Kukla's Korner Hockey
Congratulations to Team Canada for winning the gold medal in men's hockey.
Canada defeated Sweden 3-0 by dominating the Swedes on both ends of the ice.
Hopefully we see the NHL players participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and I am on the side of the players. If they want to play, the NHL should stand behind their decision.
After all, it's not Olympic hockey without the best players in the world.
The puck drops at 7:00am ET and is on NBC in the US and CBC in Canada.
Feel free to comment on the game and also anything related to the hockey tournament.
Personally, I have enjoyed the games, although those 3:00am ET starts were killers.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
There are risks and rewards associated with the NHL’s inclusion in the Olympics. Injuries are an obvious risk. The NHL hasn’t yet been able to quantify the rewards that come from its league’s and its athletes’ partnership with sport’s quadrennial global celebration.
That doesn’t mean the rewards don’t exist, only that Sixth Avenue hasn’t been able to figure out how to calculate, maximize and capitalize on them. It seems the league has an irrational fear of exploring the international market.
The NHL spends all of its time reminding everyone its hockey is the best hockey, that the Stanley Cup represents the lone legitimate hockey championship, that having the Cup handed you by a teammate is a more cherished honor than having the gold medal slipped around your neck.
And there’s no argument, really, and certainly not on this side of the pond. But the NHL would be better served — that means the industry of the NHL that includes the season subscribers who do still pay the freight — by expanding its interaction and competition with the best in the Europe and by exploiting its association with the Olympics.
Stanley Cup. Olympic Gold. World Cup.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Here's a look at some of the highs and lows of the tournament:
Biggest Bust (team) -- Russia
The host nation didn't necessarily wilt under the pressure of playing on home ice, but had a game plan ill-equipped to face the international competition.
Defensively, the Russians were a disaster, shocking really given the demands of that aspect of the game on the bigger ice surface. Offensively, there was little relief either as Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Russian snipers.
Not that the Russians have been a force in recent years, but Sochi was supposed to be a chance to change those fortunes. Instead, the Russians bowed out in the quarterfinal. The scene following that lose was wild as Russian reporters lashed out at the coach and players.
Players of the Tournament
1. Erik Karlsson
The Swedish defenceman, so familiar to Ottawa Senators fans, has been a standout from the outset, a big part of his country's surge to the gold medal date with Canada....
What's your gut/heart/brain telling you, Canada or Sweden in the men's gold medal game tomorrow?
I am torn, my head tells me Canada but my gut says Sweden. If forced to make a decision, I say Canada with a late goal from Getzlaf.
via Adam Steiss of IIHF.com,
During the tournament the officials have been evaluated by officiating managers including Konstantin Komissarov (IIHF) and Terry Gregson, former Head of Officiating for the National Hockey League, and six others (four IIHF, three NHL). The process by which the officiating crews are selected for the playoff round is determined by their performance in the preliminary round. For the medal games, the officials chosen were judged to deserve these assignments based on their performance in the playoff round.
“The main factor of the selection of these officials has most of all to do with their experience officiating in high-level competitions,” said Komissarov. “These include Stanley Cup playoffs, World Championship competitions, and Olympic competitions."
“Their nationalities aren’t considered as factors nor should they be, we want the best officials working the medal games,” he added. “We are fully confident that with their experience and professionalism these officials will do their job well and preserve the integrity of the game.”
The video is just under 15 minutes.
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.
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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