Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lucas Aykroyd at IIHF.com,
It is, of course, unfair to label 2010 the “Ovechkin versus Crosby Olympics”, because hockey is a team sport. But these are both players that have the ability, not just to make a play that changes a game, but to go ahead and impose their will on the game.
However, the captain of the Washington Capitals and his Pittsburgh Penguins counterpart achieve their goals in such different ways.
It’s hard to pin down intangible qualities that make a star what he is. But if I had to try, I’d say that Ovechkin’s success stemly mostly from passion, whereas Crosby’s mostly reflects his drive. (Their skill sets both go without saying, and they have both diversified their games to the point where the old “Ovechkin shoots, Crosby makes plays” label is no longer adequate.)
One dictionary defines passion as “a powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger”. And that’s what you see every time Ovechkin steps on the ice. He’s blowing kisses and throwing himself into the boards when he scores goals. He gets angry when his team falls behind and spurs himself to play better. A classic example occurred in Washington’s come-from-behind 5-4 OT victory over Pittsburgh on February 7, where Ovechkin led the way with a hat trick.
The same dictionary defines drive as “the trait of being highly motivated”. To that, you might add “focused” in Crosby’s case.
via a Bob McKenzie tweet,
Jeff Carter has been told his services are not required. Getzlaf on the team
The mens preliminary round starts tomorrow with three games being played Tuesday through Sunday (game times are consistent all week, 3pm, 7:30pm & 11:55pm ET).
See the complete preliminary schedule below or if you have trouble locating USA Network, CNBC and MSNBC on your TV, click here and the channel number will be displayed for your location.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
• Really, really curious to watch Ryan Miller. Aside from last year, his late-season numbers aren’t great. Is he starting to burn out from carrying the Sabres on his back, again?
• Thought Marc Crawford made a really interesting point about the team with the most fluid skaters being in best position to win. His theory: as the players get exhausted in the later rounds, those who expend less energy while striding will have an advantage. He pointed out two Canadians in particular: Scott Niedermayer and Patrice Bergeron.
“It’s really amazing to me when people talk about all the pressure the hockey team has.
“I’m watching skiing (and) they fall, and that’s it. All that hard work for a 30-second race.
“Hockey is talked about more, and it’s a sport so many Canadians have a passion for, but I think it’s safe to say that every Olympic athlete has to deal with pressure.
“We’re in Canada, we’ve got the whole country behind us. That’s a pretty great opportunity.”
-Sidney Crosby of Team Canada. More on Crosby from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star.
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
The 2010 Winter Olympics has the ingredients to be the best international hockey tournament ever.
“We have the best environment possible in our 100 years,” said Rene Fasel, the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, the organizing body for the tournament. “If it will be the best tournament, I don’t know. But it is our most important tournament for sure.”
The players and teams involved in playing the 30 games of this tournament will determine if it is the best of the four Olympics that have involved NHL players since the experiment started in Nagano in 1998. But, it is impossible to imagine it not being the case.
Why? Because the best players in the world have all congregated in this city to wage a pitched battle for gold. It should be unforgettable theater.
“We’re getting screwed on the schedule because we’re in Canada. I mean, it makes sense. They want Canada in the prime-time slot.
“Magically, when we play them, we’re in the 4:30 (PT) slot. How did that happen?”
Team USA General Manager Brian Burke. More from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail at CTVOlympics.
from the CP at CTVOlympics,
Canada opened its Vancouver Games account with an 18-0 thumping of Slovakia on Saturday. On Sunday, questions about the lopsided score were raised at the daily IOC-VANOC joint briefing.
IOC director of communications Mark Adams said the issue was not raised between the two organizations
“Clearly if you’re on the losing side of a hiding, it’s never much fun,’’ said the Briton, who watched the game. “But I’m sure they had a great experience and I’m sure they’re thankful to be Olympians.
“You know these things happen in all sports, at all levels. They’re a good team but clearly yesterday Canada were the better team - by a long way.’‘
Asked about a possible mercy rule, Adams said: “It’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure it would have been good last night. I enjoyed watching the game.’‘
from Chris Stevenson at the Toronto Sun,
The Team Canada coach showed up with his game face on as he hit town to take the helm and finalize preparations for Canada’s first game Tuesday against Norway.
After concentrating on his Detroit Red Wings, Babcock can now fully allow himself to turn his attention to prepping Team Canada.
“Now it’s time to emotionally engage,” said Babcock. “We’ve done all the work, but you’re so involved in your own schedule. I live in the U.S., so you don’t get it like you people do every day. It’s very obvious — I watched the opening ceremonies, I watched the events last night — so it’s very obvious that it’s very exciting. I’m thrilled to be here.”
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Tomas Holmstrom’s ailing left knee has forced him to withdraw from the Swedish Olympic team, enabling Detroit Red Wings teammate Johan Franzen to take his place, according to Sweden’s Expressen.
Franzen has played only three games since returning from knee surgery, which idled him for four months. But he is skating well and said he feels good. It will be his first Olympic appearance.
added 5:00pm, via Kevin Allen tweet,
It’s official: Red Wings Johan Franzen replaces Red Wing Tomas Holmstrom on the Swedish Olympic hockey team.
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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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