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Lang Named Captain

via Reuters,

Detroit Red Wings center Robert Lang will captain the Czech men's ice hockey team at the Olympic Games, team officials announced on Tuesday. The Czechs, seen as a hot contender to dethrone Canada for gold, will be led by Jaromir Jagr up front, but he has tended to shy away from leadership roles on the team in the past. Dominik Hasek was the backbone of the Nagano team and coach Alois Hadamczik said the Ottawa Senators netminder will start the first game of the tournament on Wednesday against Germany. But, he added, Tomas Vokoun of the Nashville Predators will get the call for the following game against Switzerland on Thursday. Hadamczik said he will wait until after the Swiss game to decide on who will play goal the next match.

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Games On Wednesday

from the IIHF,

The men's tournament kicks off February 15 with six exciting Preliminary Round matchups. Here's a little historical background and feel for where each of the games is likely to go. Italy-Canada, 13:00, Palasport Olympico: Would Team Canada consider loaning its two stars of Italian heritage, goalie Roberto Luongo and forward Todd Bertuzzi, to the host team to even out the playing field a little? OK, maybe not.
read on note: times listed are 6 hours ahead of eastern standard time.

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The Venues

The Olympic hockey games are being played at two locations- The Olympic Palace and the Torino Esposizioni. The Olympic Palace will be the location for the semi and final rounds of hockey. note: both pictures are very high resolution, more than 3mb each. image image

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Poor Dom

Hasek still without his equipment. Notice the duct tape on the trapper. image

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With Hope & A Prayer

from the AP via the Times Union, Italy goaltender Jason Muzzatti wears a mask at practice adorned with portraits of Pope John Paul II and the Virgin Mary. Opening against mighty Canada, the Italians don't have a prayer. Spend a day with Team Italy, though, and you might just believe the host country's hockey team -- with barely a season of combined NHL experience -- can compete with the overwhelming gold medal favorite. Assistant hockey coach Jim Corsi gathers the team around a dry erase board, leaning against the glass while he explains a drill. About half the team is from North America, but Corsi runs practice with the native tongue. read on...and check out the goalie mask...

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...More On The Nash Incident

from Hockey Refs,

Nash, a Canadian, plays for Columbus in the NHL and was caught on videotape apparently assaulting referee Vyacheslav Bulanov of Russia and linesman Miroslav Halecky of Slovakia during the Canada-Sweden game last May. “Basically the two officials, to a degree, were partially holding up his progress up the ice,” said IIHF supervisor Bob Nadin of Canada. “That’s how both officials look at it.” Many disagreed with that analysis, as the videotape from Sweden’s TV3 clearly showed Nash yelling at Bulanov before hooking him twice and then striking Halecky – who was trying to separate the two – in the shoulder.
more View the video...

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Hasek Downplays Czech Team

from the Prague Daily Monitor,

The Czech ice-hockey team is considered one of the hottest favourites as betting shops, experts as well as Czech fans expect the team to win a medal. Hasek said he had heard this and read about it. He said the Czech team came to Turin to do its best and represent the Czech Republic. He nevertheless added that he cannot promise anything because of tough competition. Hasek said he considers important the first game which the Czechs play against Germany on Wednesday. He pointed out that the Germans have been jointly training for some time already, while the Czechs will play only one training together and some of the players may not even arrive in time for it.
more

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Gagne Travels With The ‘Gold’

from the Courier Post,

Simon Gagne's 2002 Olympic gold medal rests neatly in a shiny wooden case. And it goes with him wherever he goes. "If I go back home to Quebec it's in my luggage," said Gagne, who is in Torino, Italy for his second Olympic experience. "When I'm in Philly, it's with me. "Every place I go for a long time the medal is going to come with me. At one point I'm going to have to do something special with it. But for now it stays with me."
continued

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Anything Can Happen

from the Globe and Mail,

It would be hard to imagine a more different approach. In the search for the gold medal in men's hockey -- which begins tomorrow with six games, including Canada against the host country -- there is the Canadian way, and there is the Finnish way. The Canadian way is all the way or nothing. You go for gold, you accept nothing less. "It's different for Canada than for us," Finnish captain Saku Koivu said at the end of his country's first practice yesterday. "We just go step-by-step and try to finish in the top four.
read on

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Red Wing Fans Can Score

via the Michigan Lottery,

Play Area 1: If YOUR GOAL is higher than THEIR GOAL in the same Game, win prize shown for that Game. Get a "HAT TRICK," win TRIPLE the prize. Play Area 2: Get three identical symbols in any one row, column or diagonal, win prize in PRIZE box. PENALTY SHOT: Get a "NET" symbol, win $20.
more image

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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