US women rout Sweden to earn gold medal game

 

The U.S. Women have look to keep their gold medal game streak alive. (USATSI)
Team USA breezed previous Sweden to advance to the gold-medal sport in women's hockey. (USATSI)

After dominating Sweden to the tune of a 6-1 ultimate, the U.S. Olympic Women's Hockey Group is on its way to the gold-medal recreation at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. It is going to be the fourth trip to the ultimate within the 5 Olympics girls's hockey has been part of.

Workforce USA out-shot Sweden 70-9 within the recreation and was near perfect from begin to finish. Six totally different players scored targets for the U.S. as the offense was unfold out. Defenseman Megan Bozek and ahead Brianna Decker every had three factors to tempo the American attack.

Jessie Vetter didn't get much work between the pipes for Staff USA, making eight saves on 9 shots. Sweden's starter Valentina Wallner did all she might to maintain issues shut as she made 42 saves on forty seven photographs before being yanked in favor of Kim Martin-Hasson.

It was a dominant effort all through for Group USA, which had 4 days off since its disappointing preliminary-spherical loss to Canada. That should help increase confidence heading right into a extremely-anticipated gold-medal sport.

The U.S. will now await the winner of the semifinal between Canada and Switzerland. In all probability, we'll be wanting at the fourth USA-Canada remaining since ladies's hockey came to the Olympics in 1998.

LIVE BLOG

USA 6, Sweden 1 – ULTIMATE

9:45 a.m. – SPORT OVER Team USA earns a 6-1 win over Sweden and will advance to the gold-medal sport for the fourth time within the final five Olympics. They're going to await the winner of Canada-Switzerland semifinal. Gold-medal game is set for Thursday.

9:41 a.m. – OBJECTIVE USA – Brianna Decker's initial shot rocketed off the crossbar, but it surely goes off a Swedish defender's skate and into the net. So Staff USA's first purpose of the third period is an awfully wacky one.

9:39 a.m. – A little bit of scrum develops in entrance of the Sweden net. Not a lot comes of it as time is winding down. Under 4 minutes now.

9:37 a.m. – PENALTY SHOT STOPPED Jocelyne Lamoureux attempts the spin-o-rama on the penalty shot, but Kim Martin-Hasson makes an enormous pad save. Still 5-1.

9:36 a.m. – Penalty shot arising for Team USA as Jocelyne Lamoureux was hauled down from behind on a breakaway.

9:32 a.m. – AIM SWEDEN Some extent shot from Emma Eliasson might have taken a deflection off Anna Borgqvist and the Swedes are on the board for the first time. Sweden buzzing a bit more in the third period.

9:31 a.m. – Jessie Vetter has her toughest take a look at yet as Erica Uden-Johansson's wraparound try sqeezed through. Vetter was in a position to get her glove behind her and sweep the puck off the road. So shut, but no aim.

9:29 a.m. – USA not fairly simply going by way of the motions, but they don't seem to be pushing as onerous for offense in this period. Photographs are not coming as fast and furious, although they maintain a 7-1 advantage over the Swedes thus far this era.

9:25 a.m. – Sweden showing no stop on the market. They're still making an attempt to generate chances, but struggling to get by way of to the U.S. night time. Just one shot on goal this era, but they keep pushing the tempo and are making the U.S. work defensively.

9:19 a.m. – U.S. doing an excellent job of working the offensive zone with a variety of crisp passing and searching for good shots. They're still very much in control and never showing any indicators of letting up despite the score.

9:15 a.m. – Third period underway.

9:09 a.m. – Now can be a very good time to refresh that cup of coffee. USA-Sweden will hit the ice once more shortly for the third interval. Group USA 20 minutes from one other trip to the gold-medal sport.

9:03 a.m. – Second Period Recap:

It was a lot of the identical within the second period because the U.S. continued its dominance of Sweden. Targets from Monique Lamoureux and Megan Bozek have the lead at 5-0. Now the U.S. ladies must focus getting out of the third interval wholesome and not growing any unhealthy habits With the probably state of affairs of enjoying Canada for gold on Thursday, it is important to give attention to taking part in the way they have all along. Unfortunately, that means not letting up in a recreation that's already out of hand.

9 a.m. – Second interval ends with the U.S. up 5-zero. Shots are fifty one-6.

8:54 a.m. – The U.S. has reached 50 pictures within the recreation with 3:59 to play in the second interval. Fifty.

8:fifty one a.m. – All the credit to Wallner, who now sits on the bench. She made forty two saves and really was by no means given a lot of a chance. It could be lots worse if she didn't make some incredible stops throughout her time in net.

8:49 a.m. – Veteran Kim Martin-Hasson will come out to interchange Valentina Wallner. She was the goaltender that helped Sweden upset the U.S. within the 2006 semis. Doesn't appear like history may have a chance to repeat itself, although.

AIM USA – Megan Bozek's blast from the top of the purpose finds its way past Wallner to make it 5-zero. That puck had some serious zip on it.

eight:46 a.m. – Staff USA successfully kills the penalty to Coyne. They allowed only one shot on Sweden's power play. Shot counter now reads forty five-three.

8:43 a.m. – Crew USA killing a penalty as Kendall Coyne sits in the box for hooking.

eight:41 a.m. – Doc Emrick noting the retirement of Noora Raty, the spectacular Finland goalie. She was a part of that Minnesota girls's team last yr that went wire-to-wire undefeated and won back-to-back national titles. Still in her prime, but it may be tough for girls's hockey players to have the time to work full-time and practice. She actually is likely one of the finest on the earth and it is sad to see her profession come to an finish.

USA OBJECTIVE – Monique Lamoureux scores on the facility play for the United States after the Swedish goalie got here up with several impressive saves however could not cease Lamoureux's shot from the slot. Pictures are 42-2.

8:33 a.m. – Kendall Coyne was just thrown to the ice and hit her head arduous. USA will return on the facility play. Positive feels like the United States is about to attain once more. They haven't let up off the gasoline pedal.

8:31 a.m. -Sweden goalie Valentina Lizana-Wallner simply made the save of the women's event stretching out together with her glove hand to rob the United States of its fourth objective. Pictures are 31-1 four minutes into the second interval.

United States fully dominates the primary period and takes a 3-0 result in the locker room. Workforce appears quite a bit higher than it did in its loss to Canada. United States goalie Jessie Vetter with a big interval stopping the only Sweden shot.

Pictures finish 29-1 within the first.

eight:10 a.m. – United States picks up one other penalty Let's see if Sweden can get greater than a shot on this power play. Shots are 28-1 now.

eight:06 a.m. – Document for most shots in a period is 34 set by the United States in Nagano in the course of the first women's hockey olympic match. United States has 27 pictures with four:20 left within the first.

8:03 a.m. – THEY DID IT! Sweden bought a shot on objective.

8:01 a.m. – Sweden comes dangerously close to getting a shot on web, however it was blocked in entrance. So shut.

eight:00 a.m. – Sweden will get its first power play of the game as Michelle Picard will get whistled for hooking. Photographs currently 26-zero U.S., so Sweden has to find a method to take advantage on a uncommon opportunity on the advantage.

7:fifty seven a.m. - OBJECTIVE USA Amanda Kessel chips a loose puck up and over Wallner to make it three-0. It got here on the tail end of back-to-again energy performs. Sweden still has yet to have a shot. This one's getting out of hand.

7:fifty one a.m. – USA back to the ability play as Hilary Knight bought tripped up. Pictures now 13-0 within the game.

7:49 a.m. – PURPOSE USA Some nice pressure in the zone leads to a blast from Kacey Bellamy. It found a method by way of Wallner and gives the U.S. a 2-0 lead.

7:48 a.m. – U.S. firmly controlling the game. Lead photographs 9-0 thus far in the sport. Their velocity and skill actually giving Sweden fits.

7:46 a.m. – PURPOSE USA Alex Carpenter fires one home from the slot after an incredible pass by Kelli Stack for an influence-play purpose.

7:forty three a.m. – A superb shot from Anne Schleper from the purpose is kicked apart by Wallner. USA shifting the puck aroud very properly in the offensive zone.

7:39 a.m. – Alex Carpenter will get a fantastic chance when the puck takes a bizarre hop off the boards, but Wallner recovered nicely and stacked the pads. Hilary Knight practically slipped one in on the wraparound shortly after.

7:37 a.m. – Kendall Coyne and Brianna Decker get an opportunity in near the web, but could not squeeze the puck past Valentina Wallner.

7:35 a.m. – We're underway. USA trying to take management early with their velocity.

7:30 a.m. – Puck about to drop in Sochi. The U.S. girls's workforce has Jessie Vetter in net. She has a 1-1 file, 2.04 objectives-against common and a913 save proportion. She was additionally the group's major starter on the 2010 Olympics.

7:17 a.m. – Here's Crew USA's lineup for today's semifinal:

Hilary Knight – Kelli Stack – Alex Carpenter Kendall Coyne – Brianna Decker – Amanda Kessel Meghan Duggan – Jocelyne Lamoureux – Monique Lamoureux Extras: Lyndsey Fry, Julie Chu

Anne Schleper – Megan Bozek Kacey Bellamy – Gigi Marvin Michelle Picard – Josephine Pucci Lee Stecklein

Jessie Vetter Molly Schaus

Who: United States vs. Sweden

What: First women's hockey semifinal

When: 7:30 a.m. eastern Monday on NBC Sports activities Community

Where: Shayba Area, Sochi, Russia

The United States girls discover themselves in an analogous scenario because the one they skilled in 2010. Final time around, Group USA met Sweden and trounced them 9-1 within the semifinal to achieve the gold-medal sport, however this matchup has one moment historical past the People will hope to keep away from repeating.

At the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, the American ladies were in an analogous state of affairs to the one they're in now. Taking over Sweden within the semifinal, the U.S. was surprised in a shootout. It stays the largest upset within the historical past of girls's hockey at the Olympics. Team USA had to accept a shocking bronze.

Anything can happen when it is single elimination, but Sweden will be a huge underdog to the Individuals. The Swedes completed second in Group B but pulled off a shock win on Saturday knocking off rival Finland four-2 within the quarterfinals.

The United States has been led in scoring by Hilary Knight, who has tallied five factors. Amanda Kessel has four points and is a +6.

Sweden is led offensively Pemilla Winberg who also has five factors in the match.

If Sweden stands any probability, it is going to need a huge efficiency from goalie Valentina Wallner who has a 93.8 save share in the tournament. She took the reins from veteran Kim Martin, who was the goaltender who stood on her head in that 2006 shootout win over the U.S.

It should at the very least be an interesting tilt, but most anticipate a USA-Canada rematch for gold on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tampa Bay Lightning, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview)

2013-09-27_0550

(Ed. Word: It’s an Olympic yr within the NHL. So, naturally, we decided to use the trappings of the Winter Video games to preview all 30 teams for the 2013-14 NHL season. Who takes the gold? Who falls on their triple-axel? Read on and find out!)

Issues didn’t go as planned for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2013. They entered the season with an unproven goaltender and a suspect protection, but there was still hope that over a brief forty eight-sport schedule, they’d determine issues out in time to make a playoff push within the Eastern Convention.

They did not. Anders Lindback struggled and the Lightning completed 26th general in goals against (three.06 per recreation). Accidents plagued the lineup. Rookie Cory Conacher, who shot out of the gate, was eventually dealt to Ottawa for goaltending help. And eventually, head coach Guy Boucher was fired in March and Tampa Bay completed 14th in the East (18-26-four, 40 pts.).

The 2013-14 season might be one among change. Their long-time captain is gone. Jon Cooper will get a full season as head coach. First spherical choose Jonathan Drouin ought to add one other spark to the offense, and along with Valtteri Filppula, ought to improve the group’s secondary scoring.

So, can those modifications result in a recent start for the Lightning?

Andrei Markov remains to be questioning how he didn’t beat Anders Lindback.

The additions had been kept a minimum by common manager Steve Yzerman. Filppula, who Yzerman knows from his days with the Detroit Pink Wings, cashed in with a five-12 months, $25 million deal. He and the drafting of Drouin had been the principle upgrades for the Lightning within the low season.

But the biggest information of the summer in Tampa Bay was using a compliance buyout on captain Vincent Lecavalier. The Lightning decided to buy out the ultimate seven years of his contract and can pay him $32.667 million over that time period, plus an $eight million in signing bonus cash. Per week later, Lecavalier would signal a 4-year cope with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Additionally leaving town had been Benoit Pouliot (New York Rangers), Marc-Andre Bergeron (Switzerland), Mathieu Garon (tryout, Los Angeles Kings), and Adam Hall (Philadelphia Flyers).

Forward: Manufacturing wasn’t a difficulty for Tampa last season. Steven Stamkos scored 29 targets and Martin St. Louis gained his second Artwork Ross Trophy with 60 factors. Total, the Lightning finished third in the NHL in scoring with three.06 objectives per recreation. You’ll be able to pretty much pencil in Stamkos for an additional 50ish-objective season, like ordinary. St. Louis turned 38 in June, but he is defied the odds before, and so long as he is enjoying next to Stamkos the factors shall be there.

Filppula, Teddy Purcell (eleven objectives, 36 points) and a healthy Ryan Malone (24 video games) will be seemed upon to supply the secondary scoring. It is anticipated that Drouin will slide in on the top line next to Stamkos and St. Louis. If he stays there and previous his nine-sport NHL tryout, fantasy hockey players will love him.

Alex Killorn had a solid rookie campaign (7 targets, 19 factors) and will improve upon that over a full season. Nate Thompson will not present a ton of points, however brings a bodily presence (85 hits) and the flexibility to block shots (31) down the lineup.

Defense: They scored three.06 per recreation and in addition allowed 3.06 targets per recreation. That’s with the additions of Matt Carle and Sami Salo from summer time 2012. The pair contributed 39 factors between them, but only helped to barely improve a defense that was thirtieth within the NHL in 2011-12.

Victor Hedman has step by step gottan better since entering the league in 2009. He’s been a gradual offensive presence contributing 20-plus points a season, however defensively he nonetheless has his moments. Eric Brewer was a significant presence throughout Tampa’s 2011 run to the Japanese Convention Ultimate. Since then, properly… only two more years on that contract!

Radko Gudas is more than just an awesome beard, he is also a devastating hitter; just ask Kris Versteeg. He was known as up late in the season and may earn himself a full-time function.

Goalies: Anders Lindback struggled after being given the No. 1 function to begin the season. He was spelled by Mathieu Garon, who began sixteen games, however neither had been the answer for the Lightning.

Yzerman felt he wanted to shore up his crease, so he dealt Cory Conacher to the Ottawa Senators in change for six-foot-7 Ben Bishop. Both Bishop and Lindback have just a bit more than 50 games of NHL expertise each, however the hope is that a platoon setting will be the catalyst for improvement.

After a drop off following his first season in charge, Steve Yzerman has been criticized for his staff-building, specifically going cheap in internet and hoping for results; however he has built a strong minor league system for the Lightning, as proven by appearances within the previous two Calder Cup finals, with the AHL squad successful it all in 2012.

These two successful AHL groups had been coached by Jon Cooper, who replaced Boucher in March. That might be beneficial when the Lightning’s youngsters come reach the NHL and are already accustomed to the system. The 15 video games Cooper was behind the bench for last season gave him a superb take a look at what needs to be tweaked going forward. Helping Cooper will be George Gwozdecky, who was hired as an assistant after years as a university head coach at Denver.

“Hockey Paradise” makes you want to grab a Corona, lace up your skates and head to the seashore.

Stamkos, St. Louis and doubtlessly Drouin will probably be fun to look at as pink lights around the NHL get worn out.

Cooper has received at the USHL and AHL level. Regardless of where he goes he brings success. It should not take too long for him to right the ship in Tampa.

Until engineers figure out the right way to have an precise bolt of lightning go off after a aim, the awesome tesla coils inside Tampa Bay Times Forum must do.

If the goaltending tandem of Lindback and Bishop does not do the job, Yzerman should change his philosophy and open Jeff Vinik’s pockets for an improve.

Whether or not the Lightning are within the playoff mix will depend upon how the protection and goaltending hold up. Even when there’s improvement, it’ll be robust sledding within the new Atlantic Division. However a full season of Cooper behind the bench should see improvements in areas with a watch on the long run.

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St. Louis Blues, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview)

stlois(Ed. Word: It’s an Olympic yr in the NHL. So, naturally, we decided to use the trimmings of the Winter Video games to p sreview all 30 teams for the 2013-14 NHL season. Who takes the gold? Who falls on their triple-axel? Learn on and find out!)

The St. Louis Blues entered the truncated 2012-13 season with great expectations, following a 109-point season beneath Ken Hitchcock within the earlier campaign. They had the coaching, the goaltending and the intense young talent to contend for the Stanley Cup, mentioned the pundits.

Yet at the finish of March, the Blues have been outdoors of the playoff image in the Western Convention, because of key gamers underperforming and a few accidents. GM Doug Armstrong obtained aggressive, buying Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold around the trade deadline. The defense solidified, goalie Brian Elliott recaptured his sport and the Blues surged into the playoffs within the No. 4 seed.

Alas, their run would finish in the first spherical with a quarterfinals loss to the defending champion Los Angeles Kings in six games.

Have the Blues discovered enough from their misfires to lastly contend for the Cup? Have they accomplished enough within the offseason to take the subsequent step?

Jake Allen is a reasonably gifted goaltender.

The biggest transfer in the offseason got here when St. Louis traded David Perron, a career Blues player, to the Edmonton Oilers for winger Magnus Paajarvi, who brings offensive potential and a friendlier contract.

Derek Roy was signed for 1 year and $four million in an try to bolster the Blues’ scoring at heart. Maxim Lapierre signed for two years so as to add more agitation to the St. Louis lineup. Keith Aucoin was signed from the Islanders. Veteran Brenden Morrow discovered a home with the Blues on the wing. We think about his relationships with the GM, coach and a few guy named Hull did not harm.

Kris Russell was traded to the Flames, whereas Jamie Langenbrunner was among the many players the Blues opted to not bring back. Andy MacDonald, sadly, retired.

Forward: Fast.. who led the St. Louis Blues in scoring last year?

The answer is Chris Stewart, much to everybody’s shock. However the shortened season lessened the destructive affect of his streakiness, and the facility forward led the Blues in targets and factors en path to a brand new 2-year, $eight.three-million contact. He’ll be paired with Derek Roy, because the Blues hope to get the most out of each investments. Sophomore Vladimir Tarasenko, whose brilliant rookie season was derailed by harm, could get a look with them. So may Morrow. But it surely appears Jaden Schwartz may have the primary chance to solidify that role.

David Backes took a step back final season offensively, posting the worst targets-per-game (zero.13) of his career. Patrik Berglund, nevertheless, posted the very best purpose-scoring numbers of his profession with 17 in 48 games.

Backes will skate with T.J. Oshie again this season, and they’ve seen time with Alex Steen. Berglund, in the meantime, has been centering a tantalizing offensive line with Paajarvi and Tarasenko.

Vladimir Sobotka should have the final middle spot locked down, and the Blues have a slew of gamers – Morrow, Chris Porter, Dmitrij Jaskin, Lapierre, Reaves, Adam Cracknell and others – who may skate with him.

Protection: His contract issues settled, Alex Pietrangelo can refocus on blossoming into the Norris-caliber D-man he seems destined to change into. He led the Blues in common ice time (25:07) final season and was their leading defensive scorer. His pairing with Bouwmeester proved so beneficial that the Blues handed J-Bouw a new contract as well. (And hey, he finally performed in the playoffs. Yippee!)

Kevin Shattenkirk, who might have stolen the spotlight from Petro at occasions final season, had 23 factors last season He skated with Leopold last season, but might see time with veteran keep-at-homer Barret Jackman. Leopold, in the meantime, could be with Roman Polak, as Ian Cole waits his flip.

Goalies: A blessing of riches or a major headache. Elliott regained his form after a disastrous start (darn new contract!) to post a 2.28 GAA in 24 video games. Jaroslav Halak had a better GAA (2.14) however was just 6-5-1 on the season. Enter rookie Jake Allen, who had the best save share (.904) of the three and was 9-four for the Blues. He is on a two-method contract, which suggests he’s the odd-man out, however Allen’s making things very uncomfortable for both incumbents.

Armstrong aggressively made his blue line higher on the commerce deadline last season, but hasn’t made the same splash on the ahead spot. Roy could work, Morrow may find his game again, but overall Armstrong is giving the players on the roster the chance to search out the right combination. The Perron trade was a wake-up call that the Blues aren’t content material with one-and-completed playoff appearances.

Ken Hitchcock is without doubt one of the greatest coaches in hockey, and somebody that’s proven he can get this staff enjoying nice hockey in the common season. He is constructed a robust foundation, and now will get his first training camp with the workforce to reinforce it. Can he lastly get this group over the hump in the postseason?

Say, have you ever heard the news?

Alex Pietrangelo. You might do a lot worse than constructing your staff round a 23-12 months-old star defenseman. He leads one of many higher blue lines in the convention.

The goaltending.

Having three No. 1s when others can not seem to set up one appears greedy.

Backes. It is an Olympic yr. You understand he’s coming to play.

The offense. The Blues are never going to be a scoring juggernaut, but they’ve but to search out offensive consistency under Hitchcock or reach the heights of their 2010-11 marketing campaign of two.88 goals per sport.

The Blues must be proper there with Chicago for the Central Division title, after which the actual season starts. They’ve the gamers. They’ve the goaltending. They only have to put it all collectively. And, perhaps, avoid enjoying the LA Kings. That too.

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New York Islanders, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview)

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(Ed. Note: Welcome to the Puck Daddy 2013 summer undertaking, the National Hockey League of Nations. We’ve recruited 30 writers/blogs to determine one of the best player of their favourite workforce’s historical past for every main nationality that creates the fabric of our beloved NHL: Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and The Remainder of The World. It’s their standards, as long as they will justify it. Read, debate and luxuriate in! If you wish to do so on Twitter, it’s #NHLoN.)

By B.D. Gallof, Editor in Chief of HOCK.ly

So I’m just sitting right here consuming on trip when I get a call on the “blog telephone” that the NY Islanders League of Nations is up next.

So listed below are just a few photoshop-free musing on an Islanders League of Nations that may be bitched about in the remark part for an hour or two…

Canada

No, it is not John Tavares, and if he’s in your prime 2, you need to just cease studying now and persist with what you might do well…. Coloring.

This is a two participant debate that has nothing to do with any kid who has not led his staff to a cup. This is about two NHL legends: Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy. Trottier is the complete player, leader and working class hero. But to me, there is no better prolific scorer than Mike Bossy. It was a stage unto itself, only put to what-if as a result of harm.

Thus the choice is to be like Mike Bossy, eh?

Finland

This one is easy. There will be just one. The “Flying Finn” Mikko Makela helped pave the best way for future Finnish gamers like Teemu Selanne. He scored targets and accrued factors. However his profession was timed with the Isles decline within the late 80s and was eventually shuffled off to LA. For a lot of, with Bossy retired, the Finn was a last vestige on the hope of getting a sniper again and growing a expertise. Alas.

USA

The NY Islanders would possibly try to faux he does not exist since his departure after the fiasco that went on between Neil Smith and Charles Wang, however not only does Pat LaFontaine exist, however he is the perfect US born participant of the NY Islanders palms down. Regardless of a profession cut brief by concussions, he’s a corridor of famer that the Islanders must be ashamed of their try to take away his influence and significance to the franchise.

Of course, we are NONETHELESS waiting for good previous Pat to buy and rescue the Isles.

Sweden

Isles have had a couple of gems right here (Kenny Jonsson, anyone? Stefan Persson, anyone?), but thanks to it being his birthplace before heading to Canada on the age of 4, there’s an underneath-the-radar shoo-in here….

Bobby Nystrom was truly born in Stockholm Sweden.

Need we are saying more?

The guy was clutch, tenacious, scrappy, all coronary heart, and left it all on the ice.

Sorry, no person else comes even shut.

Russia

Ahh, Russia, comes the complex relationships that go away the guts feeling a bit less fonder. It is a robust name but there are not a whole lot of prolific Russians as part of the Isles tapestry so let us wade into the blended bag of emotions that will come as part of this…

Alexei Yashin was an excellent player who had an elite contract that he would never reside up to it, or the duty it brings. Period. But as Russian gamers go on the Isles, he stands as one of the more prolific, prefer it or not.

So there you go. Painless… Like a root canal.

Slovakia

Nothing hit the downtrodden NY Islander fan hearts tougher than when the miscreant ownership pressured Mike Milbury to aim to move Zigmund Palffy to the dreaded NY Ranger rivals. Fortunately for fans, it hit a snag and he was dealt to LA. But the ache never went away till perhaps when the Isles drafted Tavares.

Yes, Chara was a Slovak also, however he was only growing when he was dealt. Ziggy was more and was all that was left…. And then he was dealt away, leaving Isles fans with nothing else.

Czech Republic

Here is where underrated and simply being steady wins the race. Radek Martinek spent his profession being a gradual, however not incredible defender to chief a bunch of okay, however not stellar Czech gamers.

Robert Reichel scored a bunch but only for two seasons for the Isles. Volek scored one important one…and actually was much more necessary in seasons, so moves past Reichel.

But within the scheme of things, seems to me that gradual and regular wins this race. Radek was an essential piece because the Isles rebuilt, even when what is there now just isn’t quite the same.

Obviously, I am not exactly enthused about this bunch, but fact is, Radek’s significance and defensive ability-set earlier than accidents decimated him can’t be denied.

REST OF THE WORLD CATEGORY

Sorry of us, Darius Kasparitus, essentially the most overrated over-hyped Isles participant who really did not do a lot of anything, won’t be on this list.

Lets instead checklist out two notables that equate in a tie on this class….

Steve Thomas: born in England, “Stumpy” had 4 key and nice seasons for the Isles in the 90s. Plus, extra importantly, regardless of having played hockey, had better enamel.

Mariusz Czerkawski: born in Poland. Wasn’t the most complete participant, however by god, was all we had throughout some horrific days. Offensively, the “Polish Prince” was our king.

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New Jersey Devils, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview)

(Ed. Observe: It’s an Olympic 12 months in the NHL. So, naturally, we determined to use the trimmings of the Winter Games to preview all 30 teams for the 2013-14 NHL season. Who takes the gold? Who falls on their triple-axel? Read on and find out!)

The New Jersey Devils began the season missing star winger Zach Parise, who left to play back home with the Minnesota Wild. Then, after the season, they noticed their different star ahead, Ilya Kovalchuk, “retire” from the NHL and leave to play again dwelling within the KHL.

Sandwiched in-between was a non-playoff year that followed the staff’s shocking run to the Stanley Cup Remaining. The Devils went 19-19-10, watching accidents gradual Marty Brodeur and Kovalchuk and the workforce’s offense tumble to No. 28 within the NHL in goals for.

While they misplaced their star within the offseason, the Devils gained quite a few veteran players in an try and juice their offense – together with their goalie of the future.

How can one not honor the objective-scoring juggernaut that’s Marty Brodeur, whose third profession goal tied him with Cam Janssen’s career total.

Devils President/GM/Ruler of All He Surveys Lou Lamoriello did what he does when his crew faces adversity and/or loses a key participant: he spent a lot of money on veteran gamers to compensate.

The Devils lost Kovalchuk to Russia and David Clarkson (7 years, $36.75M) to the Toronto Maple Leafs, depriving them of their biggest offensive menace and best energy forward.

Lamoriello’s reinforcements included Ryane Clowe (5 years, $24.25 million), Michael Ryder (2 years, $7 million), and the ageless (nicely, a minimum of till the playoffs) Jaromir Jagr, who signed for 1 12 months and $4 million. The Devils additionally inked Blackhawks castoff Rostislav Olesz for one yr and $1 million.

But the largest transfer Lamoriello made wasn’t on offense: It was his trade of the ninth total pick in the 2013 Draft to Vancouver for goalie Cory Schneider, who turns into Marty Brodeur’s inheritor apparent, whereas Brodeur becomes one more Canadian gold medal goalie that Schneider has to warm the bench behind.

New Jersey also misplaced Matt D’Agostini, Matt Corrente and Alexei Ponikarovsky to free agency, and traded a bitter Henrik Tallinder again to the Sabres.

Forward: In addition to Brodeur, the one fixed for the Devils has been left wing Patrik Elias, who signed a brand new contract this summer season. The franchise’s offensive chief returns and could skate on a line with Travis Zajac and Jagr.

Adam Henrique broke the bank after his sophomore season, foregoing a traditional bridge contract for a six-year deal. He might heart Clowe and Ryder, because the Devils hope their younger heart can blossom into a legit No. 1.

Dainius Zubrus missed vital time last season resulting from harm, but is a helpful presence up entrance. The Devils return Andrei Lokionov and usher in Olesz, who performed for DeBoer in Florida.

Mattias Tedenby, Jacob Josefson and Stefan Matteau are young players hungry for ice time. Stephen Gionta, Ryan Carter and Stever Bernier return as essential grinders, with Krys Barch and Cam Janssen along for muscle.

Defense: The Devils’ ice time leader on defense last season was Andy Greene, an underrated backliner who was a plus-12.

Captain Bryce Salvador, meanwhile, was a minus-12 and saw his offensive numbers from the 2013 playoffs disappear in the following regular season. Additionally a minus-12: Marek Zidlicky, who might see an expanded role on the facility play with Kovalchuk gone.

Anton Volchenkov nonetheless brings the bodily sport however appears to have misplaced a step. Mark Fayne is strong however unspectacular. Veteran Peter Harrold is back, whereas the Devils proceed to hope Adam Larsson becomes the defenseman they picked him fourth overall to turn out to be. Young D-men Jon Merrill and Alexander Urbom will push for time.

Goalies: Brodeur will get the opening day start, however one assumes Schneider will get greater than his share of time. The 40-12 months-old Devils legend stays a solid goaltender, but the 2012 playoff run may very well be the final we see of the dominant Brodeur. Until, after all, the presence of Schneider ignites one thing within the veteran netminder, and we’ve got to pry the job out of his crease.

Pete DeBoer struggled for options last season after Larry Robinson and Adam Oates both left his bench following the Cup run. This season poses several distinctive challenges, together with how he plans to mildew a crew out of a patchwork of veteran gamers.

Lou Lamoriello scrambled to fill the Devils roster with scoring, and was extensively criticized for a few of those contracts (like Clowe’s). He remains one of the shrewdest, smartest and most influential GMs in hockey. However because the workforce enters a transitional phase, one wonders how much longer Lamoriello will likely be pulling the strings in Jersey.

Why would it not be something aside from Devils followers chanting “HEY, YOU SUCK?”

The goaltending. Say what you will about Brodeur, however the potential Corridor of Famer paired with one of the top goalies in a generation in Schneider makes for a dynamic battery.

Elias. One of the most underrated offensive stars in hockey, the Devils’ prime scorer in franchise historical past might also be their top offensive expertise this year.

Jagr.

C’mon, such as you gained’t watch a couple of more Devils energy performs with No. 68 lurking near the web.

Team Velocity. There are some completely plodding gamers on this roster, at a time when speed is at a premium within the NHL.

Every time you need to depend the Devils out, they shock you. So whereas many have them pegged for the bottom two within the Metropolitan Division, don’t be stunned if this can be a workforce that battles on the bubble until the top – and doubtlessly snags the No. 4 seed in the division.

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Anaheim Ducks, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview)

(Ed. Observe: It’s an Olympic year in the NHL. So, naturally, we determined to use the trimmings of the Winter Games to preview all 30 groups for the 2013-14 NHL season. Who takes the gold? Who falls on their triple-axel? Learn on and find out!)

In their first full season – OK, lockout shortened – with Bruce Boudreau as head coach, the Geese sprinted out to steer the Pacific Division, retaining tempo early on with the streaking Chicago Blackhawks in the conference. They completed with a 30-12-6 file and 66 points, earning the No. 2 seed in the West and a first-spherical matchup with the Detroit Red Wings.

Oh, and what a matchup it was: The teams went seven video games, together with four overtime video games, earlier than Detroit eliminated the Ducks in a collection through which Anaheim had two chances to close out the Wings.

So, in the long run, Boudreau didn’t get a extremely-seeded crew out of the first round. Again.

Off the ice, the Geese committed to both Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf with 8-yr blockbuster contracts; however the third member of that trinity of offensive stars, Bobby Ryan, was shipped to Ottawa.

The Geese have strong goaltending, stars to build round and a formidable assortment of young gamers. Does that translate into another playoff berth?

Dave Steckel is magic.

The debates about whether to commerce Bobby Ryan ended when the Ducks finally, truly, truly did trade him to the Ottawa Senators for 22-year-old forward Jakob Silfverberg, 21-12 months-previous forward Stefan Noesen and a first-round decide in 2014.

Replacing Ryan on the left facet? Why, it’s their outdated pal Dustin Penner, signing a $2-million, 1-yr deal after spending a couple of years with the LA Kings. Put area IHOPs on full alert.

Nate Guenin (Colorado) and Troy Bodie (Toronto) left by way of free company. Toni Lydman was unsigned.

Forwards: After his worst season in the NHL, Getzlaf rebounded with a dominant forty nine-level performance in 44 video games, taking part in to a plus-14 and into the Hart Trophy dialog. Perry matched Getzlaf’s aim complete with 15. Kyle Palmieri was with this dynamic duo within the postseason, scoring five factors.

Teemu Selanne showed some rust in a 12-purpose, minus-10 effort final season however stays an asset on particular groups. Plus, it’s his swan music, so anticipate a hell of an effort. Saku Koivu was re-signed for one season and was the Geese’ leading faceoff man. Penner’s a veteran, however he’s coming off two targets in 33 games.

Jakob Silfverberg is a wild card offensively: Huge talent, and he may blossom rapidly if he earns top six minutes.

As is a trademark of Boudreau teams, the grunts contributed to the Geese’ success. Nick Bonino, Matt Beleskey, Andrew Cogliano and Daniel Winnik gave Anaheim high quality performances. Emerson Etem will build off a moderately profitable rookie season, whereas Peter Holland seeks additional improvement.

Defense: Francois Beauchemin had his finest season within the NHL, with 24 factors and a plus-22 and exceptional play till an harm slowed him. Sheldon Souray, second in ice time final season (20:fifty five), will miss not less than the first two months of the season with a wrist damage. Mark Fistric was signed as a veteran placeholder.

Cam Fowler stumbled at the beginning offensively but was a greater all-around defenseman final season. (He’ll even be enjoying for an Olympic berth.)

Luca Sbisa was abjectly horrible final season until the top. Bryan Allen was additionally a disappointment after wanting like a free-agent coup, exhibiting a scarcity of velocity. Ben Lovejoy had his moments, and earned a 3-yr deal in the summer.

Goalies: Here’s a blessing of riches. Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth each gained 15 games last season, splitting the starts. The emergence of Fasth made it seem like Hiller and his $4.5 million cap hit (with one season left) would be a goner, but both are back. Can Fasth be as effective his second time ‘round the conference? And the way lengthy will the Geese allow uber-prospect John Gibson to percolate behind them?

Boudreau remains among the best coaches in the National Hockey League, Non-Playoff Version. He activated the staff’s offensive gamers as he did with the Capitals, but once again, postseason success eluded him despite home-ice advantage.

Bob Murray went all-in to keep Perry and Getzlaf from leaving as UFAs which will affect the price range for the remainder of the roster and, frankly, have them under contract effectively into the downside of their careers. However he acquired a sneaky good return for Ryan and continues to search out diamonds within the rough for the supporting forged.

Pretty easy call when the staff has its own triumphant movie theme, no?

The goaltending. You possibly can see why Murray can be hesitant to explode this profitable tandem, as Hiller can steal games and Fasth was a revelation final season.

Getzlaf. He was maligned for one terrible season, however he’s been properly over a point-per-sport participant each season since 2006. Anyone claiming he’s not a star participant is a bald-confronted liar. (OKAY, poor alternative of phrase, contemplating Getzlaf’s sunroof.)

Selanne and Koivu. Another yr with two of the classiest veterans in the NHL on the ice is an efficient yr certainly.

The PK. The Ducks’ power play is a star-studded high 5 group when wholesome. However for the second straight season, their kill was center of the pack.

Battling for the wild card with groups like Edmonton, Phoenix, Minnesota and potentially the Canucks. The Ducks will have to overcome the lack of Ryan’s aim-scoring and hope that the goaltending overcomes the shortcomings of the defense.

But count a Boudreau crew out within the regular season? Fats chance. (OKAY, as soon as again, poor selection of phrase …)

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Russian gold medalists kiss on medal stand at world championships to protest anti-gay laws

(Getty)

Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firov received a world championship as a part of the 4×400-meter relay staff at the IAAF monitor championships in Moscow. The edged out the American and British teams for the gold. While on the medal stand, they kissed to protest their own nation’s anti-homosexual propaganda laws.

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This isn’t the primary protest of Russia’s laws that penalize anybody for talking about homosexuality in entrance of youngsters, but it surely’s probably the most seen one finished by Russian athletes. U.S. runner Nick Symmonds dedicated his silver medal in the 800 meters to his homosexual pals back dwelling, and Swedish excessive jumper Emma Green Tregaro painted her nails in a rainbow in honor of LGBT satisfaction.

Russian pole-vaulting legend Yelena Isinbayva criticized Tregaro for her protest.

“We take into account ourselves, like regular, normal folks, we simply stay boys with women, girls with boys… it comes from the historical past,” Isinbayeva mentioned.

Later, she said her comments have been misunderstood because English is not her first language. She usually speaks English to reporters.

“However let me make it clear I respect the views of my fellow athletes, and let me state within the strongest terms that I am against any discrimination in opposition to homosexual people on the grounds of their sexuality (which is against the Olympic charter).”

The words spoken by Isinbayeva are usually not nearly as highly effective as the protest of two younger ladies kissing on the medal stand. One of the reasons many LGBT sports leaders are against a boycott of the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is as a result of more can be achieved by LGBT athletes and their allies standing atop the medal stand with pride. Ryzhova and Firov put that idea into motion in Moscow.

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2014 Sochi Olympics hockey schedule: When can U.S., Canada watch gold medal game?

Getty Images Face it: North American fans were totally spoiled in two of the last three Winter Olympics.

The 2002 Salt Lake City Games and the 2010 Vancouver Games featured hockey tournaments that were played at times that didn’t require 2 a.m. alarm clocks buzzing and copious amounts of coffee. We had hockey throughout the day, allowing us to check out Tore Vikingstad (NORGE!) without completely ruining our sleep schedule.

The 2014 Sochi Olympics? Not so television friendly. At least for the West Coast.

There’s an 8-hour time difference between Sochi and New York. So the USA/Russia throw-down in preliminaries on Feb. 15 will be at 7:30 a.m. in East and 4:30 a.m. in the West. So, yeah, Spoiler Warning!

Here’s what the 2014 Sochi Olympic men’s hockey tournament schedule looks like …

The USA preliminary games, in local times, are:

7:30 AM ET Slovakia vs. United States
7:30 AM ET United States vs. Russia
7:30 AM ET Slovenia vs. United States

For Canada, they’re:

12:00 PM ET Canada vs. Norway
12:00 PM ET Canada vs. Austria
12:00 PM ET Finland vs. Canada

The qualification round playoffs are on Tuesday, Feb. 18, starting at noon local time. The quarterfinals are the following day, beginning at noon.

The semifinals are on Friday, Feb. 21, at 7 a.m. and noon ET/9 a.m. PT.

The bronze medal game is Saturday, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT.

The gold medal game is Sunday, Feb. 23, at 4 p.m. local time: 7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT.