Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Six months ago, USA Hockey invited a large group of American players to its Olympic orientation camp in suburban Chicago. After one of the first practices, the players, wearing assorted USA Hockey shorts and T-shirts, came out of the locker room to meet the media.
The interviews started and the realization set in. Half the media had no idea who anybody was. Jack Johnson was confused with Dustin Brown. And was that Joe Pavelski or Ryan Callahan?
One reporter did an entire interview with a player and half joked that he thought it was Brian Gionta, who wasn’t even at the camp.
So, really, how could we expect this team of next-generation U.S. hockey stars to accomplish much of anything if most Americans had no idea who any of them were?
“I don’t think anybody really gave us a huge chance coming in,” said Erik Johnson, a 21-year-old defenseman. “We kind of relished the underdog role.”
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Neither Team USA nor Team Canada will be able to blame a failure to win the gold medal on a lack of familiarity with the opposing team.
All 46 players in Sunday’s championship game play in the National Hockey League—in fact, 10 NHL teams have players on both sides. Team USA’s Ryan Kesler will be trying to beat Canadian goaltender Roberto Luongo—and three days later, he’ll be trying to score goals to help Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks win in Columbus.
American Patrick Kane and Canadian Jonathan Toews sometimes play on the same line together in Chicago. So do Team Canada’s Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and American Bobby Ryan—and all three often play in front of Canadian captain and defenseman Scott Niedermayer.
Team Canada coach Mike Babcock will be hoping that American defenseman Brian Rafalski’s scoring touch (4 goals) vanishes—but only for a day. The two will be on the same bench Monday night in Denver when the Detroit Red Wings visit the Colorado Avalanche as the NHL’s regular-season schedule resumes.
from Greg Wyshynski at PuckDaddy,
This just in: Team USA goalie Ryan Miller(notes) has not, repeat, has not guaranteed a gold medal for his team. And MSNBC found that out the hard way tonight.
The network had a phone interview with someone claiming to be the Buffalo Sabres goalie on Friday, and that Fake Miller vowed the USA would win gold.
This is something Ryan Miller would, of course, never do. As he would tell MSNBC’s Willie Geist during an actual interview with the U.S. Olympian later, Miller heard from friends and NHL personnel “asking if I’d become that much different and that cocky because of this.”
Remember the Ryan Kesler empty net goal against Team Canada? Remember the description of the goal by Willie Geist? There is the empty net, there is the puck and there it goes into the goal. Enough said.
Anyone out there predicting an upset?
Game starts at 9:30pm ET on CNBC and CTV.
I want to help these kids realize their dream. Since they were born, they’ve all dreamed of 1) winning a Stanley cup and 2) winning a gold medal in the Olympics. If I can help these 23 young men accomplish that, that’ll be a great feeling for all us.
-Team USA Coach Ron Wilson. Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants has quotes from players of both Team Finland and Team USA after today’s game.
from Edward Fraser of The Hockey News,
None of us know the details regarding Alex Ovechkin shoving a person with a camera in the wake of Russia’s embarrassing 7-3 loss at the hands of the Canadians, but no matter what the circumstances, the Capitals and/or the NHL need to send a message by suspending him.
The once-congenial and ultra-media-friendly Ovechkin has shown progressive cracks in his off-ice demeanor for some time now, culminating with his Olympic availability where he essentially ignored the English media during the tournament.
from the CP at CTVOlympics,
The International Olympic Committee is playing down an on-ice celebration by the Canadian women’s hockey team.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams said a letter is being drafted to Canadian Olympic officials to get more details on the impromptu party the Canadian women threw at Canada Hockey Place after winning gold at the Winter Games on Thursday.
“To be honest I think people are in search of a story that doesn’t exist,” Adams told a briefing Friday when asked about the incident. “There were pictures all over the front pages and so on this morning and I think people are looking for someone to say it’s terrible.
from Debra Black of the Toronto Star,
When the puck drops for tonight’s men’s semi-final hockey game between Canada and Slovakia , Tomas Zapletal, a 25-year-old Slovakian, will be glued to the set of his parents home in Bratislava, cheering on his country and his favourite sport – hockey.
He won’t be alone. He says millions will be staying tonight to watch the game which takes place at 3:30 a.m. in Slovakia.
Zapletal, like many of the other 5.5 million Slovakians, are huge hockey fans. “It’s our number-one sport,” said Zapletal, who works as the financial co-ordinator for the American Chamber of Commerce in Bratislava. “Everyone will be up to support our guys.”
Game starts just after 3:00pm ET and can be viewed live on NBC, CTV and online at NBCOlympics
Everyone seems to be predicting a low scoring game and the way Miller and Kiprusoff have been playing, I can see why.
It could be one of those games where one minor mistake could be the difference between a win or a loss.
Good luck to both teams and let’s hope the refs let them play.
A quick note and the only one you will receive on this- If you are not a KK member, I suggest you become one by 12:00pm ET on Saturday. You never know, a KK member contest may be making a comeback.
from the Wall Street Journal,
If several NHL owners are nervously watching the Olympic hockey semifinals Friday, it’s with good reason. More than $300 million worth of hockey players are still participating in the tournament, risking injury for the sake of national pride.
Not surprisingly, Team Canada leads the way with a combined “payroll” of nearly $128 million. The Canadians, a team made up entirely of NHL stars, earn more money than the combined price of the entire Slovakian and Finnish teams, two other remaining squads in the tournament. (Note: For the five Finns and nine Slovaks who aren’t currently playing in the NHL, we used their most-recent NHL salary.)
thanks to a KK member for the pointer
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 email@example.com