Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/27/10 at 11:15 AM ET
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.
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