E.J. Hradek Game Picks Thursday January 9th:
E.J.'s Season Record: 197-113-44
It's a nine-game night in the League and we'll preview the game between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning by checking in on the Arena Cam at Tampa Bay Times Forum with Capitals radio voice John Walton.
"Expectations are we go there and try to win the gold, obviously," Vanek said. "We're happy to be there … we know we're the big underdog, but it's fun. We have guys who can play. We have to play smart and for us we need good goaltending. If we can get goaltending and get a lot of big saves, you just never know in this game."
"I was pretty excited and very honored," Smith said. "I heard it's going to be a lot different from Vancouver. Obviously it's not the Olympics in your home country, but it will definitely be a new experience for me and probably a lot of guys, and I'm looking forward to it."
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, sets up a three-game night of NHL action. It's Wednesday Night Rivalry, this week featuring the New York Rangers at the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, and NBCSN analyst Pierre McGuire joins us from the Arena Cam at United Center to preview this Original Six matchup.
Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith was named to Canada's roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Tuesday. He'll join the program on the phone to talk about the exciting news as well as the play of the Coyotes. We'll also talk to New York Islanders forward Thomas Vanek.
This week's EJ5 will focus on players who should be going to Sochi.
E.J. Hradek Game Picks Tuesday January 7th:
E.J.'s Season Record: 191-109-42
NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, has the reaction to Tuesday's announcement of the 25-man roster for Canada heading to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, as well as the rosters for Russia, Sweden and Finland.
In addition, Dallas Stars defenseman Brendan Dillon will be on set.
E.J. Hradek Game Picks Monday January 6th:
E.J.'s Season Record: 190-107-41