Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Martin Merk of IIHF.com,
Zetterberg played in Sweden’s first game against the Czech Republic but hasn’t practised since due to back problems. He missed yesterday’s practice and didn’t join his team either in today’s pre-game skate for the match against Switzerland.
Team doctor Bjorn Waldeback addressed the media and said Zetterberg has a herniated disc. During the pre-game skate it became known that he will not only miss today’s game against Switzerland but that he will be out for the remainder of the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament in Sochi and will fly home.
“He is still suffering from his back injury and it is so painful for him that he can't be in it any more. It is Z who has taken this decision together with me,” Waldeback said. “I think it is the cumulative load. There was no specific thing that happened in the game. The issues came the morning after. These are nerve-related issues and they often come creeping in. It is not one specific injury.
"[The NHL doctors] totally agree with us. When you suffer from a herniated disc the way he does, you need to go home for a medical evaluation."
“I spoke with Z on the evening after (Wednesday's) game and he didn't show any signs of feeling the slightest pain,” Swedish head coach Par Marts said. “Of course it's nothing one wishes for, but we have to see the possibilities and look forward.”
a bit more on Team Sweden...
Mike Babcock joined Sportnet's Hockey Central at Noon and talked Team Canada.
He also mentioned Datsyuk returning to the Wings on Thursday around the 13:50 mark.
Babcock on Hockey Central at Noon says he's been told Datsyuk will play Thursday.
from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
As for Pavel Datsyuk, it’s beginning to look more and more like his chances of participating in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, are getting slimmer and slimmer.
“Nope,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said shrugging his shoulders when asked if there was anything new on Datsyuk.
Datsyuk is the captain for Russia.
Asked if he would be back before the Olympics, Babcock said, “I don’t know. I’m just like you. I just keep asking.”
more on the Wings...
And I’ll predict that the game will be against the Detroit Red Wings. I mean, the alumni game alone would be an automatic sellout. You want to see Peter Forsberg and Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic suit up against Darren McCarty and Mike Vernon and Kris Draper and all the other hated Wings one last time? Of course you do, and you will buy a ticket to see them one more time, even if some don’t show up. An Avs-Wings alumni game would be just so much fun – and I bet it would be a verycontentious game, which would make it that much more fun.
-Adrian Dater of All Things Avs where the headline reads "Denver a slam dunk to get NHL outdoor Winter Classic game next year". Dater also refers to the "Outdoor Winter Classic Series" in the story so somewhere along the line there is confusion since I thought Washington was awarded the Winter Classic game for next season.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The GMs, often vexed on trade deadline day or upon the opening of the free-agent market on July 1, can’t agree on what should happen if, say, a goal or a penalty would occur during the time between a missed out-of-bounds call and a stoppage to allow the review.
The solution would seem to apply the same standard as when a goal is missed and later awarded by Toronto, which would be to wind back the clock and allow the penalty to stand. No goal could be scored in what would be illegitimate time.
There is sentiment among at least a portion of GMs and league executives to remedy the situation and apply video review to out-of-play calls for the playoffs. But best intentions may not be enough. It is not so simple to enact a rule change in-season, unless, of course, it applies to Sean Avery (See: 2008 playoffs, The Avery Rule).
In order to adopt expanded video review for the playoffs, the league would require approval from the competition committee, followed by a unanimous vote from the Board of Governors, as opposed to the two-thirds majority that’s necessary to enact changes before a season.
Perhaps the two points that went to the Red Wings — and could have implications worth millions of dollars if Detroit makes the playoffs by that margin — are enough to jog the board into dramatic action. Surely it should.
more plus other hockey topics...
“The gold would mean a lot. Talk in Sweden began to pick up when they were about to pick the teams. We know Canada’s going to be good, a lot of teams will, but Sweden will have high expectations.”
-Nick Lidstrom on Team Sweden. Luke Fox of Sportsnet has more from Lidstrom, including Wings and Babcock talk.
from John Niyo of the Detroit News,
Detroit now sits seven points behind Montreal for the last Atlantic Division playoff spot, and suddenly among a handful of teams looking up at Toronto and Columbus for the two wild-card berths in the Eastern Conference.
And while this five-game homestand was billed as a chance for the Wings to find some traction before next month’s Olympic break and the stretch run that’ll follow, it may prove to be just the opposite.
Because for a team that has forgotten what home ice is all about in the NHL — the Wings hadn’t played here since Dec. 23 and they’ve won just seven of 25 games in Detroit all season – looks can be deceiving.
Next up are the defending Stanley Cup champs from Chicago – the hope is Jonas Gustavsson will be able to start in net after his own three-week absence — followed by a decent Montreal team they haven’t seen and a bad Florida team they can’t beat.
“Yeah, for sure,” said Justin Abdelkader, when asked if players were starting to notice the shadows looming in the standings. “We’re starting to slip a little bit. We’ve got to get rolling here.”
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Mike Babcock likes to say that gold-medal preparation yields gold-medal results. The players who were with him at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics can claim that they have their gold medals in part because of that very philosophy.
Canada won gold four years ago and will try to defend it next month with Babcock behind the bench at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
"Everything was laid out there for us when we got to the Olympics," Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith told NHL.com. "We were very well-prepared in what we wanted to accomplish on the ice as far as our systems and the way we wanted to play as a team. It was also communicated to us very clearly about what the other team's tendencies were, how they played their systems and the players on their team. That was one thing that stood out for me was how well prepared we were as players."
That preparation has players like Keith and the 10 others who played for Canada in Vancouver trusting that Babcock again is the ideal coach for them in a short tournament.
While his success in the NHL is well known -- Babcock is a Stanley Cup champion (2008), a three-time Cup Finalist (2003, 2008, 2009) and the third-fastest coach in history to reach 400 wins, behind Scotty Bowman and Glen Sather -- he has had great success in international tournaments.
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.
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