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Hot Scorers At Olympic Time

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In order to get an idea of who the top scoring threats in the Olympics might be, I decided to look at the top ten scorers since the beginning of the year.  It is interesting to see which teams have the most top scorers and to see which teams left their potential top scorers off of their rosters.

Here are the top ten scorers since January 1st:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Henrik Sedin In Vancouver Again With A Bad Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,

Team Canada’s brain trust has likely been pleased to see how the red-hot scoring pace of Swedish Sedin twins Henrik and Daniel has cooled dramatically the last couple of weeks.

It’s certainly been a mystery to Vancouver Canucks fans, and the sudden dry spell most certainly cost Henrik the NHL scoring lead he owned for a month since early January, as Alex Ovechkin came roaring by.

Some were suggesting the opposition had finally figured out how to stop the Swedish forwards — although those Xs and Os were available and clearly not effective since October.

But Henrik acknowledged on Monday after Team Sweden’s first Olympic practice that his back has been bothering him for about 10 days.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+sedin, team+sweden

Bring Back The Amateurs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Keating of FoxSports Detroit,

Vancouver is the fourth Olympiad that has held a hockey tournament of NHL players. It should be the last.

What are we proving here? This is a league that has determined that the only fair, or really possible way, to determine a championship is to play a seven-game series and that each of those games will go to overtime, if needed. 

Yet, what we have here is “The Hot Goalie Open.” A one-and-done collection of All-Star Games. For the right to determine the best on the planet, we allot the teams a grand total of one practice together and then it’s game-on.

The Miracle on Ice team of Herb Brooks was a once in a lifetime fluke. But they played together for seven months. Their opponents were likely together for longer than that.  But how novel that a team competition was actually played by, ya know, teams.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+oiympics

Can Russia’s Defense Hold Up?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lucas Aykroyd at IIHF.com,

A few years ago, this criticism was perfectly legitimate. At the annual World Championship, Russian blueliners would pinch at inopportune times, giving up odd-man rushes on a regular basis. In their own zone, they would attempt feeble pokechecks instead of taking the body, and woe betide the Russian netminder who failed to smother a rebound, as opposing forwards on elite teams would happily rush to the net and bang in loose pucks.

No wonder Russia suffered some mighty collapses in international hockey. The most notable instance was the embarrassing 11th-place finish on home ice at the 2000 IIHF World Championship in St. Petersburg. But the 10th-place outing in 2004, marked by legendary coach Viktor Tikhonov’s ill-fated comeback at age 73, wasn’t far behind in terms of lowlights.

However, this is 2010. The Russians have tightened up significantly on defence going back to 2005, when they captured bronze at the Worlds in Austria. The improvement has been particularly evident under coach Slava Bykov, who took over the reins for the 2007 Worlds in Moscow.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+russia

Gaborik Still Sidelined

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Dellapina at NHL.com,

As if Slovakia didn’t have enough on its Olympic plate what with assignment to the toughest Group and a bracing opening game against arch-rival Czech Republic on Wednesday, it now appears as if goal-scoring machine Marian Gaborik won’t suit up until the Saturday’s round-robin finale against Latvia.

According to Slovakian team doctor Dalimir Jancovic, Gaborik still has significant weakness in his right leg and difficulty fully flexing his knee one week after a collision in practice with New York Rangers teammate Henrik Lundqvist left him with a deep skate gash to his lower thigh.

“I think he needs without training three days still,” Jancovic told NHL.com.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik, team+slovakia

Team Russia Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Russia Today,

• Russia’s ice hockey captain Aleksey Morozov says the food at the Olympic village has been so bad he has been forced to eat at McDonalds.

• Despite being 11 time zones from Russia, the players will have a few home comforts, with the players’ wives, girlfriends and children also in Vancouver, though they will not be staying with the players in the athletes’ village.

“It’s support and gives our guys extra motivation. So I don’t partially see anything wrong with this. Sport and the family are one. Our players are professionals and know why they are here and we will hope it will give us extra motivation and strength to achieve a miracle,” Russia’s coach added.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+russia

They Are Only Words

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Apparently, ‘Miller Time’ and ‘Support Our Troops’ are not words the International Olympic Committee wants to see on goalie masks. 

Read the AP story via NBC Olympics.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+quick, ryan+miller, team+usa

Hockey Is the Talk In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,

Canada invented the game of hockey, as every citizen here is required to tell foreign visitors at least five times a day. And while the Winter Games have taken place once previously in Canada — Calgary 1988 — the players were amateurs and not NHL professionals, who didn’t appear in the Olympics until 1998.

In other words, this will be the first time an Olympic hockey gold medal will be decided by the world’s best hockey players on Canadian soil. And since Canada finished a disgraceful eighth at the last Winter Olympic hockey tournament in Torino four years ago, the home fans are in no mood for finishing second. As one international hockey official has joked, the country is “a nation of 35 million general managers.”

Another indication of hockey’s pecking order here: Every men’s tournament game will be played at the largest and nicest ice arena in town, Canada Hockey Place, home of the Vancouver Canucks NHL team. Usually at the Olympics, the biggest and best arena is reserved for figure skating, the glamour event of the games. This time, the figure skaters have been shunted off to the Pacific Coliseum — the smaller 42-year-old building where the Canucks played in the 1980s and ‘90s.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+olympics

Finding The Right Chemistry

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Charles McGrath and Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,

...But the groupings suggested some surprising thinking on the part of the Russian coaching staff. Sergei Fedorov, Slava Kozlov and Alexander Radulov, who all play in the Kontinental Hockey League, were together, but Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk — the three best players on the team and potentially a devastating line — were not. Instead, Ovechkin was with Datsyuk and Alexander Semin, who is Ovechkin’s teammate on the Washington Capitals….

Talking about how the problem of getting the lines to click on short notice, Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames and Canada said: “The coaching staff talks to us, and they’ve already been thinking about the role they want each of us to play. They’ve put the lines together, and some of the guys have already played together.”

Ron Wilson, the United States coach, likened the process of putting together a team on one day’s notice to a riddle.

“It’s like a Rubik’s cube,” he said, speaking with reporters at Canada Hockey Place. “You just start moving it till you get a side with one color all the same.”

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+olympics

How Souray Could Become A Ranger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Rangers have been monitoring the situation in Edmonton with Sheldon Souray all year. Now that the veteran defenseman with the cannon from the power play point has included the Blueshirts on his list of teams for which he will waive his no-trade clause, Sather will be more than tempted—even with Souray likely to be sidelined until the third week of March with the broken hand he suffered in a Jan. 30 fight with Jarome Iginla.

But Souray’s contract carries a $5.4 million cap hit through 2011-12. The only way the Rangers would be able to get him would be by either including Michal Rozsival ($5 million cap hit through 2011-12) in the trade, or by sending No. 33 elsewhere in a separate deal without taking on much of a contract in return.

So, unless Sather is somehow able to pull off cap acrobatics of an unforeseen nature—or is willing to divest the Rangers of Wade Redden’s $6.5 million cap hit by waiving him to the minors, a move there is no indication the GM is considering—trade deadline changes are more likely to be made around the fringes, as they were last Friday when Jody Shelley replaced Donald Brashear on the roster.

more on the Rangers battle to make the playoffs…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

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