play a very different style of game (I'm Russian in spite of my place of residence) that may sometimes LOOK lazy. If you would watch some old games between Russia and Canada you see that most of the time Russian players spend energy on the ice when they see there is a chance to score. We usually spent way less time in D and always look for an opportunity. It is in our minds. Canadians on the other hand are taught to work first and only then to create on the ice. That's why you see so many excellent D-orineted forwards in Canada. Sometimes one side prevails over the other. Last WJHC game between Canada and us (6:5) was a clear indication of this concept. All the goals scored by us were creative speedy ones, while those scored by Canada were hardworking ones. Sad to say but hardwork usually wins...

PS To anser precisely. Russians are not lazy, they just play a different style of game.

PPS Datsyuk is different. Fedorov was a prototypical Russian forward. Eager to get offense going still sufficiently reliable defensively.

Edited by RusDRW

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Generally speaking, I think there's been a big shift in Europe lately. Winning is much more important to the new generation of hockey players and there's another understanding of what it will take to win. One big reason is that this generation grew up watching the Stanley Cup on TV, much like the kids in Canada and the US.

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I wasn't saying I agreed with the sterotype. I just wanted to bring it up for discussion. Bored on a Thursday. But yeah, Semin was on my mind when I started my post.

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Which is funny you say that because back when Russians played as "Soviets", they were known for having superior chemistry and obsessive preparation stereotypical of a communist environment. There are stories about the KLM Line where they were placed together at a young age, always roomed together, and were inseparable.

This is an interesting point. The fall of the Soviet Union could have played a major part in the shift, if there indeed was a shift, in attitude.

Under Soviet rule the mentality was strict and of do whats best for the team/country/organization, teamwork achieves the utimate goal. The fall of the Soviet Union was a very interesting event as the country shifted from a strict regimented communist country, to a wild-west true-capitalist gangland utopia in a very quick fashion. And the mentality thus shifted from "teamwork" to "self/money, etc."

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First, no, it's absolutely not true. But a lot of adult hockey fans in the 80's and 90's were bred with that Cold War mentality, and misinterpreted the playing styles of some of the Russians who defected at that time. Any stereotype based on an entire nationality of players is obviously unfair - Konstantinov and Darius Kasparatis were extremely rugged players who just happened to share the same nationality as guys like Alex Kovalev. But if you ever watch European soccer, there are just cultural difference in sport that Americans will not accept. For example, American athletes fully accept doing anything to gain an edge (bending the rules, steroids in baseball, trying to hurt opponents), yet diving or embellishing injury of any kind is a violation of the "man code" and completely dishonorable. In other countries, however, this is seen as a "trying to get an edge", really no different than stepping out of bounds but failing to correct a referee who doesn't make the call.

Still, the "soft" or "lazy" accusation gets imputed to the whole when North American fans see something like this:

I never though that Fedorov was "soft" or that Kozlov was "lazy", but I heard that all the time. There was a famous Sergei Fedorov quote where he said if his name were "Sam Jones", he would be considered a much bigger star than he was. There's been this tacit requirement that the bar for Russian players is much higher in the NHL (and still is). In other words, if you're Jordin Tootoo or Cal Clutterbuck and spend most of your time scrapping and running people in corners, North American players are romanticized for doing that, while a Russian who did that but couldn't score probably couldn't even stay in the NHL.

I think it's getting noticeably worse for Russian players in the NHL, and the KHL is a prime reason for that. Nobody wants to make a long-term commitment to these guys when there's always the threat that they'll pull a Radulov or Hudler and end up back overseas. I think that's a legitimate concern for would-be employers, but we can do with out the Don Cherry-style xenophobia.

Excellent post

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This is an interesting point. The fall of the Soviet Union could have played a major part in the shift, if there indeed was a shift, in attitude.

Under Soviet rule the mentality was strict and of do whats best for the team/country/organization, teamwork achieves the utimate goal. The fall of the Soviet Union was a very interesting event as the country shifted from a strict regimented communist country, to a wild-west true-capitalist gangland utopia in a very quick fashion. And the mentality thus shifted from "teamwork" to "self/money, etc."

there is some truth here. We were united more or less up to 90s. We indeed had something to play for and that was not money. Now, money is the only law in Russia. We have no uniting ideas (bet you don't get what it is), no support from each other, no support from goverment, nothing... It is like each individual is alone and feels alone, not only in hockey. This stimulates influx of players with individual mentality, e.g. Filatov.

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Not just Russian players....many players don't care about the Cup. Most recently Suter and Parise, who will now never see it again unless they do a Discover commercial with Peggy.

A championship used to be the focus of everyone and was cherished, now these guys could care less about winning, as long as they have a bloated contract, are playing with friends and are worshiped by their fans. It's turned into the NFL and NBA.

:rolleyes:

Seriously? You honestly believe this to be true?

P.S. It's "couldn't" care less.

uk_redwing likes this

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Kovi might've been a faker, but I LOVE this video!

esteef

"The mother of all elbows" by a Russian

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I'm thoroughly convinced that the only reason anyone thinks Semin is lazy is because other people say Semin is lazy. How often does he need to score in order to be considered consistent and not lazy? Should he score as often as Zach Parise? Oh wait, he already does. Should his plus/minus be better than Parise's? Wait, it already is. Maybe if he shot more or passed as much? Wait, he does that too...and at a higher percentage. About the only areas in which he and Parise don't match up are number of games played, and ice time. Factor those in and Semin has done as well or better than Zach Parise in every major category with MUCH less time on ice.

His numbers also compare very favorably to Rick Nash and Bobby Ryan as well, and most of us (myself included) would be thrilled to have those guys.

There are a lot of negative things you can say about Semin, but lazy and inconsistent shouldn't be among them.

Edited by kipwinger
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I don't think most of them are. There are always exceptions to the rule. But I dare you to say that to, oh, Pasha, Igor Larionov, Slava Fetisov (or Kozlov, either one) or someone like that. I think they'd deck you.

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His numbers also compare very favorably to Rick Nash and Bobby Ryan as well, and most of us (myself included) would be thrilled to have those guys.

There are a lot of negative things you can say about Semin, but lazy and inconsistent shouldn't be among them.

There are about 37 Russian players in the NHL, some of them are top talent: Dats, Ovi, Malkin, Kovy and many others, so if out of 37 players 5 players have somewhat questionable work ethics - it's easy to call rest of them "lazy", however it's not always true and if you take any nation and look at their players with questionable work ethics you will probably get the same percentage (US, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic); but as far as Russians - they've had some vivid examples: Yashin, Kovalev, Radulov, etc.

Would you call Kovalchuk lazy? He is always in top 10 point-wise, had a decent run in the playoffs, but few years back everyone was taling that he is extremely selfish and lazy.

I personally would be thrilled to have Semin; I think the whole Red Wings team mentality and dynamics, in addition to Dats influence would make him extremely good player for us.

Hey, and remember many of you called Dats playoff bust a few years ago?

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Sharapova seems really hard working.

I agree with whoever brought up the old Soviet teams and how they were essentially together all year, worked like dogs, and got paid squat. Those guys retired to live in apartment buildings along with other civilians. Not like nowadays, where there's all these guaranteed millions.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I bet there's a lot more lazy Canadians in hockey now than there was 30 or 40 years ago. Just part of this era more than anything else. Guaranteed money would make us all more likely to be lazy.

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Definitely not all Russians are lazy, as wings fans we should all know that. But I do think a much larger percentage of Russians fit that Russian stereotype than a lot of people let on. Some people might call me a Don Cherry or something but I dont really care and find the stereotype to be true quite often, but before you jump all over me, hear me out.

The guys who come over from Russia are stars usually, not a lot of grinders stay over here because just as good of a living can be made at home in the KHL as a grinder. This means that guys who get by on skill alone are pretty much the only ones that make it. You'll never have a Russian 4th liner out there busting his balls to block shots and kill penalties for aliving because they do that in the KHL. So while some North Americans are just as lazy, for every lazy one, theres probably 5 Darren Helms just trying to hold down a roster spot through hard work.

Russians on top of that dont grow up dreaming about the cup like North AMericans, theyre seeing olympic gold and world championships which are played when North Americans think the real hockey is just starting.

Howver even the ones who arent lazy seem to fit that prima donna stereotype in one way or another. Hell, even Datsyuk was being called to be traded by some because he wanted a big contract. Fedorov held out for a season almost on the wings, and these are the guys we use to prove the stereotype wrong whe something like this comes up. There were also only 24 Russians to play an NHL game last year, so the big names that struggle like Semin or Ovechkin it becomes more apparent.

Overall, I think there is some honest truth to the tag Russians have for the most part but that doesnt mean any Russian is a lazy, money hungry Commie. Datsyuk is a prime example

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I think that Russians appear lazy for a few reasons. Firstly, they grow up playing a different brand of hockey - pure a simple. More emphasis is placed on creativity and offence and less is placed on structure and defensive play. In regards to Russian sniper type players (ie, Kovalchuk, Ovie, Bure, Semin, etc) their speed is what separates them and gives them scoring chances. Those quick 5-7 second bursts to beat a checker and get a breakaway and get the goal are predominatly supplied by the creatine phsophate system within our muscles - and lactate system also plays a role. If your humming around all shift at 85% pursuing the puck and sticking with your check odds are youll be less likely to with footraces towards the mid/end of your shift. But if you come out and float/wait high in the zone and then bury the pedal you going to be faster and provide yourself more time and space when you do in fact get the puck. You might get more goals and points over a season playing like this - but odds are more will end up in your net and youll leave teammates out to dry allot. Note: Ovies lack of production playing more defensivley minded. This is why many around the league beleive that if Datsyuk didnt play so disciplined he could score 100points a year. how many times do we see Pavel back-check, battle in the corner, break the puck out and finally get an odd man break but be skating 60% speed because hes already been going for 40 seconds? It happens allot - but I have no problem with it because hes so good on the defensive side of the puck.

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