Olympic Report: 2/18
Well, day one went about as expected, with the three more respected teams beating up on their lesser-known opponents.
Day two could be a bit different, as a big rivalry game between the Czech Republic and Slovakia will cap things off.
- USA vs. Norway – 3:00 pm EST on USA, RDS, SNET
- Switzerland vs. Canada – 7:30 pm EST on CNBC, CTV, RDS
- Slovakia vs. Russia – 11:55 pm EST on CNBC, TSN
Finland defeats Belarus 5-1
- Finland Goals: O. Jokinen (PP), N. Hagman 2 (PP, EV), V. Filppula, J. Ruutu
- Belarus Goals: S. Kostitsyn
- Quote from Jarkko Ruutu: “I was reading a booklet for Team Finland this morning and I just realized my stats were zero and zero. So I figured out if I get a goal, I’ll just take the puck. It’s always fun to score. I guess I’m not known for scoring, but it never hurts.”
Sweden defeats Germany 2-0
- Sweden Goals: M. Ohlund (PP), Eriksson
- Germany Goals: N/A
- Quote from Henrik Lundqvist: “We know the strong teams, but we know what we can do. ... We’re confident, but we also have a lot of respect for Canada and Russia.”
Czech Republic defeats Slovakia 3-1
- Czech Republic Goals: P. Elias, J. Jagr, T. Plekanec
- Slovakia Goals: M. Gaborik
- Quote from Jaromir Jagr: “That was a lot of work,” Jagr said. “I have not played a game like this in a while. It is different hockey.”
- Dejan Kovacevic: At The Olympics. Kovacevic does a liveblog for each game, then seeks out Penguins and ex-Penguins for post-game interviews. I highly recommend following his first-hand blog.
NBC Dropping The
Ball Stone On Hockey?
Don’t look now, but NBC is continuing a line of questionable decisions regarding hockey.
Leaving out previous issues with NHL coverage, we’ve already seen three situations that have angered hockey fans.
- NBC chooses to put Sunday’s USA versus Canada marquee matchup on MSNBC rather than the flagship network.
- NBC sticks with women’s curling Tuesday night on CNBC, shifting to the previously scheduled Canada versus Norway hockey game with just over two minutes remaining in the first period.
- NBC sticks with men’s curling Wednesday night on CNBC, shifting to the previously scheduled Sweden versus Germany hockey game roughly 30 seconds into the second period.
Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters says it quite nicely:
“We’d boycott NBC beyond any hockey related programming we have to watch, but we don’t watch them at all to begin with. Especially after Conan O’Brien was canned.”
“We really can’t stand this network.”
And then there’s this question:
“Can we ask a reader in Canada to adopt us for two weeks?”
Speaking of NBC...
Is it just me, or is the tension between Jeremy Roenick and Mike Milbury between periods getting uncomfortable?
It’s one thing for two professionals to disagree for the sake of generating interesting discussions.
It’s yet another for one professional to flat out try to embarrass his colleague.
As much as it pains me to say this — and it really pains me — I’m actually starting to feel sorry for Milbury here, as Roenick is resorting to personal attacks and disagreeing for the sake of making Milbury look bad.
It’s strange that NBC might make such a blunder.
Selanne Ties Olympic Points Record
When clustered with Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, and even Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne may seem a bit out of place among hockey’s greats.
Selanne, an understated veteran of NHL and international hockey, however, has made a statement that he shouldn’t be ignored.
In helping Finland to a 5-1 victory Wednesday afternoon against Belarus, Selanne earned an assist, giving him 36 on his Olympic career — good for a four-way tie for most in Olympic history with Czechoslovakia’s Vlastimil Bubnik, Russia’s Valeri Kharlamov and Canada’s Harry Watson.
Ryan Miller is used to getting the brunt of the work in net. After all, he’s played in 52 of Buffalo’s 60 games this season and had a career high 76 appearances two seasons ago.
So it comes as no surprise that Kevin Allen of USA Today is reporting that Miller will be the Team USA starter throughout the Olympics.
“Ryan will play every game unless something drastic happens,” Team USA coach Ron Wilson said to Allen.
He added: “This is the playoffs as far as I’m concerned. You usually go into the (NHL) playoffs with your hot goalie playing the last six weeks of the season and you don’t think during the playoffs I ought to give my backup some work because what if something happens to the starter.”