Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk: From Russia Without Love

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Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk: From Russia Without Love
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Most people can agree that Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk are three of the top players in the National Hockey League (NHL) today. Even more agreeable is that they are the top three Russian players.

While all three have had successful careers so far, the 2010-2011 season has been sub-par at best for the Russian superstars. Currently, they have combined for 58 goals on the season.

By comparison, Ovechkin has notched 65 goals on his own in one season in his 2007-2008 campaign.

The slumping of these players brings to question, what's up? Surely, the stereotype of Russian players being notoriously lazy and showing a lack of passion for the game will be brought up.

While the three players are having decent seasons by the NHL's standard, they are certainly nowhere near the level that they are expected to and should be at.

Let's examine these Russian powerhouses.

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