Putin put up the rare double hat-trick (plus one), netting seven goals to lead his squad of NHL vets to a 15-10 victory over a team that reportedly included Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian oligarchs Gennady Timchenko and Arkady Rotenberg. Putin’s scoring outburst – which came in front of a fired-up (probably because they had to be) crowd – was helped by some noticeably shoddy defense and the fact that he was playing alongside hockey legends Viacheslav Fetisov and Pavel Bure.
And for his awe-inspiring performance, which came on the heels of over-the-top player introductions, Putin was awarded with a gigantic trophy and a medal in recognition of all the hard work he’s done for his beloved sport in Russia. But while his seven-goal game was impressive, earlier this year he actually netted eight goals in a similar contest. Don’t think anyone mentioned that to him, though.
As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one evening, the birthday boy followed up his scoring binge by doling out some words of advice for the home crowd: “Whoever moves and goes toward victory will find it!”
Especially when victory isn’t getting back on defense. If this is how Putin celebrates his 63rd birthday – which also involved a rap song being made in his honor that’s clocked over three million views in three days – all bets are off for 2016.