Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) ahead of a Night Hockey League gala match at the Bolshoi Ice Palace. Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Alexei NikolskyTASS via Getty Images)

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Vladimir Putin’s Hockey Career on Thin Ice After He Only Nets 5 Goals in Game

The Russian president had eight goals in 2015 and seven in last year’s Legends of Hockey contest.

Despite facing supposedly intense competition from former NHL players in an annual Legends of Hockey game in Russia, Vladimir Putin was somehow still able to net five goals during his team’s 12-7 victory.

However, the five scores marked a low point for the Russian President as he was able to put in eight goals in the 2015 edition of the game and potted seven in last year’s contest.

That said, it is remarkable Putin was able to score five goals at all considering he took up hockey late in life after being a judo competitor in his youth as well as an avid shirtless horseback rider. His ability to outskate former pros and push lazy shots past NHL-caliber goalies is particularly surprising since a USA Today hockey scout said this in a scouting report on Putin  last year: “He skates fine in a straight line, but his turning radius exhibits all the grace of a 500 foot-long Russian battleship.” The scout also suggested the leader might have an unseen, on-ice advantage: “He must be well known in Russian hockey circles for having Gordie Howe’s well-educated elbows, because everybody seems to give him a wide berth—he certainly knows how to make room for himself.”

Perhaps even more surprising than Putin’s five goals: that President Trump didn’t tweet about them.

It’s unclear exactly why the 65-year-old’s scoring has been slipping, but one has to believe Putin’s goal output will increase in 2019 if this year’s performance leads to a drop in his approval numbers.

Read the full story at the Associated Press