PDA

View Full Version : Olympic hockey



westofyou
02-15-2006, 10:27 AM
Starts today, Finland vs Sweden on MSNBC right now, Finland up 2-0 (that's an upset in my books)

Canada looks like the team to beat, but Russia should be an interesting sleeper this year.

A few bits on the teams


Canada

The defending champions are favored to win the gold again.

Backed by goaltending god Martin Brodeur, the roster boasts a stellar list of names including team captain Joe Sakic, Jarome Iginla, Vincent LeCavalier and Simon Gagne, to name a few. Add defensemen Rob Blake, Wade Redden, Robyn Regehr and Chris Pronger and you have the goods for gold. They are the most solid team with both new and experienced players, skill, size, speed and depth. This time around, they also have the added advantage of chemistry after playing together in (and winning) the World Cup of Hockey in 2004.

Although ďOperation SlapshotĒ could be viewed as a distraction for Canadian players, this isnít an unfamiliar situation. In Salt Lake City, Gretzky spouted off to the media about his "everybody`s out to get Canada" theory just to keep reporters focused on him instead of the Canadian players. This time, while all eyes are again focused on Gretzky, the Canadian team can legitimately escape media scrutiny. In fact, they might even rally behind the Great One.

Canada is at +110 to win gold and barring any major injuries or crises, the Canadians stand the best chance to win gold.

USA

The Americans have an impressive roster, but not as impressive as some of the other top dogs.

Their goaltending is solid, but not stellar. Their defense is their strongest asset, led by team captain Chris Chelios and Derian Hatcher, which should help prevent any hemorrhaging that could occur if Rick DiPietro or Robert Esche face too much rubber. As for their offense, the usual suspects: Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk, Bill Guerin Ė solid players but compared to the super-scorers on other squads, the US team is a little weak offensively.

USA is at +800 to win gold, but they probably won`t see the podium. The best realistic outcome for this aging squad is probably a bronze.

The Czech Republic

If any team were going to dethrone the champs, it would be the Czechs.

They have a proven goaltender in Dominik Hasek whoís already won gold for his country in Nagano. The defense is solid with experienced players like Tomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina and Marek Malik who is the proud owner of the prettiest shootout goal of the NHL season.

As for their offense, itís no less than fabulous. Jaromir Jagr, Vaclav Prospal, Robert Lang and Martin Straka are some of the stars, so be prepared for highlight reel performances from this team. Should a game get to shootouts, beware. The Czechs have an experienced blue line, fantastic goaltending and their only fault is that they donít have any defensive forwards, which could create turnovers.

The Czech Republic is at +275 to win gold. This team is a serious contender for a medal. If they don`t overtake the Canadians, they should at least come in a close second.

Russia

The Russians are also podium chasers.

They have solid goaltending with Evgeni Nabokov and Ilja Bryzgalov, but they couldíve used the assistance of Nikolai Khabibulin, who is out with a strained MCL. The Russians have a terrific defensive squad, with experienced players like Darius Kasparitis and Sergei Gonchar as well as talented newcomers like Andrei Markov. Their offense is even better with two of the top scorers in the NHL Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Ovechkin.

Russiaís goaltending isnít as good as it couldíve been with Khabibulin and like the Czechs, they have very skilled finesse players, but forwards who don`t play defense. Just look at Kovlachukís Ė12 rating in the NHL.

The Russian team is at +500 to win gold. They`re another serious contender, but probably donít have the goods for gold.

Slovakia

Slovakiaís major problem is goaltending.

The only goalie with NHL experience is Peter Budaj, a backup for the Colorado Avalanche, and his experience is limited at best. On all other fronts, the team is spectacular with blueliners Zdeno Chara and Martin Strbak and a ridiculously talented offense. The Hossa brothers, Peter Bondra, Marian Gaborik, Pavol Demitra, Miroslav Satan and rookie sensation Marek Svatos fill out the offensive roster and will be impressive to watch under international regulations.

Slovakia is at +1000 to win gold.

Slovakia will finish on top, although probably not a contender for gold. They could definitely go home with bronze, but their goaltending will be a major issue.

Sweden

Sweden had a well-rounded team, with all the necessary components for a podium finish, but after some major losses in their lineup, gold is pretty much out of the question.

Superstar Peter Forsberg might not be in the lineup until the quarterfinals due to a groin injury, but there are enough offensive strikers to make up for it early on. But if he doesn`t play at all, consider Sweden out of contention. Marcus Naslund will also be seriously missed having been sidelined by a nagging groin injury, and his replacement Tomas Holmstrom just isnít cut from the same cloth.

The Swedish defense is decent, but once again, the loss of Kim Johnsson to a concussion and Niklas Kronwall to a torn knee ligament will hurt the teamís chances.

Sweden is at +800 to win gold.

They do have the likes of Daniel Alfredsson, P.J. Axelsson and the Sedin twins up front and goalies Mikael Tellqvist and Henrik Lundqvist to protect the fort, but the injury-depleted Swedish squad would be happy with bronze.

Finland

The runner-up in the World Cup of Hockey in 2004, is another medal contender thatís been run out of contention by injuries.

The most notable missing piece is goalie Miikka Kiprusoff whoís withdrawn to avoid further aggravating an injury. Along with Kari Lehtonenís absence, it leaves the Finnish net open to snipers.

Their blue line also took a major hit with the loss of Joni Pitkanen and Ossi Vaananen, but still boasts names like Aki Berg, Sami Salo and Teppo Numminen, all of whom will make a solid defensive contribution. The Finnish forwards are their strongest features with regulars like team captain Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne, Olli Jokinen and Jere Lehtinen.

Finland is at +1500 to win gold. They probably won`t finish higher than fourth, but they could cause upsets should the team gel.

Germany, Switzerland, Latvia, Italy and Kazakhstan

Germany wouldíve been more of threat had they not lost their two top players, Marco Sturm and Jochen Hecht, to injuries. They do have Olaf Kolzig in nets and a few other NHLers on their roster, but arenít experienced or strong enough to do any real damage in Turin. Germany is listed at +8000 to win gold.

Switzerland has good goaltending with David Aebischer and Martin Gerber but the only other NHLer is defenseman Mark Streit. They wonít allow many goals; they just wonít score any. Switzerland is listed at +6600 to win gold.

Latvia is on par with Germany. They have Arturs Irbe in nets and a few other NHLers in Sandis Ozolinsh and Karlis Skrastins, but arenít a threat yet. Theyíre still an emerging country in hockey and will only get better with time. Latvia is listed at +8000 to win gold.

Kazakhstan and Italy are in a race to avoid last place and are both listed at +20000.

Red Leader
02-15-2006, 10:37 AM
Thanks for the write-up, woy.

I hate to say this, but I like the Russian team. I like Kovalchuk and Ovechkin. And I would have to think that they could be argued as the favorites to win the gold if Khabibulin were able to play.

I don't think the US has enough firepower to outscore teams, and I don't think their goaltending will be good enough to hold other teams down, although their D should be decent.

If my choices for gold are Canada or Russia, I'll take Russia.

Chip R
02-15-2006, 10:49 AM
I always look forward to Olympic Hockey.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 10:50 AM
4-0 now Fins, the Swiss look asleep, their Goalie (Gerber of the Hurricanes) is having a horrible game, worst I've seen all year for him.

Sweden has to play the Czechs (who are a fave too) and Canada in their next 2 games, if Gerber fails then Auberscher from Colorado might push him.

Red Leader
02-15-2006, 10:52 AM
Aebischer had a great year in Colorado last year. Really stepped up under a lot of pressure following Roy. I haven't been keeping track of him this year, has his game slipped? I would think under normal circumstances he should be starting over Gerber anyway.

Red Leader
02-15-2006, 10:54 AM
Is Kipprusoff in net for the Fins?

Nevermind, I see that he has withdrawn from the games b/c of injury.

Who is in net for the Fins?

deltachi8
02-15-2006, 10:57 AM
I don't like the US Goaltending at all, but then again I am biased and think the best US Goltender is on the Taxi Squad....

If I were abetting man, I would take the Czech team.

registerthis
02-15-2006, 11:03 AM
Is Kipprusoff in net for the Fins?

Nevermind, I see that he has withdrawn from the games b/c of injury.

Who is in net for the Fins?

No one I've ever heard of. Not watching the game, but that Sweden is asleep at the wheel is surprising. They have a very strong team--on paper at least.

The U.S. roster, good Lord...it could almost qualify for AARP benefits. Canada looks unbelieveably strong, as usual. There's just no single country that can match up, top to bottom, with them.

registerthis
02-15-2006, 11:05 AM
If I were abetting man, I would take the Czech team.

Yep, you've got to take any team with Hasek, Jagr and Straka seriously. Also, Bluejacket David Vyborny is on the Czech team. Still, head-to-head I'll take Canada.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 11:07 AM
I think currently the goalie is Fredrik Norrena who plays in the Swedish League, but it could end up being Jussi Markkanen of Edmonton who has been hot and cold this season.

Red Leader
02-15-2006, 11:08 AM
I like when non-NHL players come up big in the Olympics, no matter which team they play for.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 11:10 AM
If I were abetting man, I would take the Czech team.Hinges on the Goalie situation, Hasek could carry them as could Tomas Vokoun.. the USA doesn't have the horse in the net, however their PK could be too slow since Chelly and company are as old as I am.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 11:18 AM
Hasek has to leave in the 1st period vs Germany, Tomas Vokoun takes the spotlight.

deltachi8
02-15-2006, 11:19 AM
Hinges on the Goalie situation, Hasek could carry them as could Tomas Vokoun.. the USA doesn't have the horse in the net, however their PK could be too slow since Chelly and company are as old as I am.

WOY, no way I thought you were that old.

Just a fyi on the US Goaltending...as it has been a hot topic in buffalo:



Name Team GP GS MIN W L OTL GAA SV% SO
Ryan Miller BUF 29 29 1757 20 7 2 2.25 0.923 0
John Grahame TAM 40 38 2282 22 15 1 2.68 0.9 5
Robert Esche PHI 26 26 1506 15 6 3 3.15 0.892 0
Rick DiPietro NYI 43 43 2394 19 16 4 3.38 0.892 0

deltachi8
02-15-2006, 11:20 AM
Hasek has to leave in the 1st period vs Germany, Tomas Vokoun takes the spotlight.

Groin injury?

westofyou
02-15-2006, 11:21 AM
WOY, no way I thought you were that old.

Yes, I remember the 1968 presidental election, that makes me old... somewhat.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 11:21 AM
Groin injury?
No word yet, got it flopping as usual, he strode off without looking like it was leg related.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 11:35 AM
Germany is going to take a 1-0 lead into the ist break, after back to back penalties to Jagr for obstruction the Germans worked a pretty PP to get on the board.

If Germany locks their D down and wins this would be a MAJOR upset... plus they have Ollie the Goalie.

However the Czechs will start the 2nd in the PP.

M2
02-15-2006, 01:59 PM
The Swedes didn't start Lundqvist in the net? Well, you reap what you sew I suppose.

The Czechs hold the decided advantage of having played together under the guise of calling themselves the New York Rangers during the NHL season.

Grahame would be my goaltender if I were coaching the U.S. team, but DiPietro went to my collegiate alma mater so I feel duty bound to root for him.

Patrick Bateman
02-15-2006, 02:11 PM
The Swedes didn't start Lundqvist in the net? Well, you reap what you sew I suppose.



He didn't play due to jet lag, but it really didn't matter since they were up against Kazakhstan. They will probably start him for the next game.

M2
02-15-2006, 02:49 PM
He didn't play due to jet lag, but it really didn't matter since they were up against Kazakhstan. They will probably start him for the next game.

My bad, WOY said Sweden was playing Finland in the first post in the thread and it totally confused me.

What should be the best game of the day, Russia vs. Slovakia, is on right now.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 03:17 PM
My bad, WOY said Sweden was playing Finland in the first post in the thread and it totally confused me.Yeah I got those Sw countries confused...duh.

M2
02-15-2006, 03:39 PM
Yeah I got those Sw countries confused...duh.

I'm with you. Switzerland, Sweden, Swaziland - they're all the same to me.

You watching the game right now? Sounds Slovakia's giving the Russians all they can handle.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 03:46 PM
I'm with you. Switzerland, Sweden, Swaziland - they're all the same to me.

You watching the game right now? Sounds Slovakia's giving the Russians all they can handle.

Just got back from a meeting, period #3 and it's 3-3 the USA is winning 2-1 and knocking the lativia team around the rink physically.

M2
02-15-2006, 04:22 PM
And Slovakia beat the Russians 5-3.

Red Leader
02-15-2006, 04:27 PM
And Slovakia beat the Russians 5-3.

I would have loved to have watched that game.

Who was in net for the Russians, Nabokov? Surprised by this, although the Slovakian offense is supremely talented.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 04:27 PM
Who was in net for the Russians, Nabokov?

He bailed, I'm thinking it was the Ducks B/U

registerthis
02-15-2006, 04:31 PM
Just got back from a meeting, period #3 and it's 3-3 the USA is winning 2-1 and knocking the lativia team around the rink physically.
Who's scored for the U.S? Do you know?

Wow, Slovakia knocking off the Russians. And I wasn't aware Kazakhstan had a hockey team. That's sort of like the Jamaican bobsled team, yeah?

westofyou
02-15-2006, 04:33 PM
Conroy and Gionta.

But the US is down 3-2 now (Irbe is in goal fo r Lativa)

westofyou
02-15-2006, 04:33 PM
That's sort of like the Jamaican bobsled team, yeah?

Nah, Italy is more like the Jamican bobsled team.

Heath
02-15-2006, 04:37 PM
Yikes-looks like the sloppy play getting back to the Americans.

Red Leader
02-15-2006, 04:37 PM
Nah, Italy is more like the Jamican bobsled team.

Led by their 41 year old "Mr. Hockey". :D

Stewie
02-15-2006, 04:37 PM
I would have loved to have watched that game.

Who was in net for the Russians, Nabokov? Surprised by this, although the Slovakian offense is supremely talented.


Bryzgalov was in net for Russia. Gaborik had 2 sweet goals in the final couple of minutes for Slovakia. His first gave them the lead, and the second put the game away with about 30 seconds left.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 05:21 PM
Lativa sneaks in a tie 3-3, USA controled the game and the possession, Irbe had a vintage SJ Sharks era Irbe game, the shots and face offs were ridiculously on the US side, but the puck control was kind of sloppy, that should get better over a couple of games, but a 1 point game against the #10 team is an upset in my book.

DeadRedinCT
02-16-2006, 09:44 AM
Die Schweiz!!! 3-2 over the canceled Czechs.

M2
02-16-2006, 11:39 AM
Looks like Aebischer stood on his head, 40 saves.

The U.S. team is dancing with danger today. If they don't beat Kazakhstan then they might find themselves out of the medal round. This team reminds me a lot of the 1998 U.S. team, which generally embarrassed itself. I'm still not sure what made U.S. officials think an old, slow team (particularly on the blue line) was a good idea on a big ice sheet

westofyou
02-16-2006, 11:57 AM
The Swedes are losing 4-0, they have been playing a closed style without attacking defenseman (a team with Lindstrom - DUH) it hasn't locked down the Russian attack at all and because of that the Swedes have taken more penalties than they should have.

On the wide ice speed is the key, young legs and speed in these back to backs favor team with a deep bench of youth... something the USA doesn't have.

Teams like the USA will need to lock down the defense in those instances and get a gold medal worth performance from the goalie... however Graham doesn't give me that sort of warm and fuzzy.

M2
02-16-2006, 03:44 PM
U.S. up on Kazakhstan 3-0 after one period.

They've got the former B.U. goalie in the net this time. IIRC it worked out pretty well the last time the U.S. tried that.

westofyou
02-16-2006, 03:46 PM
U.S. up on Kazakhstan 3-0 after one period.

They've got the former B.U. goalie in the net this time. IIRC it worked out pretty well the last time the U.S. tried that.

Canada is all over Germany 4-1... Pronger is a beast.

Chip R
02-16-2006, 03:55 PM
U.S. up on Kazakhstan 3-0 after one period.

They've got the former B.U. goalie in the net this time. IIRC it worked out pretty well the last time the U.S. tried that.

Yeah and they tied their first game that year too. :)

Chip R
02-17-2006, 10:18 AM
Hasek is out.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060217/ap_on_sp_ol/oly_hkm_hasek_out_tr3

westofyou
02-17-2006, 10:37 AM
Hasek is out.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060217/ap_on_sp_ol/oly_hkm_hasek_out_tr3

Not to worry their backup is quite capable, watching HD go down reminded me of his brief season with the Wings at the end of his run there. The man flops and has a bad groin, add in bodies and ice and that's a prescription for trouble.

westofyou
02-17-2006, 11:39 AM
Tommorows games, Finland can make their dark horse move by trying to take advantage of Hasek's injury.



11:30 a.m. Men's Preliminary Round - Group B: KAZ - RUS
1:00 p.m. Men's Preliminary Round - Group A: ITA - GER
3:30 p.m. Men's Preliminary Round - Group A: CAN - SUI
5:00 p.m. Men's Preliminary Round - Group B: SWE - LAT
8:00 p.m. Men's Preliminary Round - Group B: SVK - USA
9:00 p.m. Men's Preliminary Round - Group A: CZE - FIN

deltachi8
02-17-2006, 12:04 PM
The radio (which is pretty useless I know) in Buffalo reported this morning whispers that Hasek's injury is ala the 1997 one he had with the Sabres. Aparently, Hasek was upset with his equipment not arriving, did not like the coach of the Czech team and the practice schedule.

In the 97 playoffs, Hasek was hurt but many feel he exaggerated it because he no longer would play for then coach Ted Nolan. Nolan was not given a new contact after the season, even after winning coach of the year.

Just speculation, but Hasek never quite got over the reputation of being one who quit on his team in the playoffs in 97.

westofyou
02-17-2006, 12:09 PM
NHL Hockey screwed Ted Nolan, bad.

deltachi8
02-17-2006, 12:31 PM
NHL Hockey screwed Ted Nolan, bad.

No matter what he says in public, you have to believe that John Muckler labled Nolan as too difficult to work with. I'm sure Hasek has had his fun with spreading that label around.

It is a shame he hasn't gotten another chance.

DeadRedinCT
02-17-2006, 04:07 PM
Tommorows games, Finland can make their dark horse move by trying to take advantage of Hasek's injury.

Just don't put the Finns on the power play. Eight PP goals in the first two games.

westofyou
02-18-2006, 10:44 AM
The Swiss are winning against Canada 2-0 in the middle of the 2nd period, this could be one of the BIGGEST upsets in recent Hockey history.

Canada is taking it from the ref for their rough play.

DeadRedinCT
02-18-2006, 12:09 PM
Le Suisse!!!

I wonder for which team did Janet Gretzky place a bet.

The Canucks were something like 0 for 22 on power plays in this game.

WMR
02-18-2006, 02:07 PM
What time do/did the Americans play today?

Reds Fanatic
02-18-2006, 02:29 PM
What time do/did the Americans play today?
They are on live on NBC right now. Still scoreless late in the 1st period.

WMR
02-18-2006, 02:31 PM
Thanks! :)

Gallen5862
02-18-2006, 03:32 PM
The score is tied 1-1 after Two periods of play.

WMR
02-18-2006, 08:43 PM
What's the Americans biggest deficiency? They seem to be really hard-working... do we just not have the pure goalscorers?

westofyou
02-19-2006, 01:26 AM
What's the Americans biggest deficiency?

Slower old defense that can't play as many games in a short time as the other teams plus goalies that can't steal the games puts pressure on the offense to perform beyond their skill level night in and night out, so in short low scoring games might be he Americans shortcoming.

SteelSD
02-19-2006, 01:04 PM
Slower old defense that can't play as many games in a short time as the other teams plus goalies that can't steal the games puts pressure on the offense to perform beyond their skill level night in and night out, so in short low scoring games might be he Americans shortcoming.

This USA team might as well have been put together by the same folks who decided that going with old, slow, used-to-be-good players was a great idea for the Pittsburgh Penguins this year. Minus Crosby of course.

They're not being out-worked, but they're being out-skated by faster better puck-handlers who, unlike the US, have the ability to consistently create high-level scoring chances.

Watching the first two periods today, you just knew that the Swedes were going to break through eventually. And after watching the second consecutive game of an almost completely ineffective power play, I have little hope that team USA can come back to get the final point they need.

M2
02-19-2006, 01:25 PM
In the 3rd period, Laviolette wanted the defense to join the attack and they just couldn't get there. All the Swedes had to do was beat the forecheck and they'd bust out of the zone every time. It left the U.S. in the position of having to score on one-timers, which isn't going to happen too often with a guy like Lundqvist in the net.

DiPietro did all he could, but the Swedes got too many quality scoring chances and finally cashed in on a rebound when the U.S. defense couldn't manage to cover the shooter and an off-side poacher.

westofyou
02-19-2006, 01:46 PM
And after watching the second consecutive game of an almost completely ineffective power play, I have little hope that team USA can come back to get the final point they need.

The offense has one true go to guy and that's Modano, he's a player who can create something out of nothing, they US needs more players like that in these type of games, all that extra ice and not many true magical centers,

SteelSD
02-19-2006, 04:06 PM
The offense has one true go to guy and that's Modano, he's a player who can create something out of nothing, they US needs more players like that in these type of games, all that extra ice and not many true magical centers,

From what I saw, Rolston was the best forward on the ice for Team USA. Both Gionta and Gomez are super skaters but even though Gionta has put up 33 NHL goals this season, I question whether anyone on the ice (including Modano) has finishing skills anywhere near the best of the rest of the world. Modano used to, but I don't think he's been that Mike Modano for some time. He can still distribute the puck well, but he's passing it around to guys that aren't truly talented goal scorers.

But the real issue is that the US simply doesn't have those top-tier guys to choose from right now, so I was probably a little harsh on the composition comment. Rolston (17th) and Gionta (29th) are the only two guys on the team USA roster who rank in the top 30 NHL point scorers. Heck, the 4th highest scoring Center in the NHL (Crosby) isn't even on Team Canada's roster. That's not a problem the US has right now.

westofyou
02-19-2006, 04:34 PM
He can still distribute the puck well, but he's passing it around to guys that aren't truly talented goal scorers.

Exactly, I see the same thing, and then there is no one who is taking the game like Selani is for the Fins.

The problem in the upcoming games (aside from seedings) is the defense will be real tired if they can't get the offense to provide a larger lead in a game to help stretch the bench a bit and get some wind for the bigger and the older guys. The next round will be even more taxing.

WMR
02-19-2006, 05:39 PM
Is it single elimination after group play?

Reds Fanatic
02-19-2006, 07:14 PM
Is it single elimination after group play?
Yes it is single elimination. Everyone has one more game in group play and then the quarterfinals start on Wednesday.

M2
02-19-2006, 08:01 PM
Exactly, I see the same thing, and then there is no one who is taking the game like Selani is for the Fins.

The problem in the upcoming games (aside from seedings) is the defense will be real tired if they can't get the offense to provide a larger lead in a game to help stretch the bench a bit and get some wind for the bigger and the older guys. The next round will be even more taxing.

I'll add that the offense needs the defense to deliver some passes and put some serious shots on net. The U.S. has some quality grinders up front. They'll fight like crazy in front of the net and in the corners. This club was built for small ice. More defensemen like Liles could help open up the opposing defense and spring the forwards, but instead it's the dinosaur brigade.

SteelSD
02-20-2006, 01:33 AM
I'll add that the offense needs the defense to deliver some passes and put some serious shots on net. The U.S. has some quality grinders up front. They'll fight like crazy in front of the net and in the corners. This club was built for small ice. More defensemen like Liles could help open up the opposing defense and spring the forwards, but instead it's the dinosaur brigade.

Certainly the defense needs to pass crisply, but with the amount of cherry-picking we're seeing from the opposition really cuts down on the Defensemen being able to pinch (even on the power play). Without having that, team USA is looking at 50-foot shots and that's just not going to do it- particularly when there's no one on the ice who can actually create after the pass. You watch a guy like Marian Hossa on the ice with the US skaters and just kinda' sigh and wish. I dunno. Maybe I'm just so spoiled by the best of Lemieux, Jagr, Ron Francis, and even Martin Straka (and now Sidney Crosby) that I have little appreciation for the current US style of play.

And I completely agree that this is a small-ice team. Bangers, straight-ahead skating, and a dump-and-chase battle in the corners in the offensive zone that produces nothing but low-quality scoring opportunities after high-energy exertion. Oh, and wasted 5-on-3 power plays. Ugh.

WMR
02-20-2006, 03:28 AM
Do we have the young talent that should be there? I'm not as up on my U.S. hockey as I used to be. Whatever happened to Tony Amonte? I figure he'd play for the USA. And what about JR?

westofyou
02-20-2006, 10:10 AM
Do we have the young talent that should be there? I'm not as up on my U.S. hockey as I used to be. Whatever happened to Tony Amonte? I figure he'd play for the USA. And what about JR?
JR is done, plus he's hurt and Amonte... IIRC was hurt prior tothis season, but frankly those guys are just more of the same, wingers that we have,

The US needs somebody to take the air out of the opposition with above the norm ice presence. They just don't have that guy right now, lus as it has been noted most of their defenseman our in the mold of Hatcher and Chellios, bangers with not much of a game in the offensive end, others like Schnieder are good at the point but not the type to jump in the game.

Great offense from your defense frees up more ice for your skills guys.

westofyou
02-21-2006, 10:53 AM
2-0 Canada over the Czechs in the middle of the 1st period.

Finland 2-0 over Germany in rest period #2

Kaz over Lativa 5-3

Good games coming up later too

Sweden vs. Slovakia
United States vs. Russia

HotCorner
02-21-2006, 11:05 AM
For those who haven't seen him, watch Alexander Ovechkin from Russia. This kid is phenomenal!

registerthis
02-21-2006, 11:07 AM
For those who haven't seen him, watch Alexander Ovechkin from Russia. This kid is phenomenal!

personally, I like him better than Crosby.

Blimpie
02-21-2006, 04:16 PM
For those who haven't seen him, watch Alexander Ovechkin from Russia. This kid is phenomenal!For those who have NOT yet seen him play, he's the one who just took Chris Chelios to the woodshed.

Watch ESPN tonight, kids. You can see the replay of Chelios getting splattered behind the crease by a kid twenty-four years his Junior. FWIW, I like him more than Sidney Crosby as well.

End of the second period, the score is Russia 3 USA 2. The way Nabakov is stoning the Americans, we had better hope for a few more power plays in the third period.

westofyou
02-21-2006, 04:19 PM
The way Nabakov is stoning the Americans, we had better hope for a few more power plays in the third period.

He came out, but the fact is the US can't finish on any rebound and they are pushing the line very hard.

They could be leg weary tomorrow.

guttle11
02-21-2006, 04:28 PM
3-3 now. Early in the Third.

westofyou
02-21-2006, 04:31 PM
Speed kills older defenses, 4-3 Russia 10 minutes left.

westofyou
02-21-2006, 04:34 PM
USA playing Elbow and Knees Hockey in the corners and it pays off as they slam the puck into the net. 4-4

Blimpie
02-21-2006, 04:36 PM
5-4 Comrades...Booooo!

What a match this has become.

westofyou
02-21-2006, 04:36 PM
Russia takes the lead with a long point shot, Russia scores with the ice open and the USA with bodies and sticks flying around.

5-4 Russia

Blimpie
02-21-2006, 04:37 PM
He came out, but the fact is the US can't finish on any rebound and they are pushing the line very hard.

They could be leg weary tomorrow.Yeah, his replacement isn't too shabby either. Leg weary doesn't exactly bode well versus Finland....

Blimpie
02-21-2006, 04:46 PM
Sloppy passing by the US completely negates any benefit of pulling the goalie....One minute to go....5-4 Russia

Blimpie
02-21-2006, 04:49 PM
Sokolov seemingly stops 30 shots in the last 30 seconds.

Mother Russia wins 5-4

M2
02-21-2006, 04:51 PM
Despite their shoddy play, the U.S. pulled a dream berth for the medal round. Canada, Russia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are in the other half of the draw.

If the U.S. can beat the sudden juggernaut that is Finland, it's got a real shot vs. the Sweden-Switzerland winner.

Blimpie
02-22-2006, 09:07 AM
Despite their shoddy play, the U.S. pulled a dream berth for the medal round. Canada, Russia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are in the other half of the draw.

If the U.S. can beat the sudden juggernaut that is Finland, it's got a real shot vs. the Sweden-Switzerland winner.I sincerely hope that NBC will devote ample coverage to the Czech vs. Slovakia matchup. That will be "must see TV" if there ever were such a thing!

WMR
02-22-2006, 09:34 AM
What time does the US play today and on what channel?

TeamBoone
02-22-2006, 10:21 AM
The quarter-finals begin at 10 AM (EST) on MSNBC and USA.

MSNBC will broadcast all day; USA breaks for an hour at 2 PM.

Reds Fanatic
02-22-2006, 10:29 AM
What time does the US play today and on what channel? US team will be on 11:30 AM ET on USA network and on Universal HD.

westofyou
02-22-2006, 11:58 AM
2-1 Finns in the first.

The USA cannot finish on any PP's and they just gave up another open ice short handed goal. Kinda sad when Chelly is on the PP, they Wings have directed him to not shoot much anymore and to focus on D, he rarely if ever is on their PP.

Of course as I type this Schneider blasts it in from the point (what he does for the Wings)

They do look leg weary though.

M2
02-22-2006, 12:14 PM
The Weight-Drury-Knuble line is the only unit matching the Finn's pace at the moment.

Heath
02-22-2006, 12:28 PM
There is not any vertical speed from the USA. None.

It's also not good when your best defenders are people older than me (and I'm 32.)

Jason Cole is about the fastest guy we've got.

I hope in 2010 there is a better representation of American Hockey. Sadly, I think the 2002 team was the best team that USA produced overall.

M2
02-22-2006, 12:32 PM
2-2 on a goal made by Brian Rafalski being able to keep the puck in the offensive zone, allowing Matthieu Schneider to creep up and nail a quality slapshot.

Chip R
02-22-2006, 12:53 PM
Jason Cole is about the fastest guy we've got.


I think you mean Erik Cole (former Cincinnati Cyclone).

Reds Fanatic
02-22-2006, 12:59 PM
US is in big trouble in this one. Now 4-2 Finland late 2nd period. Oli Jokinen has scored 2 power play goals this period to give Finland the lead.

Reds Fanatic
02-22-2006, 02:01 PM
The US is out of the tournament as Finland wins 4-3. Finland will face the winner of Canada-Russia in the semifinals. Sweden beat Switzerland 6-2 and will face the winner of Czech Republic-Slovakia in the semis.

guttle11
02-22-2006, 02:03 PM
Is DiPietro really the best goalie in this entire country? If so, that's sad.

westofyou
02-22-2006, 02:07 PM
Is DiPietro really the best goalie in this entire country? If so, that's sad.
The loss is in no way the goalies fault, ineffective defense and a putrid power play plus odd man rushes doomed this team, blaming it on the goalie is like blaming a pitcher for losing 3-2.

guttle11
02-22-2006, 02:11 PM
The loss is in no way the goalies fault, ineffective defense and a putrid power play plus odd man rushes doomed this team, blaming it on the goalie is like blaming a pitcher for losing 3-2.

That short-handed goal he gave up was bad. Nine GA in two games is not good. Good goalies don't do that.

westofyou
02-22-2006, 02:12 PM
That short-handed goal he gave up was bad. Nine GA in two games is not good. Good goalies don't do that.
He didn't play yesterday. That was the Esche

guttle11
02-22-2006, 02:16 PM
He didn't play yesterday. That was the Esche


I stand corrected. Neither are very good, then.

westofyou
02-22-2006, 02:17 PM
The Swiss lost 6-2 and their Goalie is damn good, one of the bst in the world this year.

Special teams means so much and that include PK's as well as PP, but the USA blew it, they cut their own throat with bad penalties in the 3rd and they were slow and sluggish in the 1st.

westofyou
02-22-2006, 02:21 PM
I stand corrected. Neither are very good, then.
Yet both start in the NHL and the Finnish goalie backs up the Esche in Philly.

M2
02-22-2006, 02:59 PM
I stand corrected. Neither are very good, then.

DiPietro almost single-handedly kept the U.S. in the game today. The Finns were taking free shots right in front of the net and an average good goalie would have let six or seven by him in the first two periods.

Red Leader
02-22-2006, 03:05 PM
I stand corrected. Neither are very good, then.

Blame the goalies for those losses? Yeesh. Tough crowd.

westofyou
02-22-2006, 03:10 PM
DiPietro almost single-handedly kept the U.S. in the game today. The Finns were taking free shots right in front of the net and an average good goalie would have let six or seven by him in the first two periods.

Plus the Russian team leads all teams in goals and players who can create a game out of nothing, 2 of their goals yesterday were shorthanded rushes... it's hard to beat the Russians even up, other ways are just torture.

Roy Tucker
02-22-2006, 03:24 PM
DiPietro had the short-handed goal shot lined up, but then it deflected off his own defenseman's stick blade.

The US just wasn't very good.

Chip R
02-22-2006, 03:34 PM
I want to see Russia-Canada. That one looks epic. But those Finns are going to be tough to beat.

M2
02-22-2006, 03:39 PM
DiPietro had the short-handed goal shot lined up, but then it deflected off his own defenseman's stick blade.

The US just wasn't very good.

That's the nub of it.

Though I also get the feeling that the cancellation of the 2004-5 NHL season had an effect on this tournament. A lot of the Europeans spent last year playing together in smaller leagues in their home countries. IMO, it made it easier for the Finns to enter this tournament and play inside a tightly-controlled system. Clearly countries like Finland, Slovakia and Switzerland showed up and outperformed expectations while playing some highly-organized hockey. The Russians and Canadians and Czechs have some wildly creative players so it enables them to counter. The Swedes are a bit of a flair/organization hybrid. The U.S. lacked cohesion and flair. It may have been the best forechecking/work-the-corners team in the tournament, but dogged determination doesn't win in international hockey. Either the U.S. needs to come back with a better skating team or it needs to implement a working system. Herb Brooks did both with the 1980 team.

Red Leader
02-22-2006, 03:41 PM
That's the nub of it.

Though I also get the feeling that the cancellation of the 2004-5 NHL season had an effect on this tournament.


Very interesting observation, M2, and one I hadn't thought of. Very good point.

Chip R
02-22-2006, 03:48 PM
I haven't been able to catch much of the hockey when the US was playing so, speaking of Erik Cole, how well did he play? He's kind of a favorite of mine since he played both for the Cyclones and Junior hockey for the Des Moines Buccaneers.

westofyou
02-22-2006, 04:00 PM
The Russian team rolls a line that plays together in the Russian Elite league, Team Canada played together in the World Championships last year and won, the US is a team at a crossroads, defense and offense.

Heath
02-22-2006, 04:03 PM
US is a team at a crossroads, defense and offense.

Yeah, some aren't old enough to shave and some are collecting Social Security.

They have 4 years of to get ready for Vancouver. After that, the NHL's agreement expires sending players to the Olympics. I'm guessing (and hoping) Team USA will be ready for the challenge.

westofyou
02-22-2006, 05:19 PM
Russia schooled Canada, the Maple Leaf team played a game that was about as interesting as a drive through Manitoba in the winter.

The Russians made hay with the open ice and the Canadians looked sloppy and uninspired on the attack. 3 shutouts for them, not very exciting hockey from their front lines at all.

The Russians make open ice moves other teams talk about in the locker room.

In the 3rd The Czechs are winning 2-1 over Slovackia (who just scored)

That's like if West Virginia played Virginia.

M2
02-22-2006, 05:29 PM
I haven't been able to catch much of the hockey when the US was playing so, speaking of Erik Cole, how well did he play? He's kind of a favorite of mine since he played both for the Cyclones and Junior hockey for the Des Moines Buccaneers.

He did pretty well, laid out the best hits I saw in the tournament so far. Probably wins the award for guy you least want to meet along the corner boards.

M2
02-22-2006, 05:30 PM
Russia schooled Canada, the Maple Leaf team played a game that was about as interesting as a drive through Manitoba in the winter.

That's going to be one unhappy nation to our north.

M2
02-22-2006, 05:32 PM
In the 3rd The Czechs are winning 2-1 over Slovackia (who just scored)

That's like if West Virginia played Virginia.

The Czechs threw a blanket over the Slovak offense the first two periods. The Slovak coach probably had to re-educate his players on the location of the net after that.

westofyou
02-22-2006, 05:47 PM
Finland vs Russia

Czechs vs Sweden

Those are 2 good games, styles match well too.

I like a Sweden vs Russia Gold Medal Game with the Fins getting the Bronze

Yesterday the Swedes had a PP of Forsberg, Affredsan, Sundin, Linstrom and Zettenberg (or Holmstrom to bang the net)

The difference in the next 2 games could be Salani and Forsberg, they both can take their teams to the gold medal game alone.

Patrick Bateman
02-23-2006, 12:31 AM
That's going to be one unhappy nation to our north.

Yeah. We had pretty high hopes, but Canada just couldn't really get it together. They were slow and sloppy with no chemistry. The main problem was their inability to pass since they could never really make any good rushes. Pretty dissappointing considering how good they looked on paper.

westofyou
02-24-2006, 10:34 AM
Sweden vs The Czechs is about to begin.

Sweden is my pick for this game, they don't play the most interesting game, but they have skill players who wait for mistakes and their special teams are pretty special (especially their PP)

Of course Jagr can steal this game.. but so could Forsberg, the play of each of those guys will carry their team.

westofyou
02-24-2006, 10:37 AM
The Czechs are starting their 3rd string goalie, and he gives up a goal on the first shot of the game 1-0 Sweden

westofyou
02-24-2006, 11:31 AM
4-1 Swedes, early 2nd period.

The Czechs are toast, they have no drive or forecheck or backcheck... just asleep.

westofyou
02-24-2006, 11:44 AM
Goalie change at 5-1 Swedes, 3 minutes later and the Czechs have woken up for 2 goals.

5-3 half way through.

westofyou
02-24-2006, 12:53 PM
Swedes advance 7-3

They look placid, yet tough and determined....... very Viking.

KronoRed
02-24-2006, 12:58 PM
very Viking.
http://users.wolfcrews.com/toys/vikings/

westofyou
02-24-2006, 01:03 PM
http://users.wolfcrews.com/toys/vikings/
http://www.firebirdarts.com/artguy/marxodin2.jpg

westofyou
02-24-2006, 05:01 PM
The Finns are up 4-0, Russia cannot get crap going and they're possession game is non existant.

A Sweden - Finland matchup for the Gold, that should be a battle, Finland is currently a machine, they are playing great team hockey and their goalie is playing awesome.

pedro
02-24-2006, 06:07 PM
I watched a little of the Russia v Finland game. Finland goalie is really impressive. When Finland shut down Russia during that 5 on 3 power play during the second period they were playing some damn good defense.

westofyou
02-24-2006, 06:14 PM
I watched a little of the Russia v Finland game. Finland goalie is really impressive. When Finland shut down Russia during that 5 on 3 power play during the second period they were playing some damn good defense.

Finland had some great special teams so far in this tournament, they have shut down everyone in the attacking zone, their goalie is the backup in Philly and it's possible he's taken the job away from Esche with his perfromance in the games.

Chip R
02-26-2006, 10:24 AM
A Sweden - Finland matchup for the Gold, that should be a battle, Finland is currently a machine, they are playing great team hockey and their goalie is playing awesome.

It was an outstanding game. I missed the 1st period cause I didn't know it was on and I missed the last part of the 2nd period and the first part of the 3rd cause I was doing something else. But it was an outstanding game. I don't know if you saw it live, WOY so I won't spoil it for you but you should really enjoy watching it.

reds1869
02-26-2006, 11:00 AM
It was an outstanding game. I missed the 1st period cause I didn't know it was on and I missed the last part of the 2nd period and the first part of the 3rd cause I was doing something else. But it was an outstanding game. I don't know if you saw it live, WOY so I won't spoil it for you but you should really enjoy watching it.

Yes, a tremendous game. I won't spoil it either but if you are a fan of good hockey you won't be disappointed.

westofyou
02-26-2006, 01:19 PM
I don't know if you saw it live, WOY so I won't spoil it for you but you should really enjoy watching it.

Well, I was hoping that it didn't get ruined for me, and until late last night I thought it was going to show live here at 5 am and I was going to get up for it.

As it stands they showed the delay, in short... Red Wings win.

All the goals were by Red Wings for the Swedes, and I can't remember seeing a game with so little action in the corners in quite some time. The Finns IMO should have played more of an attacking game, at times it was like watching the Devils play the Wild, neutral ice games with little transition except on the other teams mistakes.

The 1st period was a bit slow and the Finns laid back far too long in the 3rd, but the last 5 minutes were intense and the Swedes defense was certainly up to the task.

All and all a great game and a good medal round.

Makes me psyched for the the resuming of the NHL and the ensuing playoffs.

westofyou
02-27-2006, 11:39 AM
All-tournament team
(As voted by the media):

# Forwards:
Teemu Selanne (Finland)
Saku Koivu (Finland),
Alexander Ovechkin (Russia)

# Defensemen:
Nicklas Lidstrom (Sweden),
Kimmo Timonen (Finland)

# Goaltender:
Antero Niittymaki (Finland)

# MVP:
Niittymaki

World rankings
1. Sweden,
2. Canada,
3. Czech Republic,
4. Slovakia,
5. Finland,
6. Russia,
7. United States,
8. Switzerland,
9. Latvia.
10. Germany