Panthers play-by-play man Steve Goldstein is in Vancouver to cover the Olympic games for Westwood One radio. And while he's there, he'll be blogging on his experiences and his thoughts on the hockey tournament and the Olympics in general. Only seen on floridapanthers.com, enjoy as Steve brings you closer to the action (unless you're actually in Vancouver and at the games that is).
Hey Panther fans. Greetings once again from Vancouver.
It was a great day of hockey here in Vancouver yesterday with the United States beating Norway 6-1 in game 1 of 3. It was a surpisingly tight game until the US scored three late goals for a 6-1 final score. Brian Rafalski scored twice in the final three minutes of the game to put it away.
The US will need to be much better on the power play and not allowing odd man rushes. Norway had some good scoring chances but Ryan Miller was solid in goal. The US also changed its top line with Jamie Langenbrunner now skating with Paul Stastny and Zach Parise.
In the day's 2nd game, Canada survived a real scare and beat Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout. The US has the advantage now, as you only get 2 points for an OT win and 3 for a regulation victory. So heading into Sunday nights US-Canada game, the Americans have 6 points and Canada currently has 5.
In the late game, Russia lost a shootout to Slovakia. It was an intense playoff type game and it was apparent these two teams don't like each other. Former Panther Josef Stumpel played well for Slovakia and Montreal's Jaroslav Halak was great in goal. The russians rolled out Alex Oveckin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk in the shootout but Halak stood strong.
The atmosphere for every game has been wild, with the arena packed to the rafters. Its going to get even more intense moving forward.
Tomas Vokoun was super in his first game and the Czechs won 3-1 against their former country mates, the Slovaks. Jaromir Jagr looks like he never left the NHL.
It's really a super tournament so far and the games will get even more exciting next week during the elimination games. I hope all is well back home!