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Round 2
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(Page 69 of 159)
Features

Teammates Gudas, Palat hope to shine in Sochi

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 11:34 AM / 2014 Olympics

Michael Langr - NHL.com Correspondent

Despite being almost the same age and hailing from the same country, Radko Gudas and Ondrej Palat do not have much in common.

"Just beer," they both said, laughing.

Despite their differences, they've become very close friends since first meeting while playing for the Czech Under-17 national team. It is a bond that has carried them both to North America and eventually together to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Now that bond carries them to Russia where they will both represent the Czech Republic in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"We've had an opportunity to play quite important roles in Tampa, that's why I think we can fit into different roles in our [Czech] team, too. I think we are ready both physically and mentally," Gudas told NHL.com before he and Palat boarded a plane heading for Sochi

The fans in the Czech Republic are eager to see both Lighting teammates on international ice. They call the duo "Terence Hill" and "Bud Spencer", a reference to a popular European comedy and spaghetti western duo from the 80's.

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Group B: Canada favorite to advance to medal round

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

If group play wasn't already simply a preseason tuneup for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, it might be now.

What already was a top-heavy Group B became even more so when Finland was dealt a severe blow to its hopes with the injury withdrawals of Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild and Valtteri Filppula of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Missing its top two centers, Finland's best hopes for an automatic bye to the quarterfinals most likely will be through the wild-card spot. It's unfortunate because a healthy Finnish squad featuring undoubtedly the best goaltending in the tournament could have had a chance to finish first in the group.

Now Group B is shaping up to be fodder for the Canadian machine to roll through on its way to the medal round.

Preliminary-round play in Group B begins Thursday and concludes Sunday, when Canada and Finland face each other in the final game of group play in the tournament.

Here is a preview of Group B:

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Canada's blue line tops Olympic defensive rankings

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2014 Sochi Olympics could be the deepest collection of talent for a hockey tournament in the sport's history.

Some of this generation's top players, like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin are at the peak of their powers in the NHL. And some of the previous generation's greats like Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne are getting one last chance at Olympic glory.

For years, international hockey has been led by a group of medal contenders known as the "big seven." But Switzerland continues to progress and could make it a "big eight" sooner rather than later.

So how does each of these eight medal contenders stack up against each other at each position? NHL.com breaks down the top eight sides at forward, on defense and in goal, beginning Sunday with the goaltenders.

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International rules to be enforced at Sochi Olympics

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

More players in the lineup, no-touch icing, goalies free to play the puck where they please, plus tweaks to procedures for faceoffs and definitions for offside, high-sticking, fighting and checking from behind are some of the differences NHL players will have to get used to in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The Olympic tournament is governed by the International Ice Hockey Federation and its rulebook differs from the NHL's in many ways. Here are some of the biggest differences between the two, according to IIHF.com:

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Minnesota town holds unique spot in Olympic history

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

There's a small town on the western shores of Lake on the Woods in Minnesota nestled six miles south of the Canadian border that's considered by some the original Hockeytown, USA.

The place is Warroad, which has a population of almost 1,800. Not only is the town the birthplace of four members in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, but it boasts seven Olympic ice hockey medalists.

"When you drive into Warroad, the first thing you will see is that we have hockey sticks on our water tower and the claim of being 'Hockeytown USA,'" Warroad High School athletic director Steve Bengtson told NHL.com. "That kind of tells you how important hockey is to our school and community."

The residents of Warroad, young and old, share one common bond: a passion for ice hockey.

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Sochi refresher: Olympic groups, format, schedule

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 8:18 PM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

If you remember the format that the International Ice Hockey Federation followed for the men's hockey tournament at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics then the following simply will be a refresher. However, if you can't recall that tournament or the format, then we've got you covered.

Here is all the information you need to know about the teams, dates and format for the men's hockey tournament at the 2014 Sochi Olympics:

PRELIMINARY ROUND

This is group play so each country will play every country in their group once, equaling three games per country and 18 games in total.

The IIHF follows a three-point system per game. Teams will receive three points for a win in regulation and zero points for a regulation loss. Each team receives one point if the game goes to overtime and a second point is awarded to the team that wins in the five-minute overtime or the shootout.

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Lundqvist tops goalie rankings at Sochi Olympics

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 10:48 AM / 2014 Olympics

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

It's not hard to find a lot of hockey people to agree that goaltending will play a huge role in deciding who leaves the 2014 Sochi Olympics with a medal.

Nor is it too tough to get some of the NHL's great goaltending minds to break down puck-stopping performances so far this season.

But getting a consensus on how those goaltenders and their varying styles will be affected by a short-notice transition to wider ice, different team systems and increased expectations at these Olympics? That proved a lot harder.

Though common themes emerged, opinions varied among the half-dozen active League goalie coaches and two goalies now playing professionally overseas that were consulted to come with a ranking of goalies going to the Olympics.

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Starting goalies dominate pre-tournament questions

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The NHL is officially on break, but more than 100 of its players and several coaches will board flights Sunday bound for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where a medal stand awaits.

The men's hockey tournament begins Wednesday. All the questions people across the hockey world have been asking since, oh, about four years ago, will be answered within the next two weeks.

Here are the 12 of the biggest questions that need to be answered as NHL players begin their journey to Sochi:


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NBC broadcast team looking forward to Sochi

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Mike "Doc" Emrick will never forget the feeling he had 22 years ago when he was in Albertville, France, to call the Olympic men's hockey tournament for the first time.

"Intoxicating" is perhaps the best adjective he could use to describe the experience.

"I realized I wasn't sleeping that much and it wasn't out of fatigue and it wasn't out of fear; it was more out of the thrill. And that's seeing the best guys ever available from Finland, and the best guys from Czech Republic coming off the ice and coming on were the best guys possible from the United States and the best guys possible from Slovakia," Emrick said. "You go back to the hotel and you're still kind of charged up and so you kind of sleep fast if you can, and look forward to what you're going to see the next day.

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Finland, U.S. boast top goalies at Sochi Olympics

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2014 Sochi Olympics could be the deepest collection of talent for a hockey tournament in the sport's history.

Some of this generation's top players like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin are at the peak of their powers in the NHL. And some of the previous generation's greats like Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne are getting one last chance at Olympic glory.

For years, international hockey has been led by a group of medal contenders known as the "big seven." But Switzerland continues to progress and could make it a "big eight" sooner rather than later.

So how does each of these eight medal contenders stack up against each other at each position? NHL.com ranks the Olympic teams at forward, on defense and in goal, beginning Sunday with the goalies.


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I was in there icing my face as she was trying to push a baby out.

— Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf on going to the hospital with a facial laceration while his wife was in labor following Game 1 on Wednesday