Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Dellapina at NHL.com,
Perhaps somebody forgot to inform the Slovaks that they had drawn the short straw in this 2010 Olympic hockey tournament. Or maybe they figured, having confounded the skeptics and the schedule-maker four years ago by going undefeated in pool play in Torino, they simply were being perfectly set up to shock the hockey world yet again.
Whatever the case, the little country that supposedly couldn’t somehow found a way Thursday night at Canada Hockey Place. It took a third-period comeback. And it took seven rounds of a shootout—three of which saw Alex Ovechkin shoot against them.
But at the end of a second straight long, withering night, it was the Slovaks who were still standing—2-1 victors over the powerhouse from Russia.
from Dan Wetzel of Yahoo,
The U.S. is boasting a 9-2 goal differential, yet there is plenty of room for improvement. They know that. For a team that’s been together for just four days, though, it’s been impressive enough.
If you want validation of the Americans’ obvious potential, it’s that Canadian fans bothered cheering against them.
On both sides of the border, Sunday’s was the game that got circled as soon as the schedule was released. Both teams will almost assuredly advance out of pool play, so winning means relatively little.
It’s about pride. It’s about country. It’s about rivalry.
“I’m anticipating one of the best atmospheres I’ve been in,” said coach Ron Wilson. “Here, it’s going to be on every TV in Canada and a good number in America. Anyone who is a hockey fan will be watching.
“It’s going to be a great day for hockey.”
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Total NHL players on rosters: Switzerland 2; Canada 23.
Puck drop —Babcock was particularly impressed with Sidney Crosby’s play in Canada’s opener. The Kid had three assists and found instant chemistry with Jarome Iginla and Rick Nash when the trio was united in the second period.
“I thought Crosby was really good,” Babcock said. “His will tank, his determination…for me, everyone talks about his skill, but that’s what I like. That’s what he has to use on every shift, his will and determination.”
NHL.com predicts: Canada wins going away again to set up key date with Team USA on Sunday.
more on the match-up and the game starts at 7:30pm ET and can be viewed on CNBC, CTV & RDS.
“I love our [Team USA] goaltending when we do make a mistake. I’m not always used to, personally over the last two years, of getting the big save so to speak.”
Team USA Head Coach Ron Wilson. A bi more from Wilson from Craig Custance of The Sporting News.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Fasel stopped short of dropping to his knees and pleading with Bettman to make sure NHL players are in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, but he didn’t stop short by a lot. He suggested the NHL can lose its All-Star break to create more time to send players to Sochi and said continuing to send players would enhance the game’s growth.
“The effort to shut down for two weeks and play here is worth it,” Fasel told reporters at a news conference while Bettman, sitting to his right, grew increasingly red-faced. “For our game, our fans, Gary, we need you.”
Bettman, the red spots in his cheeks fairly blazing by now, smiled. “It’s nice to be needed,” he said, though his tone didn’t match his words.
Pucks drops at 3:00pm ET on USA Network and it looks like mens curling will be finished by that time.
Enjoy the game and any final score predictions?
added 2:50pm, Well, curling goes into OT (11 End). Will it end in time?
added 2:53pm, USA Network just announced, they will send us to USA/Norway as soon as the curling ends.
from Ted Leonis of Ted’s Take,
The NHL has provided more than $ 2 BILLION of committed contracts in terms of players to the Olympics. The Capitals have provided in our six players more than $ 200 million worth of talent as well, I believe. And in payment back we received two free tickets to each game, per team. Seems like a fair exchange huh?
And we aren’t allowed to do any press work on site or media streaming in any way or use the Olympic logos or see our players or park at the arena and on and on. I bet I am violating some rules in blogging about the Olympics as I am not paying a penny to do so. I didn’t ask for permission or credentials either.
I love the Olympics but we don’t have a fair exchange of value that is for sure.
As far as I can tell the Olympic Committee is more important than governments, leagues, police forces, individual teams, athletes and even religions. They rule! They are in total control. The floggings will continue until morale improves around here!
Dustin Brown of the LA Kings and Team USA takes us inside Vancouver.
If I didn’t know better, I could have easily thought Dustin was a snowboarder or a kid sitting in his bedroom.
I am getting old…
Will the USA, Canada and Russia improve their record to 2-0 with victories today?
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
If only the Washington Capitals’ crack PR staff had been assigned to Ovechkin and the Russian national team. We’re pretty sure there wouldn’t be any carping. But it isn’t, and repeated requests for Ovechkin from the national media have fallen pretty much on deaf ears.
Now, the Olympics are a tricky business, between rights holders and who gets to stand where and who has to talk to whom first in the mixed zones (the penned areas where the media are held like much livestock—discuss amongst yourselves).
But the Russians, or Ovechkin himself, have decided to behave in a manner that is decidedly un-Olympic, speaking almost exclusively to the Russian media (we get that) and generally ignoring the rest of us (which we don’t).
Now, we’re not suggesting Ovechkin is Socrates on skates and we’re all the poorer for not knowing how he feels about the lines at the Hudson’s Bay Company or the ticket fiasco here or the food at the athletes’ village. But it shouldn’t be this big a hassle to get in front of a player who is arguably the best in the world playing in the world’s biggest tournament … should 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.
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