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Topic - Zinetula Bilyaletdinov
Russia ice hockey coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov is leaving his job after the home team's disappointing quarterfinals exit at the Sochi Olympics.
Right from the start of the tournament, the only way to envision the Russians winning a gold medal in hockey was to close both eyes and keep them shut.
Alex Ovechkin took some heat from the Russian coach for scoring one goal in the Olympics. Adam Oates says Russia lost as a team.
Ilya Kovalchuk was not on the ice for Russia's final practice before the qualification round, and his coach insisted the superstar forward is not injured.
As elite teams go, they aren't particularly big, they don't wear red much anymore, and as far as being a machine, well, the Russian hockey team is proving just as susceptible to nerves as anyone here at the Olympics.
The Russians are resting Pavel Datsyuk, hoping he'll be healthy enough to play in their Sochi Games opener.
"Tough to explain the loss, of course, why scored so little," Bilyaletdinov told reporters. "Players who score so many goals for their clubs, like Alex Ovechkin who scored 40 goals for his club … Right now I cannot explain that."
"The coach is to be blamed for the result, only the coach," he said. "He had a set of bright hockey stars but failed to make a team. There was no team during all their games here."