Kukla's Korner Hockey
Perhaps we, as a nation, should be reassured. We don’t always win. We lose the world juniors now; we could still lose the Olympics. But nobody produces players the way we do that are willing to be this sort of team. It’s been written before, and it’s true: Canada is the red army now, rolling over Russia in wave after wave. One more to go.
-Bruce Arthur of the National Post on Team Canada. More on yesterday's game at Canada.com.
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
It does, on the face of it, seem a little lop-sided.
Of the four on-ice officials assigned to work Sunday’s Olympic gold-medal game between Canada and Sweden, three are Canadian-born.
This fact hasn’t gone unnoticed in Scandinavia. Peter Forsberg, the penalty-shootout hero of Sweden’s 1994 gold-medal victory over Canada at the Lillehammer Olympics, reportedly texted a Swedish newspaper to register his dismay about the passport count.
“What a f---ing joke!” was Forsberg’s reported two cents.
Sweden 2, Finland 1
Canada 1, USA 0
PRICE, BENN LIFT CANADA OVER USA
Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens) stopped all 31 shots he faced for his first career Olympic shutout and Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars) scored the lone goal early in the second period to lead Canada past the USA and into the gold-medal game for the second consecutive Olympic Winter Games.
LUNDQVIST, KARLSSON LEAD SWEDEN PAST FINLAND
Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers) made 25 saves and Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators) scored the game-winning goal late in the second period to help Sweden defeat Finland and reach the gold-medal game for the second time in the past three Olympic Winter Games (also 2006).
from CBS Boston,
As for the future of NHL players participating in the Olympics, Olczyk had an interesting solution to the league’s opposition to shutting down for several weeks in the middle of the season.
“Maybe we’re getting to the point where you’ve got to get creative. Maybe you’ve got to say, ‘You know what? We’re going to have men’s ice hockey in the summer Olympics.’ You have it in August. Everybody wins there. Everybody wins. You don’t shut down the NHL, and you still allow the best hockey players in the world to come to a tournament like this.”
read on for Olczyk's opinion on the USA/Canada game...
The first alarm that goes of in my head is hockey would end up on the XYZ channel during the Summer Olympics.
If you have an opinion, let's hear it...
The video is just short of 22 minutes.
"I was almost disgusted by their performance when they played Finland. I look at the Finnish team and they're missing key players. They don't have any of their big stars and now [Rask] is hurt and that Russian team is stacked with great players and to come out and have that performance they had in the quarterfinals. It was an absolutely heartless performance.
"It was very disappointing and I don't think it's very good for hockey either to have them out of their home tournament. You wonder when you have Putin in the stands on home ice and you can't get heart out of these guys? What's going to bring it out? I don't know."
-Mats Sundin on Team Russia's play at the Sochi Olympics. More from Sundin at TSN.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So everybody finally got the game they wanted, in all of its open-ice glory - Canada and the United States, in the men’s Olympic hockey semi-finals, and it lived up to all the hope and the hype. The pace was supercharged, the skill on display breathtaking. More than anything, it was a fearless brand of hockey, two teams confident in their respective abilities, and willing to test the limits of their opponents.
There weren’t a lot of goals, but scoring chances abounded. The respective goaltenders, Jonathan Quick for the United States and Carey Price for Canada, were in the zone.
Aesthetically, it surpassed the U.S.-Russia game earlier in the tournament and probably ranked right up there with the gold medal game, played between the same two teams four years ago in Vancouver.
In short, it was hockey, played the right way, and the only downside was, somebody had to lose and go home.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Has everyone regained their breath yet? As thrilling as Team USA's shootout win over host Russia was in the preliminary round, that game was a step behind the pace of Friday's sensational semifinal 1-0 victory by Team Canada over its North American rival. Quite the 24 hours for Canada over the U.S., eh? Ouch. What a game, though, at Bolshoy Ice Dome. You wish these two teams could play a best-of-seven.
Five things to know about the game:
1. The pace was outstanding. I mean, if this was the NHL every single night, I would do my job for free. It was breathtaking to see two great, evenly matched powerhouse teams go at each other like that, back and forth with so much speed and precision. For the most part, though, Canada dictated that pace and spent more time in the U.S. zone with an effective cycle and forecheck. It's clear that Canada was thrilled to be getting a chance to play some north-south, North American hockey after playing the likes of Latvia and Finland beforehand, both of those teams sitting back and forming a defensive shell around their goalie. This was Canada's kind of game and it showed in the comfort of its execution. The passes were crisper, the transition game more fluid, the decision-making more natural.
Team Canada will play Team Sweden on Sunday in the gold medal game, puck drops at 7:00am ET..
Team USA will play Team Finland for the bronze medal tomorrow at 10:00am ET..
You would think Canada would be the favorite but the game could come down to goaltending too, Lundqvist against Price.
I am looking forward to watching how it plays out.
added 4:42pm, The bronze medal game will be on NBCSN and CBC and the gold medal game on NBC and CBC.
The puck drops at 12:00pm ET today and can be viewed on NBCSN and CBC.
The winner will advance to the gold medal game on Sunday at 7:00am ET and face Team Sweden.
I invite you to join in on the discussion.
A late scratch for Team USA is defenseman Paul Martin, who according to USA Hockey is ill. Other reports say he was seen with a wrap/cast on his hand.
Justin Faulk will replace Martin.
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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