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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
(Page 61 of 160)
Features

Kessel MVP as NHL.com picks mid-tourney awards

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 5:27 PM / 2014 Olympics

NHL.com

SOCHI -- Phil Kessel has carried his red-hot play from the NHL season into the 2014 Sochi Olympics to help the United States prove its status as a gold-medal contender. With seven points in three games, the Toronto Maple Leafs right wing not only leads the Olympics in scoring, he is the front-runner for tournament MVP, according to votes cast by the four members of NHL.com's Olympic coverage team.

Kessel received 11 out of a possible 12 points, including three first-place votes, in the very unofficial ballots submitted by Arpon Basu, Corey Masisak, Shawn Roarke and Dan Rosen.

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Stadium Series crew ready for Chicago's climate

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Legendary Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Tony Esposito stole the show Tuesday afternoon at Soldier Field.

After hopping out of a refrigeration truck along with Dan Craig, the NHL's senior director of facility operations, Esposito delivered a memorable punch line when asked if he would've enjoyed playing a game in the historic home of the Chicago Bears.

"That would've been great," Esposito said, smiling. "That's [60,000] people, so that's 40,000 more people that would've booed me."

Thus began the next installment of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, which will take place March 1 on a rink at Soldier Field that Craig and his ice crew will soon construct. The game will feature the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins, but Tuesday was all about Esposito and Craig, who joked that his biggest challenge in Chicago might be the fact he wore a T-shirt for his previous rink build at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

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Czech Republic excited for chance to knock off U.S.

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 4:56 PM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- Czech Republic captain Tomas Plekanec was asked after his team's 5-3 qualifying round win against rival Slovakia on Tuesday how it matched up with the United States, its next opponent in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Plekanec started to laugh.

"Well, they're the favorites, no doubt about that," he said. "They're rested; they should win [Wednesday]. But we're definitely going out there as a team to play the best game of the tournament for us."

On paper, there should be no way the Czechs will be able to compete with the high-octane Americans, who tied for the tournament lead in scoring through the preliminary round and practiced Tuesday while their opponents played a hard-fought game that they almost let slip away in the third period.

That reality doesn't appear lost on the Czechs. But neither does the reality that if they win one game they are in the semifinals at the Olympics and are guaranteed a shot to play for a medal.

Just one game.

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Loss 'crushing' for Swiss team expecting more

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 3:42 PM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SOCHI -- Stunned. Disappointed. Angry.

Pick your synonym to any of the above words and it fits the description for how Switzerland's national team players felt late Tuesday night as they dejectedly walked off the ice and right out of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the tournament they thought would put them on the map with the rest of the big boys in international hockey.

"It's crushing," Swiss defenseman Mark Streit said, summing up the feeling his teammates had following their 3-1 loss to Latvia in the qualification round.

This wasn't supposed to happen; not to the Swiss, not against Latvia, not with Canada looming in the quarterfinals and a chance to cement their status as a legitimate international contender.

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Break about over, NHL teams set for furious finish

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 2:15 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

It's almost time for the NHL to reopen for business.

Starting at 2 p.m. local time Wednesday, teams can start holding practices for players who didn't go to the 2014 Sochi Olympics or whose teams have been eliminated. They'll have a few days together to get ready for when the season restarts with a game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 25.

With 53 days left before the regular season ends April 13, there's a lot of work left to be done for many teams.

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Russia offense still unbalanced heading into quarters

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 12:45 PM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- Offense wasn't expected to be an issue for the Russians at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but in the past three games it has been.

Now the host team will face its toughest defensive test yet.

Russia has scored six goals in the past three games, and two of those came late in a 4-0 win against Norway that already was decided. After losing 3-2 in a shootout to the United States and defeating Slovakia 1-0 in a shootout, the Russians continued to dictate the play as they have for long stretches of every game, but the goals are not coming as expected.

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U.S. focused on pushing the pace even faster

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 12:11 PM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SOCHI -- While their neighbors to the north are focused on figuring out line combinations and how and where they should attack heading into the quarterfinals, the United States simply is focused on playing faster than it has been in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Speed kills, even on the big ice, but U.S. coach Dan Bylsma doesn't think his team has been killing it with enough speed in the tournament despite winning all three preliminary-round games and scoring 14 goals in regulation.

"I would say there are opportunities that we have missed that we can play quickly, play north, push the pace up the ice," Bylsma said. "That's something we did well at times; I just think we can be better at realizing that."

Bylsma spent Tuesday emphasizing the speed game he'd like to see his team play Wednesday in the quarterfinals against the Czech Republic (Noon ET, USA, TSN2).

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Predators GM Poile expected back at work this week

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 10:46 AM / 2014 Olympics

The Nashville Predators announced Tuesday that general manager David Poile is expected to return to work this week.

Poile was struck in the face by a puck Feb. 6 while attending a Predators morning skate at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. He was taken to a St. Paul-area hospital and had two surgeries the next day to repair a fractured orbital bone and fractures in his nose. Poile returned to his home in Nashville on Feb. 9.

The injuries prevented Poile, general manager for the United States Olympic team, from attending the 2014 Sochi Olympics.


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Lundqvist in net the constant that powers Sweden

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 8:18 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- Near the end of Sweden's practice Tuesday, the team's goaltending coach was on the ice using an iPad to film a few drills involving New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

Lundqvist said he doesn't normally see video of practices in New York, but it's a good way for him to monitor his net coverage and the angles at which he receives shot attempts with a couple of days between games.

The 2012 Vezina Trophy winner has had a strong start to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but like his teammates still is seeking improvements.

"I think we feel like we can do better, but at the same time we have all the points we wanted," Lundqvist said. "We are winning games. The most important thing in a tournament like this is to find ways to win even if you're not at your best. I hope we can continue to get better every game."

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Price's time in Montreal prepared him for Sochi

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 7:45 AM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- Carey Price was answering questions from reporters Tuesday after being named Canada's starting goalie for the quarterfinals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics while a few of his teammates still were on the ice practicing behind him.

As he spoke, one of his teammates on the ice shot a puck that was deflected high off the protective netting behind him and Price flinched to see if it would hit him, even though it was behind his back.

"Sixth sense," Price said with a smile. "No, I read your eyes."

That innate sense for seeing pucks he has no business seeing is what has led Price to this point in his roller-coaster career, tending goal for Canada in a game where if he has a bad one his team's tournament could be over. And a country will weep.

No pressure, though.

For years there was some question as to whether Price ever would reach these heights. He struggled to find some consistency in his game playing perhaps the most pressure-packed position in North American professional sports: starting goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens.

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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory