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2014 Olympics

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:

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:


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.

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.

Rask eager to make his mark in Sochi

Sunday, 02.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Boston Bruins had just beaten the Edmonton Oilers earlier this month when coach Claude Julien began to explain his decision to play backup goaltender Chad Johnson two days after he had pulled starter Tuukka Rask during a loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

First Julien described Johnson's play in recent starts as "really, really good." He then explained the benefit of granting Rask a breather.

"My goal is to give him some rest before going to the Olympics," Julien said. "He's got a big job to do there and I don't want to be the guy responsible for burning him out."

If Julien were merely Rask's NHL coach, that statement probably wouldn't have raised any eyebrows. But for the next couple of weeks, Julien will be Rask's opponent as an assistant coach for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Rask will be one of three goaltenders for Finland, which is competing in Group B against Canada, Austria and Norway during the preliminary round.

Rask, who entered Saturday ranked first in shutouts (five), fifth in save percentage (.928) and eighth in goals-against average (2.11), hopes a little extra rest will help him play his best when he gets to Russia.

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.

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.

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:

Group A: U.S., Russia to battle for top spot

Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 10:55 PM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Two gold-medal contenders will battle for an automatic trip to the quarterfinal round with one of the surprise contenders from four years ago and a national team making its first trip to the Olympics in Group A.

The United States and Russia will play one of the most anticipated games in the preliminary round of the 2014 Sochi Olympics men's ice hockey tournament on Saturday. The Americans open the tournament Thursday against Slovakia, the losers in the bronze-medal game four years ago. The Russians play Olympic rookie Slovenia at the same time.

Group play concludes Feb. 16 when the United States plays Slovenia and the Russians play the Slovaks.

Here is a preview of Group A:

IIHF Disciplinary panel

Friday, 02.07.2014 / 4:06 PM / 2014 Olympics


The IIHF has appointed the Disciplinary Panels for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which will oversee all disciplinary measures in the men's and women's tournaments.

The men's competition will be monitored by two panel representatives of the IIHF: Franz Reindl and Valeri Kamensky, and two from the National Hockey League: Stephane Quintal and Kay Whitmore.

Reindl, who will act as the men's panel chairman, is the General Secretary of the German Ice Hockey Association. Since 1998 he has been a member of various committees within the IIHF, most notably the Competition Committee. During his hockey career, Reindl played 669 Bundesliga games for his home club SC Riessersee Garmisch-Partenkirchen and SB Rosenheim, scoring 423 goals. As player, coach and manager he participated at 28 World Championships and nine Olympic Tournaments.

Video goal judge system operating procedures

From IIHF.com

Friday, 02.07.2014 / 4:00 PM / 2014 Olympics

The use of the video replay of disputed goals is approved by the IIHF and is included in the Rule Book. All available television pictures must be provided and used by the video goal judge for this system.

The following situations are the only situations that will be subject to video goal judge review:

1. To determine if the puck has completely crossed the goal line.

2. To determine if the puck entered the net prior to or after the goal frame was dislodged.

3. To determine if the puck entered the net prior to or after expiration of time at the end of a period or the game.

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