Today the Russian national team is actively preparing for the World Championship, as well as for the next stage of the European Championship. There are less than two weeks left before the games start. The 2021 Championship will be held in Riga. The first match for the team will be held on May 21st. On this day, the Russian team will meet with the Czech team. The group stage will also be marked by a match between Bragin’s players against the following teams:
Teams from Kazakhstan, Finland, Canada, USA, Latvia, Germany, Italy and Norway will fight in the next qualifying group. The quarterfinals are still scheduled for June 3rd. Two days later, the semifinals will take place, and on June 6th, the final games of the national teams will be held in the Baltic country, during which the teams will fight for the gold and bronze.
Russian IHF has already developed a new version of the uniform of the national team for the World Championship 2021 in Latvia. It will definitely depict fire and rings related to the main symbols of the Russian Olympic Committee.
Is the Russian national team ready for the championship?
Today, many hockey experts agree that the main team of Russia is not doing well. Thus, recently the defender Yuri Pautov and the forward Pavel Kukshtel were out of action. Their performance was objectively evaluated, and specialists came to the conclusion that it is too early for both players to participate in the major championship.
Another long-overdue question, actively addressed by the coaching staff, is who will become the goalkeeper of the national team? Its leader, most likely, doesn’t see Igor Shestyorkin in this role. But, nevertheless, the goalkeeper regularly participates in matches, though it should be noted that recently his game hasn’t brought good luck to the team. Perhaps he himself should have defined his position on participation in the world championship. It’s no secret that Igor always wanted to play for the national team.
If Shestyorkin wouldn’t be approved, he will most likely be replaced by one of reserve goalkeepers, either Alexander Georgiev or Ivan Prosvetov. However, the latter has a big question mark next to his name. In the next match of the Pacific Division of the AHL he will most likely play for Tucson. But this team is an outsider and its further participation in the championship is unlikely. There are very few other contenders from the AHL.
Daniil Tarasov’s participation would be a good decision, while Anton Khudobin will most likely be free from the NHL.