Russian hockey coach, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov expressed his disappointment in his team's elimination from the Olympics today by heaping the blame on attacker Alexander Ovechkin.
The hosts lost 4-1 to Finland at the quarter final stage and Bilyaletdinov believes that goalscoring was Russia's greatest downfall.
"Tough to explain the loss, of course, why scored so little." Said Bilyaletdinov after the game. "Players who score so many goals for their clubs, like Alex Ovechkin who scored 40 goals for his club [didn’t score]… Right now I cannot explain that.”
Ovechkin does indeed lead the NHL with 40 goals for the Washington Captials but has only scored one goal during these Olympics.
The Capitals forward has come in for criticism from fans of both club and country after poor displays in important games but this is the first time that a head coach has openly blamed Ovechkin for a defeat.
Other Russian stars such as Evgeni Malkin have escaped criticism and according to some media outlets refused to talk to the press after the defeat.
It remains to be seen what future Bilyaletdinov or Ovechkin have in future Russian national teams but it seems that the disappointment of Russia's team failing will be felt by one individual.