Kukla's Korner Hockey
Two local men are living out a hockey fantasy as many Colorado Avalanche players are living out their own dreams by representing their countries at the Olympic Games in Italy. Eric Schaupeter and Mark Faur are minding the nets for three practices as regular Avs goalies David Aebischer and Peter Budaj travel back from the Olympics.more with video...
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
"That's probably the most hated team we face in hockey," Finland captain Saku Koivu said. "People are going nuts back home. For a Finn, having an Olympic gold medal game against Sweden, it's not getting any bigger." The Finns played a textbook game in the 4-0 cakewalk against the feared Russians in the semifinal, clogging the neutral zone like it was rush hour on the Long island Expressway.read on update 8:11pm, from Ray Ferraro of NBC Sports,
I expect the gold-medal game to be a very tactical game, pretty similar to the way Finland played tonight. But they face a team from Sweden that has gotten progressively better as the tournament has gone on, and I think they are probably a little deeper offensively than Finland.more update 8:48pm, Finland will be the home team in the final and they chose to play in white. Therefore, Sweden will play in blue. update 8:55pm, from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
The Swedes have the more talented team and the Finns are playing the best in this tournament. It's a toss-up. Take the Swedes only because Forsberg and Sundin want it badly.more, plus a look at the bronze medal game... added 9:05pm, As I mentioned earlier this week, some of the Olympic jerseys were close to selling out. The Sweden Olympic jersey is temporarily out of stock but I will leave the link up for a week or so in case it becomes available again. The Finland jersey is available and remember you can customize the jersey with name and number. The lettering is the same twill style you see on the official jersey. Just click the jersey on the right sidebar if you have an interest.
Mike Babcock was on Detroit radio and he said Lidstrom will not play on Tuesday against San Jose. He also mentioned that Datsyuk has either a broken finger or hand, not sure what it is right now but it looks like he can play. Babcock mentioned a team that has five guys playing in the finals of the Olympics should not be traveling across country to play their first game 48 hours after the Olympics. But only the good teams get robbed of this, the more players in the Olympics the more the NHL team will suffer. He plans on sitting out one or two other Wings on Tuesday, but said Kronwall will play. He will deal with it when everyone is together and he sees first hand the condition of the players coming from Turin.
We are near the end of these Olympic hockey games and good thing. Players look tired and who can blame them? Gold medal game is Sunday at 8:00am EST. Then the boys hop on planes to their next destination. In case you forgot who I picked as the winner of the gold.....
from the CP via TSN,
"We're already in discussions about things that we might be able to do to make Vancouver (in 2010) a little easier for everybody," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday while watching Sweden beat the Czechs 7-3 to advance to the gold medal game. "But having said that, one of the things that's not on the table is for us to take a longer break. This is as long a break that we're prepared to take (15 days). And if accommodations have to be made, they'll have to be made in how the tournament is scheduled."read on
While there might be some demand for Ducks defencemen Keith Carney and Ruslan Salei, it would seem unlikely that they will be moved so long as the Ducks remain in the hunt for a playoff spot. Anaheim is currently three points out of ninth place in the West, with one game in hand.read on about what teams may plan to do with the trade deadline coming up...
from Terry Frei of ESPN,
The IIHF and the NHL should agree to make the Olympics a 25-and-under competition. The Switzerland-based IIHF won't do handsprings over that, but it would come around -- if that's presented as the only alternative and a win-win proposition. And all the teams should be put together with the age limit as the inviolable standard, so the ice is even.more
from the Vancouver Province,
...That prospect has fueled speculation that Nonis will acquire St. Louis veteran Eric Weinrich for a draft choice when the roster freeze ends Monday. Weinrich, 39, becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and -- with $443,000 US left on his $1.3-million deal -- it could be palatable to Nonis, who has about $3 million in salary-cap relief from long-term injuries to Jovanovski and goaltender Dan Cloutier. "At this point, we don't have a deal with any team," said Nonis.read on
from John Garrett of Sportsnet,
The league shuts down for 16 days so its stars can participate in the Olympics. The Players' Association and the league thought by showcasing their talents every four years on the world's biggest stage it would help sell the game. Do you think the fans in Nashville really care who wins the gold?more
Now that five and maybe six Red Wings are in the Olympic finals on Sunday, Ilitch should give his players a nice surprise. Have a plane waiting for them at the Turin or Milan airport and let them travel in comfort to San Jose. The Wings play the Sharks Tuesday and the Ducks on Wednesday. By giving them access to a plane and a direct flight to San Jose, the Olympic Wings would not have to worry about delayed flights, making connections or lost equipment. This would be a great move from Ilitch and he has done things like this in the past, time for Mike to come through again. I am sure the players would appreciate it and Babcock probably would be thrilled with it too.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org