Entries with the tag: Winter Olympics 2010
Good friend of the blog Scotty from Scotty Hockey is at the Olympics as well and is providing solid coverage over on his site.
Here is some of what he had to say:
*I neglected to mention it yesterday but one of the best things about these Olympics is the uniform for the garbage people at the arena. They wear Islander jerseys without the crest. So every time I see some poor sod forced to mop up or pick up trash, I think Islanders. How appropriate.
*The atmosphere for the Czechoslovakia civil war was wild. Most likely it was because there were less Canadians in the building and more nationals for each team. Chanting, whistling, rising and falling with every play for the first two periods ... it was so much fun. I spoke to security and they said that there was only one minor tussle in the crowd, which I find surprising as rival fans were chanting and yelling at each other so much - especially walking out. Love the passion.
*Didn’t love the result, a 3-1 Czech win. It was so incredibly like a Ranger game that it scared me - team gets a great breakaway six minutes in but can’t score and gives up a power play goal. Team hits the post in the last minute of the second period and the other team comes right down and scores before the buzzer. Team comes out flat for the third losing by two, Gaborik draws a penalty and the power play can’t even get in the opposing zone. Sound familiar?
Click here for more and be sure to stop by his site every day for more excellent coverage.
Here is a bit of what he has to say regarding the Sweden vs. Germany matchup, featuring Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist:
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will lead Team Sweden into the tournament this afternoon when they take on Team Germany at Canada Hockey Place. The Swedish, as I have stated, is one of the more well rounded clubs in this tournament and I am looking forward to watching them live today. While I am not expecting a total blowout like we saw on Tuesday in the Canada game and the Russia game, I do think Sweden will come out of this one with a victory and three points in the standings.
While the team is well rounded, their strength has to be defense and goaltending. Us Rangers fans know more than anyone about how netminder Henrik Lundqvist gives you a chance to win night in and night out. Henrik was a main reason Sweden won Gold in Torino in 2006, and will again be a major reason if they defend that title this time around in Vancouver. Plus Hank has been red hot for the Blueshirts heading into the tournament so you would assume we would be seeing more of the same on the rink today.
Click here for more and keep up the great work, Nicholas!
From good friend of the blog Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:
He’s a goalie with a 2-3-1 record in February, who has given up 18 goals in six games and played to a save percentage of .850 or below in three of them. So the question for Team Canada Coach Mike Babcock over the last two weeks as been: Can Martin Brodeur(notes) start looking like Martin Brodeur again in the Olympics?
The decision to give Roberto Luongo(notes) the start in Canada’s first game of the tournament on Tuesday can be read several ways. Damien Cox saw it as a bit of scheduling genius ahead of the showdown against the U.S. on Sunday, as well as a little shock-and-awe for the Canadians before Game No. 1. But Babcock alluded to Brodeur’s workload with the New Jersey Devils as a factor, which brings to mind his uncharacteristic struggles this month.
Of course, Marty isn’t alone in struggling ahead of the Games. Luongo was pulled in his last start. Team USA starter Ryan Miller(notes) had given up 18 goals in five games before shutting down the San Jose Sharks in a 3-1 Buffalo Sabres’ win on Saturday.
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From good friend of the blog Scotty at Scotty Hockey:
Now, sitting on an Amtrak train on my way to the Olympics, I think I finally get it: sure the NHL is the NHL, but these hometown teams are theirs. Just as we feel a New York pride when we pull on the Blueshirt to root on the boys, they feel the same love for their team - simply because it is theirs. The team represents their town and they want it to do well. Yes, there is something bigger and better out there but that is out there; this team is here and its ours.
It is a strange feeling to be sure but one I am certainly confronted with as I head to watch the best of the best, while the Rangers are back in New York, about to face off against Tampa. Sure I will root for Team USA, but my emotions will rise and fall based upon the text messages I get over the next few hours. Because that quaint little team in my home town will be playing and that team is mine. Sure there is something bigger and better out there, but the Rangers are mine.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I love Olympic hockey and was lucky enough to be in Salt Lake for the entire ‘02 Games (and was even inside the E Center for the Gold Medal game). So it can’t be the five circles rings that has brought me to this conclusion.
I think it was the WHL game I went to last night between the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Silvertips in Everett. Played in a wonderful 8,000 or so seat facility, the game was quite exciting with the Tips prevailing 5-1. There were just over six thousand fans in the building but if you closed your eyes, you would have thought there was over 10.
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From good friend of the blog James Murphy at NESN.com:
Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman probably had the hardest and easiest job of any of the competing Olympic country general managers. He could have fielded three contending teams with the surplus of talent to pick from in the Great White North.
Yzerman’s job was like that of a fantasy hockey manager, but it is the pressure of being the GM of the host nation that made his job difficult and ever so delicate for Yzerman. While there may be so many skilled players at his disposal, Yzerman needed to make sure they were the right players based on experience and chemistry. Well, one look at the roster Stevie Y. assembled and at least on paper, he appears to have found the right mix.
Obviously having Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Joe Thornton and Eric Staal up the middle will provide amazing play-making skills, and wingers such as Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash and Jarome Iginla can seemingly light the lamp at will. But it’s the group of two-way players (Crosby included) that are both skilled and full of grit and hustle that makes this forward corps the most complete of any. Players like Mike Richards, Corey Perry, Jonathan Toews, Brendan Morrow and Patrice Bergeron will provide defensive responsibility up front and loads of grit and toughness.
They will have a defense led by the likes of Scott Niedermayer, Dan Boyle and Chris Pronger. Young studs Drew Doughty and Shea Weber, possibly a top pairing on most NHL teams, could serve as the alternate sixth and seventh slots off the bench.
Oh, and by the way, the winningest NHL goalie ever, Martin Brodeur, will be backed up by Roberto Luongo and Marc-Andre Fleury.
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From Scott Cullen at CTVolympics.ca:
If there is one thing that the Russians will be able to count on at these Olympics, it’s that they will have wingers who can put the puck in the net. From Washington teammates Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin to Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk the Russians have elite finishers. Add in Kovalchuk’s rejuvenated teammate Maxim Afinogenov, Los Angeles’ Alexander Frolov and perhaps players scoring in the KHL like Alexander Radulov, Alexei Morozov and possibly Nikita Filatov and it is readily apparent that the Russians have the skill to score.
How the Russians will round out the depth positions, and the effectiveness of their checkers, may prove to be critical to their success in the tournament.
Slovakia isn’t particularly deep on the wings, but the tandem of New York Ranger Marian Gaborik and Chicago’s Marian Hossa at least gives them a couple of NHL stars to rely on. Colorado’s Marek Svatos and Chicago’s Tomas Kopecky are also available, though neither is producing much in the NHL this season. Former NHLers Marcel Hossa and Branko Radivojevic, both leading their respective teams in scoring in the KHL this season, will also be factors.
While Team U.S.A. isn’t considered one of the pre-tournament favourites, they do have an intriguing group of wingers from which to choose. New Jersey’s Zach Parise is an elite winger as Chicago’s Patrick Kane, Toronto’s Phil Kessel and Buffalo’s Jason Pominville add a dynamic playmaking element. Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone, Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan and Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown have a nice mix of size and skill, while veterans like New Jersey’s Jamie Langenbrunner and Brian Rolston as well as Pittsburgh’s Bill Guerin can still get the job done.
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