Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Each Monday, we’ll rank the top contenders to man the pipes for Team USA and Team Canada in Sochi based on their play to date.
1. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings: No surprise to see Quick make three stops in the shootout and preserve a win over the Hurricanes on Friday. He has a 70 percent save percentage in the skills competition, sixth-best among active goalies. That skill might come in handy in Sochi. (Last week: 4)
2. Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres: He returned from a minor injury just in time to have his defense desert him in a 4-1 loss to Columbus, but was exceptional in a 2-1 defeat by the Blackhawks that was played entirely in Buffalo’s zone. (Last week: 1)
1. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens: We’re starting to see the impact of the tinkering with his mechanics. He looked nice and compact in a 39-save performance against Roberto Luongo and the Canucks, and did a good job of swallowing his rebounds. He also enjoyed a nice tire pumping from Sidney Crosby who called him “the best goaltender in the game.” (Last week: 4)
2. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks: He looks like he’s back in form after a soft opening week. It’s not just that he’s making the stops he’s supposed to make, it’s his ability to maintain focus when the action is centralized in the other end that could really pay off for Canada. (Last week: 5)
the #3-5 spots are also listed for each country...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
It is still undecided what form, exactly, the return of the Premiere Games in Europe will have. For five straight seasons from 2007 through 2011, the NHL held regular-season games in Europe to open the year.
One idea that seems to have the most traction is to hold the games around late October instead of at the beginning of the regular season, as had previously been done. Given that most NHL teams have already booked their preseason games for next season, it would make sense to delay the event later into October....
Meanwhile, there has been debate about whether the World Cup of Hockey -- not held since September 2004 -- would return either in the fall of 2015 or the fall of 2016, but as my colleague Elliotte Friedman reported over the weekend on Hockey Night In Canada and a source also told ESPN.com, it’s almost a given if the tournament returns that it would be in September 2015; the idea being that it would avoid going up against the 2016 Summer Olympics or the 2016 World Cup of Soccer.
more plus additional topics include more spin-o-rama talk and Craig Berube...
from the IIHF,
(Lucas) Aykroyd, who has covered every Winter Olympics and IIHF World Championship since 2000, is offering another long-range forecast for the 2014 Winter Games. History, current trends, available talent, and a little bit of intuition are all factored in. Just like last time, these predictions are solely the writer’s and do not reflect any official views of the IIHF.
Wednesday, February 12
Game 1: SWE 3, CZE 2: Zetterberg paces Tre Kronor with three points, Czechs limited to six shots in third
Game 2: SUI 4, LAT 1: Hollenstein scores twice, Ozolins earns first Olympic point since 2006
Analysis: Remarkably, the well-organized Swedes haven’t lost an Olympic opener since 1964 (3-1 to Canada), and that streak should continue here, with Tre Kronor taking the edge over the Czechs in goal and on defence. Switzerland, coming off a historic silver medal performance at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, should handle the Latvians with relative ease in their first-ever Olympic meeting. Latvia has lost six out of its last eight World Championship games with the Swiss, dating back to 1999.
read on including the All-Star team...
from Dave Sheinin of The Washington Post,
His 10-month-old engagement to Russian tennis star Maria Kirilenko has grounded him and brought purpose to his home life. On the ice, his strong relationship with second-year Capitals Coach Adam Oates , his growing comfort with last year’s switch from left to right wing and the late-spring resurgence that brought him his third Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player have silenced those who only 18 months ago were questioning whether he was still an elite player.
At the same time, however, his career is still at least partly defined by the two glaring omissions on his résumé: an Olympic gold medal and a Stanley Cup title. The quest for both will dominate the next nine months for Ovechkin, bringing with it a perhaps unprecedented level of pressure and scrutiny — both in Russia, the host country for an Olympics for only the second time in its history, and in Washington, where each maddening flame-out in the playoffs, such as the first-round loss to the New York Rangers in May, both draws further attention to Ovechkin’s lack of a Cup title and lowers the Capitals’ window by another year.
“It’s not something I can relate to, because I don’t think I’ve ever had that much burden or responsibility on my shoulders. But you can definitely see it,” said Capitals goaltender coach Olaf Kolzig, who was the face of the franchise before Ovechkin’s arrival in 2005. “He seems really at peace now. But having said that, there are still expectations to win the Stanley Cup here, and with each year that passes, there’s more and more pressure. And then, you add the Olympics in his home country, and — wow. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it.”
ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will be the first Russian Torchbearer for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee announced today. Ovechkin will be the first Russian to carry the Olympic Torch once it’s ignited in a ceremony at Olympia, Greece, on Sunday, Sept. 29.
“I’m extremely humbled and honored to be the first Russian to carry the Olympic Torch,” said Ovechkin. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something I will never forget. I would like to thank the Washington Capitals organization and all of my teammates for their support in enabling me to travel to Greece prior to the regular season.”
from Slava Malamud at Sport-Express
In other matters, subject only Ovechkin our conversation was not limited. Questions on the eve of starting in October NHL accumulated many. What's cooking for the first full NHL season postlokautny? Which league will come out of the very rapid in its recent history of the summer? What are the prospects of Russian stars - both on the ice and in terms of a career in North America? What to expect from the Olympians? How Sidney Crosby's health, in the end?
- During the lockout enough gloomy predictions about the future of the NHL, but for now, it seems, the league has experienced remaking without consequence. Do you agree? And what's the deal? - The first question Myrtle.
- I think it's pretty fair assessment. Moreover, I hear whispering officials that profits in the coming season will take off again in heaven. The fact is that this year's planned six matches in the open air in large stadiums, sponsors and outflows during the lockout happened. And why is that? We have already seen the same thing: the fans have short memories. Once returned to hockey, and they come back. Ratings during the shortened season were terrific. Loss of 34 league matches will not cause much harm. Or not cause at all.
much more (Google translation)
A report from CBC,
Headline is... Canada is afraid to play on the big ice Sochi
read on (translated)
Yesterday Team Canada won hockey gold in Russia.
Check out some of the action via CBC.
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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