Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: sochi olympics
According to NHL.com, here is the schedule for tonight...
NBCSN – Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET
CBC – Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.
Plus more about tonight's show.
A sneek peak...
NEW YORK (Feb. 25, 2014) – NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other returns this week with an Olympic-themed two-hour episode that will give viewers an unprecedented look into the 2014 men’s ice hockey Olympic competition. Debuting Thursday, Feb. 27 across North America (8:00 p.m. in Canada on CBC, 10:00 p.m. ET in the U.S. on NBCSN), NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other takes fans to Sochi to tell the untold story behind the thrilling competition that was this year’s Olympic hockey tournament. The double episode re-airs on Sportsnet on Sunday, Mar. 2 at 8:00 p.m. in Canada and on NHL Network-U.S. on Mar. 3 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Firs teaser, almost 2 1/2 minutes long...
By Tom Murray,
A few thoughts in the wake of the gold medal victories in hockey for the men and women of Canada.
First, the men.
We can talk all we want here in the States about our players being as good as the Canadians, and maybe on paper we are, man for man, all the way down the line. But the simple truth is we can’t begin to compete with them in the area that really matters, that mattered most when the semifinal showdown between our two countries took place last week:
It means more to them than it does to us. It’s not just a game up there, it’s a religion, or close to it. And when Canadian teams play for their country, they’re also playing a game that is truly theirs. They take that designation seriously, protect it fiercely and play ferociously. After all, the image of an entire nation is on the line.
Canada’s men’s hockey players are the most different of all our Olympians. They play always in the limelight. They make fortunes of money. They play a sport Canadians originated and have dominated. They expect and are expected to win. In Sochi, they played without arrogance, with no misdirected emotion. They were solidly, forcefully, smartly better than everyone else. Their gold medal win in the last Olympic event was the punchline to the story their Olympic teammates had been writing for 17 days. In Sochi, the men’s hockey team came to embody what we have become.
-Ken Dryden, HHOF goaltender on Team Canada. Read more on them from Dryden at the Globe and Mail.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
A couple of hours before the biggest game of his young career, Nicklas Backstrom made his way to the Bolshoy Ice Dome and began warming up for the gold-medal tilt between his Swedish national team and Canada.
But by the time that game had started, Backstrom had been whisked away to a disciplinary hearing with International Olympic Committee officials over a positive test for a banned substance -- an element in an allergy medication that Backstrom has been taking for seven years, according to Swedish Olympic Committee officials -- and told he could not compete for his country.
It is absolutely mind-boggling that it came to this.
Backstrom provided the urine test in question on Wednesday, after the Swedes' quarterfinal win over Slovenia. He alerted doping officials that he was taking the medication. According to Swedish and International Ice Hockey Federation officials, the normal turnaround for such tests is 48 hours, and yet the general manager of the Swedish national team was informed that Backstrom had exceeded the threshold for an element found in the medication only two hours before the gold-medal game.
Canada 3, Sweden 0
CANADA IS GOLDEN AGAIN
Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens) stopped all 24 shots he faced to record his second consecutive shutout and backstop Canada to its ninth gold medal in men’s Olympic hockey, the most of any nation.
* With the win, Canada became the first country to earn back-to-back gold medals since the Soviet Union in 1984 and 1988. It also repeated as the tournament champion for the first time since 1948 and 1952, with Sunday’s victory marking its first gold medal on European ice since 1952 (Oslo, Norway).
SOCHI, RUSSIA (Feb. 23, 2014) – National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly today released the following statement regarding Nicklas Backstrom:
“We understand that Nicklas Backstrom tested positive for a substance banned ‘in competition’ by the International Olympic Committee. It is our further understanding that the positive test was the result of a common allergy medication taken by the player knowingly, with the approval of the team doctor and without the intention of gaining an illegal or improper performance-enhancing benefit. In addition, the specific substance that resulted in the positive test is not currently on the League’s Prohibited Substances List.
“Subject to confirmation of the facts as we understand them, and given the fact that the substance is neither prohibited in the NHL nor was used in an improper manner here, we do not anticipate there being any consequences relative to Nicklas’ eligibility to participate in games for the Washington Capitals.”
added 11:38am, Washington Capitals statement...
ARLINGTON, Va. – Nicklas Backstrom did not participate in Team Sweden’s Olympic gold-medal game on Sunday due to the allergy medication he has been taking intermittently for seven years, including this season while playing for the Washington Capitals to combat severe allergies. The medicine was approved by the Swedish national team. It is not anticipated that this will impact his participation in NHL games.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
History is rarely on the minds of players at the precise moment they win something as significant as an Olympic gold medal in men’s hockey. The experience is too fresh, too new, and really just too much fun in the here-and-now to think about its significance or long-term impact.
In a decisive win marked by an immediately jubilant celebration just as most Canadians were sipping their morning coffees, Canada’s men’s Olympic hockey team won its third gold medal in the last four Olympics and they did it in their most convincing style yet. In defeating Sweden 3-0 in Sunday’s final, Canada complete an undefeated 6-0 run to the championship, becoming the first team since the Soviet Union in 1984 to do so.
continued with team reaction to the win...
via IIHF tweets,
The Award for the Best Goalkeeper goes to Carey Price (Canada)
The Award for the Best Defenceman goes to Erik Karlsson.
The Award for the Best Forward goes to Phil Kessel (USA).
added 9:46am, via IIHF.com,
Congratulations to Team Canada for winning the gold medal in men's hockey.
Canada defeated Sweden 3-0 by dominating the Swedes on both ends of the ice.
Hopefully we see the NHL players participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and I am on the side of the players. If they want to play, the NHL should stand behind their decision.
After all, it's not Olympic hockey without the best players in the world.
The puck drops at 7:00am ET and is on NBC in the US and CBC in Canada.
Feel free to comment on the game and also anything related to the hockey tournament.
Personally, I have enjoyed the games, although those 3:00am ET starts were killers.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Here's a look at some of the highs and lows of the tournament:
Biggest Bust (team) -- Russia
The host nation didn't necessarily wilt under the pressure of playing on home ice, but had a game plan ill-equipped to face the international competition.
Defensively, the Russians were a disaster, shocking really given the demands of that aspect of the game on the bigger ice surface. Offensively, there was little relief either as Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Russian snipers.
Not that the Russians have been a force in recent years, but Sochi was supposed to be a chance to change those fortunes. Instead, the Russians bowed out in the quarterfinal. The scene following that lose was wild as Russian reporters lashed out at the coach and players.
Players of the Tournament
1. Erik Karlsson
The Swedish defenceman, so familiar to Ottawa Senators fans, has been a standout from the outset, a big part of his country's surge to the gold medal date with Canada....
What's your gut/heart/brain telling you, Canada or Sweden in the men's gold medal game tomorrow?
I am torn, my head tells me Canada but my gut says Sweden. If forced to make a decision, I say Canada with a late goal from Getzlaf.
via Adam Steiss of IIHF.com,
During the tournament the officials have been evaluated by officiating managers including Konstantin Komissarov (IIHF) and Terry Gregson, former Head of Officiating for the National Hockey League, and six others (four IIHF, three NHL). The process by which the officiating crews are selected for the playoff round is determined by their performance in the preliminary round. For the medal games, the officials chosen were judged to deserve these assignments based on their performance in the playoff round.
“The main factor of the selection of these officials has most of all to do with their experience officiating in high-level competitions,” said Komissarov. “These include Stanley Cup playoffs, World Championship competitions, and Olympic competitions."
“Their nationalities aren’t considered as factors nor should they be, we want the best officials working the medal games,” he added. “We are fully confident that with their experience and professionalism these officials will do their job well and preserve the integrity of the game.”
The video is just under 15 minutes.
Finland 5, USA 0
SELANNE, RASK HELP FINLAND CAPTURE BRONZE MEDAL
Teemu Selanne (Anaheim Ducks) scored two goals – including the game-winner – and Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins) made 27 saves – and also denied two penalty shots – to lead Finland past the USA in the bronze-medal game.
With the victory, Finland became the only men’s hockey team to medal in four of the past five Olympic Winter Games (since 1998). It has captured one silver medal and three bronze medals in that span, failing to medal only in 2002.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Dustin Brown was a force for the Los Angeles Kings when they won a Stanley Cup in 2012 and won a silver with the U.S. four years ago. But apart from a sterling effort against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals, this was a difficult tournament for the Kings captain, who happened to be on the ice for the first two Finland goals. He played 26 seconds in the second period and just 1:17 in the third.
"I'm not happy about it," Brown said. "It's the coach's job to figure out the best chance to win. If that's what he thinks is ... I'm a player, he's a coach, that's how it works."
Brown was among a core of players whose experience in Vancouver was supposed to help this team avoid this kind of disappointment.
"It's definitely not a pretty sight. The score's obviously not pretty at all," Brown said. "It's hard to explain. I don't really have an answer for you, quite honestly."
Brown was asked if the U.S. quit.
"I don't think we quit," Brown insisted.
If they didn't quit, they sure did unravel, as the Finns pumped three goals by Quick in the third period, two on the power play as the frustrated Americans paraded through the penalty box.
"Yeah, we did collapse," offered U.S and Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter. "We had a great first period, we were all over them, had a couple of good chances, couldn't get one by him and it ended up costing us."
Game time is 10:00am ET and can be watched on NBCSN and CBC.
I am not sure what kind of game to expect, but if it does turn to be a wide open game, the advantage would go to the USA.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Both Sweden and Canada put the majority of their game plan emphasis on defending. It's why they're both in the gold-medal game.
This isn't the NHL over here.
"It's a different sport," Sedin said. "You can't even compare them. Everyone thinks because it's a bigger ice, it should be more open. I think teams are playing more defensive than ever."
As such, expect a low-scoring game Sunday. Which should not be confused with boring.
I think we're in for the best hockey game of the year, on either side of the ocean.
And for Team Canada, a chance to make it three gold medals in five NHL Olympics.
"It's about hockey supremacy," Babcock said Saturday. "We like to brag that it's our game? If you think it's your game, you better show it's your game."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The team’s inability to win gold and beat Canada in a knockout showdown cannot be blamed on the omission of any single individual from the final roster. This Canada 1, USA 0 day is not a result of Bobby Ryan, Kyle Okposo, Brandon Dubinsky, Jack Johnson or Keith Yandle having been left at home.
The US needs to apologize to no one. The US just somehow needs to get a little bit better … or perhaps to add a killer instinct against Canada.
There was ’96 in the World Cup. That’s it. That’s the sum and substance of United States best-on-best hockey victories over Canada with it all on the line. There was ’96 and still only ’96 after a day on which the lads could not score against Canada that came a day after the lassies could not protect a 2-0 lead against Canada.
Big brothers to the north. Big sisters, too.
And time to wait until the Americans get their next shot at overturning the natural order.
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).
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.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
The most exclusive club in Sochi is not in the city. It is not in the Olympic Village, where the athletes have their own hot spot to relax and socialize. It is tucked inside the Bolshoy Ice Dome.
There are two ways in: You can walk from the dressing room area down a red carpet, or you can squeeze through a nondescript gate in the Olympic Park right across the from the flame, if you know the gate is there.
But there are only two ways to get in: Be an NHL Olympian. Know an NHL Olympian.
This is the PA Lounge, a little upscale sports bar like you might find in, say, Toronto. It is one of two sanctuaries the NHL Players’ Association set up for its members, families and friends during the Olympics. The other is the PA House, an event tent with food, beverages and even a live band at the Bridge Resort, where families and friends are staying nearby.
I think he can leave out the word "if".
Gary Bettman was on with the NBC Sports Group today and did an interview with Al Michaels.
I am not sure if all these quotes are from the interview but that really doesn't matter, what he says does.
via a press release from NBC,
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on the men’s hockey tournament: “It’s been a terrific tournament so far, the hockey has been good, it’s been fun, it’s been entertaining and I think we have two great semifinal matchups.”
Bettman on whether he was surprised by the outcome of Russia v. Finland yesterday: “Not shocked. There’s a reason we play the games, you never know what’s going to happen. You could feel the air come out of the [hockey arena], actually you could feel the air come out of the whole area here. I know that it’s terribly disappointing for the Russian players and for the entire country because they take great pride in the history that Russian hockey has.”
Bettman on whether a lack of coordination between the players, who have not had much time playing together, is to blame for Russia’s loss: “The remaining four teams don’t seem to be relying on that excuse. In the days of amateur hockey people tend to forget that the Russian team was completely professional. That’s what made the ‘Miracle on Ice’ such a miracle because you had a bunch of college kids who came together to defeat a professional team.”
SOCHI, Russia – Feb. 20, 2014 – Thursday’s women’s hockey Olympic gold medal game between Team USA and Canada is now the most-streamed event in the history of NBC Sports Digital, excluding Super Bowl XLVI.
The stream of the game, in which Canada defeated the U.S., 3-2, in overtime, was watched by 1.2 million unique users and generated 34.9 million minutes of consumption.
The game, which was streamed on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app, surpasses yesterday’s men’s ice hockey quarterfinal between Team USA and the Czech Republic in uniques (798,337) and the 2012 London Olympics women’s soccer final between Team USA and Japan in minutes consumed (29.7 million). The uniques and consumption outpace every sport and event NBC Sports Digital has ever streamed, excluding Super Bowl XLVI.
The game starts at 12:00pm ET on NBC and CBC.
I will be watching and it is always exciting hockey when these teams meet.
Feel free to discuss the game in the comment section.
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post at Canada.com,
“Canada is always the favourite going into the tournament, whether it’s world junior or world championships or Olympics, they’re the favourites,” said American captain Zach Parise. “Now, in the last 10 or 15 years, you can for the most part throw us in as a team that has a chance to win every tournament. You’ve seen some unbelievable world junior games between the U.S. and Canada. We have the Olympics. That’s only made the rivalry [greater].”
When you are an American kid who loves hockey — or for that matter, a Russian or a Slovak or a Swede or a Finn — Canada is the standard. They can be had, no question, but Canada is who you have to beat. Americans have been chasing Canada for so long, to subdue the giant next door. As Backes said, “In Minnesota we had the same sort of winters, where you’re out on the frozen pond, or you’re out on the outdoor rink, having fun with your buddies, and knowing that there was a group of kids just north of the border doing the same thing.”
The Americans have been trying to cross that border and belong forever. They have won the world juniors twice since Canada last won them, and they are getting closer at the Olympics, ever closer. Friday, the chance comes again.
from Melissa Isaacson of ESPN,
... former Olympian Jenny Potter, who played on four of those medal-winning U.S. teams ('98, '02, '06 and '10), said she can't wait for another encore.
"The last game Canada and the USA played was so great and a lot of people don't understand or even realize it's that competitive and that skilled," Potter said. "I think a lot of people who do watch for the first time are going to be shocked the level is so [high] and it's that exciting and are going to be on the edge of their seats."
Potter and Brad Frost, coach of the two-time defending NCAA champion Minnesota women's hockey team and former assistant coach of the U.S. women's national team, offered five keys to the game:
1. The power play
Potter: "That's the biggest thing. It's a game-changer, and both teams have great power plays. Team USA has great players who can rip the puck from the point with players like Hilary Knight, and others have great hand-eye coordination and can tip the puck in the air."
Frost: "Unfortunately, the reffing has been so inconsistent throughout the whole tournament, every game has been a little different. Staying disciplined is going to be a factor in not taking unnecessary penalties. When two teams have so much on the line, the last thing you want to do is give the opposition an advantage on the power play. And when you have an opportunity on the power play,
This was their golden moment with true superstars on their team to win. Ovechkin will never get another opportunity in his lifetime to write his Olympic legacy on home ice. For Pavel Datsyuk this may ne his last Olympics altogether. By the time the 2018 games roll around, Ovechkin will be 32, Malkin will be 31, Kovalchuk will be 34, and Pavel Datsyuk will be 39.
The time was now. In Sochi. That’s why there is no reaction. From anyone. And there won’t be for days or even weeks. It hurts so much that it numbs.
The Olympic flame is still burning over Sochi. But it was put out in the hearts of all Russian fans.
-Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo where you can read more about Team Russia.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province at Canada.com,
In a tournament that includes the powerhouses from Canada, Sweden, the U.S., and, until recently, the star-crossed host team, Finland doesn’t measure up anywhere except on the ice. But on Friday, they meet their blood rivals from Sweden in the semifinal round of the Olympic men’s hockey tournament where, again, they’ll be the underdogs and, again, they’ll savour that role.
“Every time we go into tournaments like this we’re disrespected,” said forward Olli Jokinen, one of the many players who seems to grow a foot when they put on the Suomi jersey. “But the good thing for our country is no matter what names are on the back, Finland’s going to play the same way no matter who we have here. We could have 20 different guys here and the results would be the same. Finland’s going to play Finland’s way.”...
““I don’t think we are the favorites, honestly,” said Teemu Selanne, the aforementioned 43-year-old national icon who led the way against Russia with a goal and an assist. “We have four of our best centers out in this tournament (Mikko and Saku Koivu, Valterri Filpulla and Alex Barkov) , and usually we don’t have the kind of depth that some other teams have. But we believe and we work.
“Let’s see what happens.”
The Sweden-Finland rivalry doesn’t carry the same cachet as, say, U.S.-Canada or Russia-Canada but Scandanavia will stop for Friday’s encounter between the two old foes. Loosely stated, the Finns regard the Swedes as pompous, arrogant egotists who believe they’ve evolved from a higher order of being than their neighbours to the East. That, at least, is culturally and the hockey rivalry, which reached its zenith in Sweden’s 3-2 win gold-medal over Finland in Torino eight years ago, is a reflection of the friction between the two countries.
“Every year it’s the biggest game for us,” said forward Jori Lehtera, one of the eight KHL players on Finland. “It doesn’t matter where you play, if you play against Sweden you’re always pumped up.”
MATCHUPS SET FOR SEMI-FINAL PLAYOFF GAMES
The following Semi-Final Playoff games will be played on Friday.
Sweden vs Finland, 7:00 a.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN
Canada vs USA, 12:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC
GREAT RIVALRIES HEADLINE SEMI-FINALS
With a trip to the Gold Medal game at stake, two of the biggest rivalries in international hockey will be on display in the Semi-Finals of the Men’s Olympic hockey tournament. Canada defeated the USA in the 2002 and 2010 Gold Medal games while Sweden knocked off Finland in the Final of the 2006 Olympic tournament. The four remaining countries have a total of 86 NHL players still alive vying for a Gold Medal.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Dustin Brown banged in a go-ahead goal late in the first period, and the United States went on to dominate the Czech Republic 5-2 on Wednesday, earning a spot in the Olympic men's hockey semifinals for the second straight time.
On Friday, the U.S. will play Canada -- a rematch of the 2010 gold-medal game -- for a shot to become an Olympic champion. The Canadians held off Latvia 2-1, and they beat the Americans in overtime four years ago.
"It's a great opportunity," American forward Max Pacioretty said. "They're obviously the favorite coming into the tournament, and we've opened up a lot of eyes with our play, but we have more in the tank to give and to show.
"We keep getting better every game, and hopefully we'll keep getting better after this one."
Mike Babcock, coach of Team Canada and Ted Nolan, coach ofTeam Latvia, met with the media for just over 13 minutes after Canada's 2-1 win.
You can watch it below...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
For two-plus periods, Canada pressed and pushed and otherwise ran up an impressive shot total against a Latvia goaltender you’ve probably never heard of - Kristers Gudlevskis - and managed to get just the one goal past him.
It was 1-1 with time winding down in the third period and they were maybe starting to believe in miracles in Riga.
Alas for the plucky Latvians, it didn’t happen.
Shea Weber’s power-play goal with about seven minutes to go in the third gave Canada a heart-stopping, gut-checking 2-1 win and a berth in the semi-finals against the United States.
Canada is trying to win its first Olympic championship outside of North America in 62 years and the 11th seeded Latvians, who’d lost their first three games in the men’s Olympic hockey tournament, seemed like an unlikely stumbling block. But they hung on with relentlessly determined defence, often having five forwards within arm’s length of Gudlevskis and closing off shooting lanes left, right and centre.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
• The failure of the KHL and NHL players on the roster to blend into a cohesive team was clear and apparent. There were rumors in the past few days of tension in the Russian camp, and at the heart of it was the KHL-NHL issue. Why in the world was Alexander Popov playing on the top line with Ovechkin and Malkin the past two games? Why was KHL defenseman Evgeni Medvedev among the leaders in ice time on the team, playing more than NHLers such as Fedor Tyutin and Alexei Emelin?
Why? Because the KHL and Russian hockey hoped to use the world's biggest hockey games as a propaganda tool for the Russian professional league that vies to rival the NHL. Well, that was a complete and utter disaster.
• Which leads you to also finger the coach, known as "Coach Bil." His bizarre decisions, including having Malkin on a second-unit power play, which featured the likes of Nikolai Kulemin, well, that just made no sense.
more including the coach calling out Ovechkin...
Two games at 12:00pm ET today and the winner of each of these games will play each other in the semifinals on Friday.
USA vs. Czech Republic on USA Network and TSN2 while Canada vs. Latvia on MSNBC and CBC.
Enjoy ahd feel free to discuss the games.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Russia’s high-end players rank with the best in the world, but the talent falls on the bottom end of the roster and when players such as Ovechkin couldn’t find their offensive stride in the tournament, there really wasn’t anybody there to pick them up.
Kovalchuk had the first-period goal for the Russian, but Juhamatti Aaltonen and the ageless Teemu Selanne erased that lead. Selanne had become the oldest player to score a goal in Olympic history five days ago, and he tweaked that record with what turned out to be the winning goal.
It isn’t clear what the long-term implications for Russian hockey of this setback will be. If they had played well up until this point and just had an off night, it might be one thing. But they were listless and unfocused throughout and when they had opportunities, Rask was there with the answers.
“It’s hard to win if you do not score,” said Russian captain Pavel Datsyuk, who described Rask as a “good goalie” but said the Russians didn’t do enough to get in his face.
“But we make it easy. We make not enough traffic in front of him, and not shoot a lot.”
Puck will drop on Thursday at 12:00pm ET on NBC and CBC.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
One of the keys to the USA's unbeaten record heading into Wednesday's quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic has been its devilish playing style. The players are playing like the fire down below.
RUSSIA: Radulov leads victory against Norway
Centers David Backes and Ryan Kesler have been monstrous forces. U.S. coach Dan Bylsma wanted this team to be hard to play against, and Backes and Kesler have stormed around the ice like human tornadoes.
On one shift against Russia, Backes rubbed out Evgeni Malkin and Ovechkin with clean legal hits.
Bear wrestling seems easier than facing Kesler in this tournament. He has hit, bumped or growled at every opponent he has faced in the USA's first three games.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,