Kukla's Korner Hockey
Game time is 7:30pm ET on CNBC and here are some notes on the game from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Total NHL players on rosters—Germany 7; Sweden 19
Puck Drop—“We haven’t been playing with each other for a long time and we only have two practices to get things back together, so it’s important to get a good start,” Zetterberg told NHL.com. “But, in the same way, the tournament really starts after the round robin. That’s how it was in Torino (in 2006). We didn’t have a great start of the tournament, but from the playoff games in we played good and that’s why we won.”
NHL.com predicts—Sweden wastes no time getting off to a good start by winning in a blowout
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail at CTVOlympics,
Every year, the International Ice Hockey Federation tweaks the format of the men’s Olympic hockey tournament and every year, it becomes more complicated - to the point where even the principal players aren’t exactly sure of how the tie-breakers work, or more importantly, whether they’ll need to run up the score on a hapless opponent to ensure a higher seed for the playoff round.
“I have read the rules,” said Brian Burke, Team USA’s general manager. “I went to Harvard law school and I’m not sure I understand them.”
Officially, the 12 competing teams are divided into three groups of four teams for the preliminary round and play a round robin, with three points awarded for a regulation win, two points for an overtime or shootout win, one point for an overtime or shootout loss and zero points for a regulation loss.
Here is a daily look at what’s being said about the 2010 Olympic hockey tournament.
• A statistical note after Day 1: Individual ice time figures are far below what we would see in a typical NHL game. According to stats at the IIHF website, only one Russian player hit 17 minutes (Konstantin Korneyev, 17:00), leading U.S. player was Erik Johnson (19:23), the leading Canadian player was Dan Boyle (20:12). There are 129 players averaging 20:12 or more in the NHL this season.
• Iginla on the standings tie-breaker: “It came up before the game. It came up between periods, because the goal differential may be a big part of this. We tried to stay focused as the game went on, for every line to keep pushing. Get a power play. We need those goals.”
But to be honest our Red Outs and our crowds at Caps games are louder and more passionate than this game at the Olympics. I mean that.
-Ted Leonsis, Owner of the Washington Capitals. More from Ted at his blog, Ted’s Take.
from John Sanful at IIHF.com,
Russian hockey has a rich history. Since first winning gold at the 1956 Olympics, the hockey program has experienced many glorious moments- including the most successful run in hockey history from 1964 to 1992. During those years, spanning eight Olympic tournaments, they lost only four games en route to seven gold medals and one silver medal.
Russia has also seen lean times, including a disappointing fourth place performance at the 1994 Olympics.
The last great Olympic hockey moment came in 1992 when an old Soviet dinosaur coached a team of talented youngsters to the gold medal.
from Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog,
NBC analyst Mike Milbury obviously knows that Caps fans regularly accuse him of anti-Ovechkin propaganda. From the Crapitals incident, to calling Ovechkin “a dog,” to the more recent “Hey Ovi, I’m still your daddy right now” comment about Crosby, Milbury is building up quite a resume.
Does this make him second-guess his comments about Ovechkin, keeping everything drab and vanilla, offering generic praise and moving on, staying away from controversy? It does not. During the first intermission of the Canada-Norway game Tuesday evening, NBC ran a little piece about Ovechkin, then came out of it by asking Milbury to whom he compares Ovechkin.
The question was asked in the “history of hockey” sense, or maybe the “compare him to a great athlete in another sport” sense. The gist was that NBC’s analyst should help viewers understand the nature of Ovechkin’s game. Milbury’s answer?
“Well, if I compared him to the other great player in the game it’d be Sidney Crosby,” Milbury replied.
from Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune,
You can’t walk a block in downtown Vancouver without seeing five Team Canada jerseys, with three of them bearing Sidney Crosby’s name, even though Crosby plays in Pittsburgh and was born in Nova Scotia, about as far away from Vancouver as a Canadian can get.
Canadian TV constantly runs documentaries on the Crosby-Alex Ovechkin rivalry, and the selection of the Canadian team, and CTV spent an hour the other night analyzing whether Patrice Bergeron should skate next to Crosby.
Team Canada has home ice, the most stars, the most depth, an all-star coaching staff including Jacques Lemaire, and faces the most pressure.
Canadians will be devastated if their team doesn’t win the gold. Polite, understated, yet devastated.
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
In last spring’s World Championships, Backes laid a hit on Sprunger, causing a major neck injury that required surgery.
After Tuesday’s USA-Switzerland game, Sprunger told ESPN.com writer Pierre Lebrun that during the game Backes essentially threatened to do it again.
Backes denied saying that.
“I think I told him to keep his head up when he was running around a little bit,” Backes said. “I always take it as a compliment when other teams come at me. It means you are doing your job.”
via Russia Today,
The reigning world champions thrashed their opponents, 8-2.
Aleksandr Ovechkin and Danis Zaripov each claimed a brace, Ilya Kovalchuk and Evgeny Malkin had a goal and an assist each, and Sergey Fedorov came off the rink with two assists under his belt.
The only disappointment this evening was Evgeny Nabokov’s might-have-been shootout.
“It is only the first game, but I am sure it will be different in the second game. We have to play desperate,” Kovalchuk assured after the game.
“A few things we would like to change. But it’s the first game,” said defender Sergey Gonchar, echoing Kovalchuk. “Still, I like what we had,” he added.
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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