The Russians aren’t just meddling in our elections. Now they’re disrupting our Olympic hopes.
US men’s hockey coach didn’t extend his hand to his Russian counterpart at the end of Saturday’s brutal 4-0 loss — because he probably wanted to give him the finger.
The former New York Ranger blew off the traditional postgame handshake with Russia’s Oleg Znarok, charging Team OAR (Olympic Athletes from Russia) was trying to run up the score when the game was no longer in doubt.
NBC analyst Pierre McGuire said on the broadcast that Granato was “furious” when Team OAR sent out their top power-play unit with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
“I didn’t like it. It was 4-0,” Granato told reporters afterwards.
Ex-NJ Devil Ilya Kovalchuk scored two back-breaking goals as the Russians overmatched the US as each team wrapped up pool play at the Olympics.
When US defenseman Matt Gilroy took a cross-checking penalty with 2:07 to play and Kovalchuk jumped over the boards with the rest of the top power play unit, a furious Granato shouted, “Keep putting them on the ice, keep putting them on the ice!” to Znarok, McGuire said.
The chippy game, which featured frequent in-your-face battles between the players, took place less than a day after the feds revealed the indictments of 13 Russians, including a close pal of Vladimir Putin, for meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
US and Russian fans filled Gangneung Hockey Centre and went back and forth with “U-S-A” and the “ROSS-I-YA” chants that made up the background noise at the Olympics four years ago. The OAR players had extra motivation.
Many comprised the team that lost to the US in a stunner at the 2014 Sochi Games, which featured Putin in attendance.
The US must now play in the qualification round Tuesday, while Russians finished first in the group and move on directly to the quarterfinals.