Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun (Wednesday edition),
Somehow, it always seems to come back to this: Canada and Russia. A rivalry once dormant, now very much alive….
Now it’s a best-of-one.
And all this with reputations very much on the line.
This is Steve Yzerman’s team. He picked the players. He put the coaching staff together. He never once considered the possibility of finishing sixth.
This is Sidney Crosby’s team. He was left off the Canadian roster four years ago. He is the captain without the C. He has a Stanley Cup so young. But this is the world. This should be his time.
This is Roberto Luongo’s opportunity. You can only be so great without winning anything for so long. This is his chance to shed the loser label. One game can alter a reputation forever.
from Reed Albergotti of the Wall Street Journal,
If you want to win Olympic gold in men’s hockey, you’ll have to stop a scruffy, gap-toothed, trash-talking Russian named Alexander Ovechkin. Good luck.
Mr. Ovechkin, who plays wing for the Washington Capitals, has been confounding opponents in the National Hockey League for five years. Now, as the Olympic hockey tournament heads into its final rounds, the star of the Russian Federation team poses a problem of global proportions.
Puck drops at 7:30pm ET and the game is on MSNBC, CTV & RDS.
I am sure Canada is looking for a quick start while Germany will be trying to take the crowd out of the game early.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Mark Streit thinks Switzerland is better-suited for the underdog role. So after surviving as the favorites against Belarus in a 3-2 shootout victory, Switzerland will be back in their element in the quarterfinals Wednesday against the U.S.
Streit, who played 30:32 on Tuesday and is averaging more than 26 minutes of ice time in the tournament, believes his team can build off its 3-1 loss to the U.S. in the opener last week. Streit and goalie Jonas Hiller are the only Swiss players in the NHL, but now the other 20 players know what to expect.
The Swiss captain discussed that and more with NHL.com moments after he came off the ice Tuesday.
from Jamie Bell of TSN at CTVOlympics,
While Canada has not been at their best thus far, Germany’s Marco Sturm, who plays professionally with the Boston Bruins, realizes that an angry Canadian team is a dangerous team.
“They’re pissed off, obviously,” said Sturm on Monday. “They want to win, they want to go for gold. They’re not going to mess around.”
While Canada is expected to win, they have even bigger challenges on the horizon as a quarterfinal matchup with Alexander Ovechkin and Russia looms.
That being said, Canada cannot overlook a German team that plays a patient and defensively strong game and will try to quiet the partisan crowd by slowing down the game.
from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,
Look, maybe (Damien) Cox has a man crush on Brodeur, I don’t know. But Brodeur played poorly in Canada’s 5-3 loss to the Americans and, arguably, should have been pulled the first period, when he gave up the puck in a goofy baseball attempt to clear it, which led to a goal, and also let in a softy.
To bring him back against Germany tonight would have been ridiculous and irresponsible. Of course, you make a change. I would have gone with Marc-Andre Fleury, but Luongo is certainly a better choice than Brodeur.
Let’s not get carried away with Brodeur’s “legendary” status. He’s a future Hockey Hall of Famer and, yes, he surpassed Terry Sawchuk’s career shutout record (103) in December. But Brodeur, 37, has been wildly inconsistent this season and has been chased from the net several times. His best years are behind him. I don’t believe he even deserved the Olympic team No.1 goalie designation.
If you missed the story from Cox, you can start here...
Otherwise known as four teams get eliminated.
NHL.com has also set up a bracket view of the tournament.
Of course, today in my NHL.com blog, I discuss the Winter Olympics, specifically the mens hockey.
Now that we are in elimination mode- Are you rooting for a certain team, players that play for your NHL team even they though they may not represent your home country, or are you just enjoying the hockey with no particular rooting interest?
from Robin Short of The Telegram,
Five reasons why Canada’s men’s hockey team will win gold in Vancouver
1. Sidney Crosby
This tournament is filled with very, very good players. But there are only a handful of special players. Crosby is one of those. If Crosby’s able to step up his already-impressive game (though he was minus-3 against the Yanks), he can take Canada on his back. If not, the Canadians are doomed.
2. Good old fashioned Canadian hockey
Winning hockey games means more than simply outscoring the other team. It’s the little things, like winning faceoffs and getting dirty in the corners and in front of the net. How important is physical play? Well, in the Russia-Czech Republic game on Super Sunday (that went sour for Canadians), Alexander Ovechkin turned the complexion of the game with a thundering hit on Jaromir Jagr.
continued and also five reasons why Canada won’t win gold…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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