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2014 Olympics

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.

Bettman: World Cup of Hockey could return

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 5:44 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SOCHI -- The NHL and National Hockey League Players' Association could potentially hold a World Cup of Hockey in future years without disrupting its recent practice of having players participate in the Winter Olympics, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Tuesday.

"Yes, it's a possibility," Daly said.

The League and the NHLPA have been having ongoing discussions about the potential of bringing back the World Cup of Hockey, which has not been played since 2004. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday negotiations for player participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics have not yet begun.

Bettman: Olympic decision possible within 6 months

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 5:33 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SOCHI -- The NHL and NHL Players' Association are hoping to make a decision on future player participation in the Olympics as quickly as possible, perhaps within the next six months, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman indicated in a press conference at Bolshoy Ice Dome on Tuesday.

The negotiations, which will involve the NHL, the Olympic organizing committee in South Korea, the NHLPA, the International Ice Hockey Federation and the International Olympic Committee, will determine whether the NHL sends its players to a sixth straight Olympics. NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr and IIHF President Rene Fasel also took part in the press conference.

"It's nothing that's been discussed; it's nothing that will be discussed while we're here in Sochi," Commissioner Bettman said. "All of us are here to enjoy this competition, and while I've seen lots of commentary over the last couple of weeks, both written and oral, the fact of the matter is there isn't anything that has been said in the last two weeks that hasn't been said for the last eight years.

"There are lots of people who have lots of opinions. Any of us could give you all the pros and cons involved. You can get quotes from any owner or any executive in the NHL on either side of the decision, and as I've said it isn't anything we're focused on and dealing with right now. We're all focused on what should be a terrific tournament, period, on that subject."

Kopecky out for rest of Sochi Olympics: report

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 8:25 PM / 2014 Olympics


Florida Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky, representing Slovakia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, will miss the remainder of the tournament with an upper-body injury, team spokesman Tomas Stulajter confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday.

A two-time Olympian, Kopecky was hit in the head with an elbow in the first period of Slovakia's game Saturday against Slovenia, which led to the suspension of Slovene forward Sabahudin Kovacevic for the following game.

Canada women hold off Switzerland, will face U.S.

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 4:03 PM / 2014 Olympics


Canada is set for another gold-medal grudge match against the United States.

Florence Schelling and Switzerland wouldn't let victory come easy for the Canadians, however.

Natalie Spooner scored twice in a three-goal opening period for Canada, which generated plenty of offensive chances after that but were repeatedly denied by the goaltending of Schelling in what ended up as a 3-1 victory at Shayba Arena.

Canada and the U.S. will play for gold at 12 p.m. ET Thursday while Switzerland faces Sweden for bronze at 7 a.m.

The Americans punched their ticket to the final with a dominant effort earlier in the day, defeating Sweden 6-1 while holding a 70-9 advantage in shots.

Canada lost to the U.S. in the inaugural women's gold-medal game at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, but beat the Americans in Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010.

U.S. women top Sweden, advance to gold-medal game

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 2:20 PM / 2014 Olympics

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

SOCHI -- There was no replay of the miracle at Turin in the 2014 Sochi Olympics women's hockey tournament Monday afternoon at Shayba Arena.

The United States started fast and never looked back, scoring three goals in a dominant first period before cruising to a 6-1 victory against Sweden.

The Americans will play Canada, a 3-1 winner against Switzerland in the other semifinal Monday, for the gold medal on Thursday.

Eight years ago, the Americans faced Sweden at this stage and were considered heavy favorites as well. Instead, the Swedes shocked the world with a 4-3 victory to advance to the gold-medal game for the first time.

On Monday, the Americans made it clear from the opening faceoff they had little interest in playing a nail-biting game or letting a dangerous Swedish side hang around, especially after the Swedes upset Finland in the quarterfinals.

With Vlasic-Doughty pairing, Canada's defense set

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 11:23 AM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- Canada coach Mike Babcock will not announce his lineup for the quarterfinals until the morning of the game on Wednesday.

But he settled one aspect of the lineup question rather definitively on Monday.

With two goals allowed in three games, both on shots deflected in front, one area of Canada's game Babcock has no trouble with has been his defense.

The pairings of Duncan Keith and Shea Weber, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Drew Doughty and Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo have remained consistent from the moment Canada stepped off the plane here.

Kessel assuming role as United States' game-breaker

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 10:47 AM / 2014 Olympics

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

SOCHI -- Phil Kessel had little to say after a night to remember at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Often reticent, Kessel didn't break character after a stunning performance, including a natural hat trick, helped propel the United States to a 5-1 victory against Slovenia in the final game of Group A play Saturday at Shayba Arena. The win gave the Americans a 2-1-0-0 record in pool play and moved them directly into the quarterfinals as group champion, avoiding the always dangerous play-in game.

The Americans play again Wednesday, against the winner of the play-in game Tuesday between Slovakia and the Czech Republic (noon ET, NBCSN).

The United States took Monday off and regrouped a bit while beginning the process of moving forward to the quarterfinal game Wednesday (noon ET). It gives others time to marvel a bit longer at the brilliance Kessel, a star with the Toronto Maple Leafs, put on display Sunday afternoon.

Russia says Kovalchuk OK; focuses on power play

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 10:20 AM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- Ilya Kovalchuk missed Russia's practice Monday, but coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov defused any fears that his star forward would miss the qualification round game against Norway on Tuesday.

"He's OK," Bilyaletdinov said after practice. "Just a rest."

Kovalchuk left his team's Group A game against Slovakia on Sunday with an apparent ankle injury midway through the second period, but returned for the start of the third and scored the clinching goal in the shootout in Russia's 1-0 win.

Rask, defense helping Finland overcome injuries

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 9:20 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- In the weeks leading up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Finland's depth chart at center included Mikko Koivu, Valtteri Filppula, Saku Koivu and Aleksander Barkov.

That group would be at worst the fifth-best collection of talent at the position in this tournament, and it might not be far off what Russia and the United States have in a tier behind Canada and Sweden.

The Swedes are now missing a couple of elite centers in Henrik Sedin and Henrik Zetterberg, but no team has dealt with more roster attrition than Finland. None of those four names mentioned above will be available Wednesday when the fourth-seeded Finns face either Russia or Norway in the quarterfinals.

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