Apparently, Vladimir Tarasenko was playing last night with a rib injury. No word on how serious, but it wasn't serious enough to keep him out of the gold-medal game.
One Russian goal, then two, in a 13-second flash, and the ice began to give way. Russian captain Vladimir Tarasenko, playing with a rib injury, tied the score less than five minutes later. Canada looked frozen, panicked, lost. Russia was flying, and looked like men. A fourth goal came, and then a fifth, a weaving beauty from Nikita Dvurechenski, sealed the tomb.
It was grit, guts, heart, all those adjectives that Canadians sometimes believe to be their own exclusive property. Tarasenko’s ribs were so bad that Russian coach Valeri Bragin ordered him back to the locker room, and Tarasenko refused to go. As Russian goaltender Igor Bobkov recounted, "Vladimir Tarasenko, our captain, he has injury, and the coach said ‘Don’t go’ in the first period, and he said, ‘No, I’m going.’ And he scored the third goal. It’s the best captain in my life."
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