Kukla's Korner Hockey
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Finland 5, USA 0
SELANNE, RASK HELP FINLAND CAPTURE BRONZE MEDAL
Teemu Selanne (Anaheim Ducks) scored two goals – including the game-winner – and Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins) made 27 saves – and also denied two penalty shots – to lead Finland past the USA in the bronze-medal game.
With the victory, Finland became the only men’s hockey team to medal in four of the past five Olympic Winter Games (since 1998). It has captured one silver medal and three bronze medals in that span, failing to medal only in 2002.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Dustin Brown was a force for the Los Angeles Kings when they won a Stanley Cup in 2012 and won a silver with the U.S. four years ago. But apart from a sterling effort against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals, this was a difficult tournament for the Kings captain, who happened to be on the ice for the first two Finland goals. He played 26 seconds in the second period and just 1:17 in the third.
"I'm not happy about it," Brown said. "It's the coach's job to figure out the best chance to win. If that's what he thinks is ... I'm a player, he's a coach, that's how it works."
Brown was among a core of players whose experience in Vancouver was supposed to help this team avoid this kind of disappointment.
"It's definitely not a pretty sight. The score's obviously not pretty at all," Brown said. "It's hard to explain. I don't really have an answer for you, quite honestly."
Brown was asked if the U.S. quit.
"I don't think we quit," Brown insisted.
If they didn't quit, they sure did unravel, as the Finns pumped three goals by Quick in the third period, two on the power play as the frustrated Americans paraded through the penalty box.
"Yeah, we did collapse," offered U.S and Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter. "We had a great first period, we were all over them, had a couple of good chances, couldn't get one by him and it ended up costing us."
Game time is 10:00am ET and can be watched on NBCSN and CBC.
I am not sure what kind of game to expect, but if it does turn to be a wide open game, the advantage would go to the USA.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Both Sweden and Canada put the majority of their game plan emphasis on defending. It's why they're both in the gold-medal game.
This isn't the NHL over here.
"It's a different sport," Sedin said. "You can't even compare them. Everyone thinks because it's a bigger ice, it should be more open. I think teams are playing more defensive than ever."
As such, expect a low-scoring game Sunday. Which should not be confused with boring.
I think we're in for the best hockey game of the year, on either side of the ocean.
And for Team Canada, a chance to make it three gold medals in five NHL Olympics.
"It's about hockey supremacy," Babcock said Saturday. "We like to brag that it's our game? If you think it's your game, you better show it's your game."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The team’s inability to win gold and beat Canada in a knockout showdown cannot be blamed on the omission of any single individual from the final roster. This Canada 1, USA 0 day is not a result of Bobby Ryan, Kyle Okposo, Brandon Dubinsky, Jack Johnson or Keith Yandle having been left at home.
The US needs to apologize to no one. The US just somehow needs to get a little bit better … or perhaps to add a killer instinct against Canada.
There was ’96 in the World Cup. That’s it. That’s the sum and substance of United States best-on-best hockey victories over Canada with it all on the line. There was ’96 and still only ’96 after a day on which the lads could not score against Canada that came a day after the lassies could not protect a 2-0 lead against Canada.
Big brothers to the north. Big sisters, too.
And time to wait until the Americans get their next shot at overturning the natural order.
Perhaps we, as a nation, should be reassured. We don’t always win. We lose the world juniors now; we could still lose the Olympics. But nobody produces players the way we do that are willing to be this sort of team. It’s been written before, and it’s true: Canada is the red army now, rolling over Russia in wave after wave. One more to go.
-Bruce Arthur of the National Post on Team Canada. More on yesterday's game at Canada.com.
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
It does, on the face of it, seem a little lop-sided.
Of the four on-ice officials assigned to work Sunday’s Olympic gold-medal game between Canada and Sweden, three are Canadian-born.
This fact hasn’t gone unnoticed in Scandinavia. Peter Forsberg, the penalty-shootout hero of Sweden’s 1994 gold-medal victory over Canada at the Lillehammer Olympics, reportedly texted a Swedish newspaper to register his dismay about the passport count.
“What a f---ing joke!” was Forsberg’s reported two cents.
Sweden 2, Finland 1
Canada 1, USA 0
PRICE, BENN LIFT CANADA OVER USA
Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens) stopped all 31 shots he faced for his first career Olympic shutout and Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars) scored the lone goal early in the second period to lead Canada past the USA and into the gold-medal game for the second consecutive Olympic Winter Games.
LUNDQVIST, KARLSSON LEAD SWEDEN PAST FINLAND
Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers) made 25 saves and Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators) scored the game-winning goal late in the second period to help Sweden defeat Finland and reach the gold-medal game for the second time in the past three Olympic Winter Games (also 2006).
from CBS Boston,
As for the future of NHL players participating in the Olympics, Olczyk had an interesting solution to the league’s opposition to shutting down for several weeks in the middle of the season.
“Maybe we’re getting to the point where you’ve got to get creative. Maybe you’ve got to say, ‘You know what? We’re going to have men’s ice hockey in the summer Olympics.’ You have it in August. Everybody wins there. Everybody wins. You don’t shut down the NHL, and you still allow the best hockey players in the world to come to a tournament like this.”
read on for Olczyk's opinion on the USA/Canada game...
The first alarm that goes of in my head is hockey would end up on the XYZ channel during the Summer Olympics.
If you have an opinion, let's hear it...
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.
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