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2014 Olympics

Nolan regains love for coaching with Latvia

Tuesday, 02.11.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Ted Nolan may not be a native Latvian, but without him Latvia's hockey team might not be in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He also may not have returned to the NHL were it not for his work with the Eastern European nation.

Three years after being removed as coach of the New York Islanders, Nolan was hired as coach of the Latvian national team on Aug. 3, 2011. At the time, Latvia was on the outside looking in for the 2014 Olympics and needed to win its way into the Sochi Games. Nolan's task was to do his best to make that happen and turn the hockey program around.

"Coaching overseas wasn't something I ever planned on doing," Nolan said. "It was just a call. I got a call on a Wednesday night, I'll never forget it. 'Ted, are you interested in going to Latvia?' I said, 'Where is it?' They called me [back] on a Friday and I think on Monday morning I was on a plane going to Latvia."

Carter's journey takes him to Canada's top line

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:30 PM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- If practice Monday was any indication, Jeff Carter has come a long way in four years.

Carter spent Canada's first practice at Bolshoy Ice Dome skating next to Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. That trio is expected to be the No. 1 line when the Canadians' quest to repeat as gold medalists begins Thursday at the 2014 Sochi Olympics with a preliminary-round matchup against Norway.

"It was fun. It was the first day and we don't really know what's going to happen come the first game but I think it was a good skate," Carter said. "I didn't really know. [A coach] put up the sheet before practice. We've got a few days here. It would be great to play with them, but we'll see what happens."

Bylsma gets first chance to see U.S. lineup in action

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:30 PM / 2014 Olympics

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

SOCHI -- After setting up the chess board for months, Dan Bylsma, the coach of the United States Olympic team, has started putting the pieces in motion.

A late-night practice at the Bolshoy Ice Dome allowed the Pittsburgh Penguins coach to see line combinations and defensive pairings operate on the ice, something which up to that point he only could envision in his head using the empirical data at his disposal.

As the Americans took the ice at 9 p.m. local time, the last practice in a seven-hour window following the arrival this morning of North American-based players, Bylsma and the United States management staff got a first taste of what the team will look like when it opens the 2014 Sochi Olympic hockey tournament on Thursday against Slovakia (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

Canada shows first hints of Olympic lineup in Sochi

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:09 PM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- After avoiding any sorts of specifics about how he plans to line up the Canadian men's hockey team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, coach Mike Babcock finally had to show his cards Monday.

No, Babcock did not announce his No. 1 goalie. Nor did he roll out his forward lines consistently. But Canada's first practice Monday did provide some hints as to what Babcock and his coaching staff have in mind for the tournament.

Of course, Babcock wasn't willing to admit that.

Historic scoring surge leads U.S. women past Swiss

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 12:51 PM / 2014 Olympics


Kendall Coyne and Amanda Kessel had two goals and two assists each as the United States women's hockey team rolled to a 9-0 victory against Switzerland in its second preliminary-round game at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Monique Lamoureux scored two goals, both on assists from twin sister Jocelyne, and Hilary Knight, Alex Carpenter and Brianna Decker also scored for the United States. Molly Schaus stopped all 10 shots for the shutout.

"I'm very happy with our game [Monday] starting from the goaltender on out," U.S. coach Katey Stone said. "We moved the puck well, controlled the pace and had a great overall effort."

Switzerland goalie Florence Schelling stopped 44 of 53 shots.

Ovechkin embracing Olympic opportunity

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 12:10 PM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- More than 100 NHL players boarded planes Sunday in New York and Atlanta and began a trip to a mysterious place, this hamlet of sporting venues and housing complexes on the banks of the Black Sea.

A select few of those players were embarking on a much different journey.

They were coming home.

Fans and members of the media waited at the Sochi airport to see hockey players arriving Monday morning for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. If it wasn't clear who they were waiting for, an appearance by Russian legend Vladislav Tretiak should have made it clear.

"It's probably like the last half year I start thinking more and more about it," Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin said. "I do my training special for the Olympics. It's big for me and for my country. It is a big moment."

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.

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.

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:

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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