Russia 8 – Latvia 2 Alexander Ovechkin scored twice and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves leading Russia to an easy 8-2 victory over Latvia in preliminary round action. Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist for Russia. Malkin got better as the game progressed, scoring a power play goal late in the second period and setting up linemate Iyla Kovalchuk for a third period tally. Russia’s roster consists of a number of NHL and KHL players and they got production from both ends Tuesday night. KHL forward Danis Zaripov scored twice and Alexander Radulov added a goal for Russia. Former Penguin Alexei Morozov also scored for Russia. Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar was pointless. The Russians return to action Thursday afternoon.
Canada 8 – Norway 0 In front of 16,652 fans, Sidney Crosby and Team Canada had some tense moments after a scoreless first period, but Canada scored three second period goals and added five more in the third en route to a 8-0 win over Norway. Penguins center Sidney Crosby broke Canada out of their funk setting up Jarome Iginla in the slot for a power play goal at 2:30 of the second period and Canada never looked back. Crosby who opened up the game on a line with Rick Nash and Patrice Bergeron, led all scorers with three points but the Crosby/Nash unit did not hit their stride until head coach Mike Babcock replaced Bergeron with Jarome Iginla on the line for a good portion of the second and third period. The Nash-Crosby-Iginla unit showed instant chemistry as Iginla scored twice and Nash added a goal and an assist.Read More »
USA 3 – Switzerland 1 Team USA played the type of game that many expected, playing a tight defensive game and scoring timely goals as Team USA defeated Switzerland 3-1 in their opening game of the Olympics. Bobby Ryan (1), David Backes (1) and former Penguin Ryan Malone (1) all scored for Team USA. Malone’s power play goal at 8:25 in the second period gave Team USA a 3-0 lead. USA limited Switzerland to 15 shots as goaltender Ryan Miller (1-0) made 14 saves in the win. Switzerland was never a threat offensively. Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller made 21 saves in the loss for Switzerland. Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik was paired with Jack Johnson and played a solid defensive game and was a +1. Meanwhile, defenseman Ryan Whitney played top four minutes, paired with Erik Johnson for much of the game. However, the injury status of Johnson will beRead More »
Team Canada news and Notes Is there more pressure on any athlete in the Olympics than Sidney Crosby? The pressure for Team Canada to capture the Gold medal is enormous and Canada opens up the tournament against Norway Tuesday afternoon. Sidney Crosby who went through his first practice this evening, skated on a line with Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins. Nash who played with Crosby during the entire Team Canada orientation camp is not a surprise and neither is Patrice Bergeron due to Crosby and Bergeron having excellent chemistry during the world championships but that the nearly four years ago. It remains to be seen if Bergeron is the best fit alongside Crosby. Canada has a group of dynamic right wingers including Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla and Corey Perry. Jarome Iginla who saw extensive time with Crosby during Canada’s orientation camp,Read More »
Team Russia News and Notes Russia who is considered a favorite to win the Gold Medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics, went through their first practice today. Russia opens up the tournament tomorrow night against Latvia in preliminary action. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin will open up the tournament on a line with New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk and Atlanta’s Max Afinogenov while Pavel Datsyuk will center Russia’s top line of Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin. Former Penguins winger Alexei Morozov, will play on the 4th line with Danis Zaripov (AK BARS KAZAN), and Sergei Zinoviev (SALAVAT YULAYEV). Sergei Fedorov, Viktor Kozlov and former Nashville Predators forward Alexander Radulov will be Russia’s third line. Russia’s blueline consists of five NHLer’s led by Pittsburgh’s Sergei Gonchar, Montreal’s Andrei Markov and Ottawa’s Anton Volchenkov. Fedor Tyutin of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Denis Grebeshkov of the Edmonton Oilers will also play a key roleRead More »
I never thought I’d say this, but…bravo, Alex Ovechkin! The NHL has always been run by Canadians, for Canadians, even when NHL-affiliated events transpire elsewhere. Want proof? When the 2002 Winter Olympics took place in Salt Lake City, Canadians hired to tend the ice (the U.S. had apparently lost the recipe) interred a Canadian dollar coin under the center face-off dot. A lucky loony, buried in American ice. U.S. Coach Herb Brooks was not amused. Me, neither. The 2010 Winter Olympics take place in Vancouver. NHL players will participate, as they have since 1998. But the NHL has no commitment to the Olympics beyond Vancouver. There’s talk of this being the last Olympics NHL players will participate in. It disrupts the NHL schedule, it detracts from the Stanley Cup playoffs, blah, blah, blah…all that’s true, but why stop now? You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. But ifRead More »