VIDEO: Russian, Swedish coaches exchange threats at Worlds
Things got heated at the end of the Russia-Sweden semifinal at the World Championship as coaches on both sides exchanged rather aggressive threats.
Move over, Patrick Roy. You've got a couple of international coaches that would like to take your throne for between-the-benches shenanigans.
At the World Championship, Russia and Sweden met in the semifinal earlier Saturday. The two clubs had a heated game that reached a boiling point in the final minute after Sweden's Mikael Backlund had a questionable hit on Russia's Sergei Plotnikov.
That brought about some spirited coach shouting between Russian head man Oleg Znarok and Swedish assistant coach Rikard Gronborg.
Znarok made a few gestures at Gronborg, not the least of which was a throat-slashing motion, to which Gronborg replied with a similar threat. If you can't read lips, he says "I will [expletive] kill you" in perfect, animated English. Gronborg played US college hockey, actually.
Russia won the game 3-1 and advanced to the gold-medal game with a roster that features Sergei Bobrovsky, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. They'll await the winner of the other semifinal between Finland and the Czech Republic.
It is highly likely that both coaches receive some attention from the IIHF, though I would assume Znarok is most at risk for his gesture, which the IIHF won't like seeing as it's replayed on TV and YouTube over and over. There's nothing to translate when it comes to a throat-slash gesture. A fine or suspension is possible, but I don't think the IIHF would consider suspending him for the championship game.
Gronborg's threat probably shouldn't go unnoticed, but it's probably not unfair to say that that exact phrase is uttered at least once per game by the players. Should the IIHF hold the coaches to a higher standard, and I think they do, Gronborg might not escape unscathed.
Despite so few NHL stars making the trek to the Worlds in this Olympic year, it sure has been interesting.
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