Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
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.
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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