For the third straight Olympics, Russia’s hockey team will not be bringing home a medal. Today’s 3-1 loss to Finland eliminated the hosts and likely set Vladimir Putin into a dark tailspin.
Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov is not taking the development well.
In an impromptu media session after the game, he painted a pretty bleak picture.
Q: You said that the analysis will come later. But what mistakes can you talk about now?
A: There were individual mistakes. That’s why we couldn’t affect the result even though we had twice as many chances as the opponents. We just couldn’t score.
Q: What future, if any, do you see for your own work and for your coaching staff? Because, you know, your predecessor was eaten alive after the Olympics—
A: Well then, eat me alive right now—
Q: No, I mean—
A: Eat me, and I won’t be here anymore.
Q: But we have the world championship coming up!
A: Well then, there will be a different coach because I won’t exist any more, since you will have eaten me.
Q: But you’re staying, aren’t you?
A: Yes, I will remain living.
Yeah, it’s never a good sign when a coach needs to go on record saying he doesn’t plan on committing suicide after a loss.
And if you think this is dark, it’s going to pale in comparison to the Canadian reaction should they lose to Latvia in a few hours.
[Photo via Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports]
[H/T: Wall Street Journal]