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Category: International Hockey

Rangers loan Anthony Duclair to World Juniors

Per Steve Zipay, the New York Rangers have loaned winger Anthony Duclair to Team Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championships. This was expected, as Duclair had been a healthy scratch for a few games in a row now, and it looked like he had lost his spot in the top-nine. Duclair will be with Team Canada for the next month or so. After that, the Rangers will need to make a decision to keep him on the NHL roster or return him to the QMJHL.

In 18 games this year, Duke has put up 1-6-7, while driving puck possession (51.27% CF) in sheltered minutes (60% OZ starts).

World Cup of Hockey to return?

Per Puck Daddy, citing a translated article from Hockej.cz, Donald Fehr (head of the NHLPA) let slip that the World Cup of Hockey will return in 2016, between September 15 and October 1. Canada, USA, Finland, Sweden, Russia, and the Czech Republic will take part in the tournament, along with two additional countries (Slovakia and Switzerland were mentioned by PD).

The World Cup of Hockey was inaugurated in 1996, with Team USA, captained by Brian Leetch and backstopped by Mike Richter, winning gold. Canada won gold in 2004, the second and last time the tournament was played.

Tom Renney named President of Hockey Canada

Per Darren Dreger, ex-Rangers head coach Tom Renney has been named the President of Hockey Canada. Renney took over head coaching duties for the Rangers at the end of the 2003-2004 season, and coached three full years and parts of two others before being fired in 2009. In 327 games as the head coach, Renney’s Rangers went 164-121-42. Renney’s Rangers also qualified for the playoffs in each of his three full seasons, ending a seven year drought without April hockey in New York.

2014 Olympics: USA doesn’t medal; Canada/Sweden open thread

The ice hockey tournament of the 2014 Winter Olympics comes to an end today, as Canada (Rick Nash) takes on Sweden (Henrik Lundqvist, Carl Hagelin) in the gold medal game at 7am. Yesterday, Team USA (Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan) failed to show up against Finland, getting shut out 5-0 in the bronze medal game. With the loss, Team USA will not medal, closing out a disappointing Olympics.

Use this as your open thread for the Sweden/Canada game. Discuss whatever you want, just keep it civil.

Bronze medal game: USA/Finland open thread

Even though they lost to Canada in unimpressive fashion yesterday, Team USA can still win a medal today by beating the Finns and capturing the bronze. The Finns boast ex-Rangers Olli Jokinen, Lauri Kospikoski, and Jarkko Immonen, in addition to the a few stars (Tuukka Rask, Teemu Selanne, Kimmo Timmonen). The Finns don’t have much offensive punch, but they are probably the best defensive team in the Olympics this year. That stifling defense helped them beat Russia in the quarterfinals, and put up a good fight against Sweden in the semis.

Use this as your open thread for the game. Talk about anything you want, but keep it civil.

The Re-match and USA/Canada Open Thread

Better luck this year?

This afternoon, at 12pm Eastern time, the United States will take on their bitter rivals to the north* for the chance at Olympic Gold on Sunday.  After losing to the Canadians in the Gold Medal game in Vancouver (for the record, one of the best international hockey games ever played), I can only imagine the Americans are chomping at the bit for another chance at the Red, White and Black.

Since the Americans didn’t bother to show up to Nagano, Japan, where the NHL marked its Olympic debut, this modern rivalry really got started in Salt Lake City in 2002.  Prior to his tragic passing, Herb Brooks lead an improbable US squad to what should have been a Gold medal (because destiny), but came up Silver to the Canadians.

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Six Rangers advance to Sochi semi-finals

The six remaining Rangers all advanced to the semi-finals of the ice hockey tournament of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Mats Zuccarello (Norway) is the only Ranger that is no longer competing in Olympics, with Norway losing to Russia yesterday.

Sweden (Carl Hagelin, Henrik Lundqvist) shut out Slovenia 5-0 this morning. Hank stopped 19 shots while Hagelin contributed a pair of goals in the win.

Team USA (Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan) eliminated the Czech Republic this afternoon by a score of 5-2. McDonagh notched an assist in the contest, while Callahan was held off the scoreboard in a primarily defensive role. Stepan did not play.

Canada (Rick Nash) needed all 60 minutes to barely squeak by Latvia, winning by a score of 2-1. Nash collected an assist in the contest.

Sweden will face Finland on Friday at 7am. Canada and Team USA will drop the puck at noon.

USA/Czech Republic Open Thread

Yesterday afternoon, the Czech Republic defeated one-time country-mates Slovakia by a score of 5-3 in the qualification round. That win set up today’s game in the quarterfinals against Team USA for a spot to face Canada (probably) in the semi-finals. The Czechs actually came into pool play as the third ranked team in the world. The US was ranked #7 by the IIHF. Entering the quarterfinals, Team USA is ranked third and the Czechs seventh. My how times have changed.

Use this to discuss the game. Team USA is the better team, but the Czechs are still a solid squad. If Latvia can beat the Swiss, then anything can happen.

Zuccarello misses game against Russia; Norway eliminated

Mats Zuccarello sat out this morning’s game against Russia, in which Norway lost 4-0 and thus was eliminated from Olympic competition. Zuccarello sat out with a hand injury that was reportedly from either a blocked shot or a slash.

In three games, Zuccarello averaged roughly 20 minutes per game. He finished without registering a point, 10 SOG, 2 PIMs, and a -2 rating.

Olympic hockey systems starting to take shape

Last week in my NHL fan guide to Olympic hockey, I briefly spoke about how systems on international ice can be a bit different than what we are used to seeing in North American rinks. After watching much of group play, we’re starting to get a sense of how teams are tactically approaching their opponents with the extra 15 feet of ice.

If there’s one common denominator in many of these games, it is that there’s still not a hell of a lot of room out there, especially in the neutral zone. I expected a lot of trapping from the Latvia’s and Slovenia’s, as overmatched teams generally employ such systems. However, even top teams like Canada, Sweden, and Finland are using these same conservative structures.

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