Russian Olympic Hockey Team 2014: Everything You Need to Know for Sochi Games

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Russian Olympic Hockey Team 2014: Everything You Need to Know for Sochi Games
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As Russia hosts the Winter Olympics for the first time ever, its men's hockey team is looking to stake a claim on gold in Sochi during the 2014 Games.

Since the breakdown of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the addition of NHL players starting in 1998, it's been a rocky hockey road for the once-dominant Big Red Machine.

From 1956-1988, the Soviet Union took home seven Olympic gold medals, one silver and one bronze in nine appearances. The Unified Team also won Olympic gold in 1992 as the dust settled on the new national divisions, but in the six Games since Russia became a stand-alone nation, the Russians have won only a silver medal in 1998 and a bronze in 2002 in men's hockey, a sport that used to be theirs for the taking.

Icing a Russian team that's brimming with talent, expectations are high for a good showing in front of friends, family and dignitaries in Sochi. On paper, the team looks good, but when the tournament begins, the Russians could be hard-pressed to deliver gold.

 

All stats courtesy of NHL.com.

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