Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
For all the talk from Team USA management and coaching staff that this team was built around a cog like Drury, having him start the Olympic Games as the 13th forward certainly didn’t send the same message. In fact, it only reinforces the belief from some critics that the young T.J. Oshie should have been on this team. Surely, the Blues star could have handled the 13th forward job.
But let me say this: there’s a positive flip side to what coach Ron Wilson decided to do with Drury. When you have a 33-year-old veteran with Drury’s international experience willing to suck it up for the team and accept a diminished role, it sends a message to a youthful squad: no one is bigger than the team.
“Chris has been around for a while,” said young Team USA leader Dustin Brown. “He’s been part of a lot of winning teams and he knows what it takes to win. Everyone has done a really good job of checking their ego at the door and he’s at the top of that list.
Canada takes on Norway at 7:30pm ET. The game can be viewed on CNBC, CTV and RDS.
Regular KK readers know I am not into the live blog thing, but if you’d like to leave a comment while watching the game, which starts at 3:00pm, be my guest.
The game is on USA Network in the States and TSN & RDS in Canada. Also a stream is available at NBC Olympics.
from Allen Barra of the Wall Street Journal,
Team USA faces off with Switzerland today in the first round of the men’s hockey competition at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. And as sports fans settle in to watch, they’ll undoubtedly recall the “Miracle on Ice” in the 1980 Lake Placid games, when a group of young Americans surprised the world and brought home the gold.
Far fewer will remember the first miracle on ice 20 years earlier. At the 1960 Squaw Valley Games, a group of unknown Americans went undefeated, beating the highly favored Russians and then the Canadians and Czechs to win the gold.
“That team,” says Sports Illustrated’s E.M. Swift, “was underrated the day after they won the gold medal.” Yet theirs was arguably the greatest achievement in U.S. Olympic history.
continued and thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
Scroll to the 2 minute mark to hear Bredan’s views…
Here is where you can find the Olympic hockey tournament games on Feb. 16.
3-5:30 pm ET—U.S. vs. Swiss men, TSN & RDS
5:30-8 pm ET—U.S vs. Russia women, APTN,
7:30-10 pm ET,—Canada vs. Norway men, CTV
8:30-11 pm ET— Canada vs. Norway men, RDS
11 pm-1 am ET— Finland vs. China women, RDS
12-2:30 am ET (Wed)—Russia vs. Latvia men, CTV
1-3 am ET (Wed)—Russia vs. Latvia men, RDS
3-6 pm ET—U.S. vs. Swiss men, USA
5:30—8 pm ET—U.S. vs. Russia women, MSNBC
8-10 pm ET—Canada vs. Norway men, CNBC
10 pm-12:30 am ET—Finland vs. China women, CNBC
12:30-2:30 am ET (Wed)—Russia vs. Latvia men, CNBC
added 11:17am, My NHL.com blog today, basically on watching the Olympics. Enjoy and someone knock my socks off with a beverage or a unique food item to bring to my home.
from Filip Bondy of the NY Daily News,
Twelve years later, the man who coached one of the most disappointing, ill-behaved hockey teams in history is back coaching Team USA again.
It is hard to believe Ron Wilson gets this second chance Tuesday, when the Americans begin the Olympic tournament against Switzerland, but maybe not so difficult to understand when you consider most Americans involved never really confessed they had done much of anything wrong back at Nagano in 1998. They had some bad luck, they lost to Canada, Sweden and the Czechs, and then just had a goodbye dorm party that got a little bit crazy.
Of the players on that roster, only captain Chris Chelios really manned up, apologized and wrote a check for $3,000. The players involved never quite admitted to anything. Nobody would rat out anybody. Even now, Wilson will acknowledge no responsibility for supervising players who trashed their rooms and hurled furniture from the window of the Olympic Village.
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,
Team Canada’s brain trust has likely been pleased to see how the red-hot scoring pace of Swedish Sedin twins Henrik and Daniel has cooled dramatically the last couple of weeks.
It’s certainly been a mystery to Vancouver Canucks fans, and the sudden dry spell most certainly cost Henrik the NHL scoring lead he owned for a month since early January, as Alex Ovechkin came roaring by.
Some were suggesting the opposition had finally figured out how to stop the Swedish forwards — although those Xs and Os were available and clearly not effective since October.
But Henrik acknowledged on Monday after Team Sweden’s first Olympic practice that his back has been bothering him for about 10 days.
from John Keating of FoxSports Detroit,
Vancouver is the fourth Olympiad that has held a hockey tournament of NHL players. It should be the last.
What are we proving here? This is a league that has determined that the only fair, or really possible way, to determine a championship is to play a seven-game series and that each of those games will go to overtime, if needed.
Yet, what we have here is “The Hot Goalie Open.” A one-and-done collection of All-Star Games. For the right to determine the best on the planet, we allot the teams a grand total of one practice together and then it’s game-on.
The Miracle on Ice team of Herb Brooks was a once in a lifetime fluke. But they played together for seven months. Their opponents were likely together for longer than that. But how novel that a team competition was actually played by, ya know, teams.
from Lucas Aykroyd at IIHF.com,
A few years ago, this criticism was perfectly legitimate. At the annual World Championship, Russian blueliners would pinch at inopportune times, giving up odd-man rushes on a regular basis. In their own zone, they would attempt feeble pokechecks instead of taking the body, and woe betide the Russian netminder who failed to smother a rebound, as opposing forwards on elite teams would happily rush to the net and bang in loose pucks.
No wonder Russia suffered some mighty collapses in international hockey. The most notable instance was the embarrassing 11th-place finish on home ice at the 2000 IIHF World Championship in St. Petersburg. But the 10th-place outing in 2004, marked by legendary coach Viktor Tikhonov’s ill-fated comeback at age 73, wasn’t far behind in terms of lowlights.
However, this is 2010. The Russians have tightened up significantly on defence going back to 2005, when they captured bronze at the Worlds in Austria. The improvement has been particularly evident under coach Slava Bykov, who took over the reins for the 2007 Worlds in Moscow.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org