Team USA dominated the Slovaks this morning, riding a six goal second period en route to a 7-1 win. Ryan McDonagh (18:38 TOI) and Ryan Callahan (15:43 TOI) were held off the score sheet, and Derek Stepan did not dress for the game.
Scoring for the US team came from Paul Stastny (2), Phil Kessel, Ryan Kesler, David Backes, Phil Kessel, and John Carlson. Jonathan Quick made 22 saves. The USA faces off against Russia, who beat Slovenia this morning, on Saturday morning. The winner will likely win the group and get the guaranteed spot in the medal round.
Two Rangers are off to a good start in Sochi, as Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots and Carl Hagelin had two shots on goal in Sweden’s 4-2 win over the Czech Republic. Hagelin played 12:25 in the game in a primarily defensive role. Sweden’s next game is Friday against Switzerland.
The other five Rangers participating in this year’s Olympics play tomorrow. Team USA (Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan) play at 7:30am against Slovakia on NBCSN, while Mats Zuccarello and Norway take on Rick Nash and Canada at noon on USA.
The 2014 Winter Olympics Men’s Ice Hockey competition begins today, with Sweden taking on the Czech Republic at 12pm EST on USA. The Rangers have Henrik Lundqvist and Carl Hagelin playing for Sweden. Ex-Rangers Jaromir Jagr Michal Rozsival, and Pter Nedved (!!) are playing for the Czechs. Use this to discuss the game if you are watching. Should be a good one.
DANIEL MALLARD/QMI AGENCY
Steve Yzerman named the 2014 Canadian team yesterday that will be competing to defend their gold from Vancouver four years ago. The country that touts hockey as its country’s sport – and, let’s be honest, a country that regards the sport so highly that it’s all over TV even in August – it’s no wonder that Yzerman and Co. had a very difficult task ahead of them in choosing this team.
The joke is that even selecting an all-snub team for Canada would be a difficult task, and that their second team would likely be a favorite over some other countries. Needless to say, expectations are extremely high for this squad. You can see the full roster here.
Again, with a roster so deep, it’s likely that you’re going to find a few serious snubs. The most glaring omission on this roster is Martin St. Louis, an absolute stud who, at 38 years old, likely won’t see another Olympic opportunity (unless he pulls a Selanne, and even still the depth of skilled Canadian won’t go anywhere). Apparently a snub is motivation for St. Louis, who put up two goals last night in the 3rd period to give the Lightning a win over the Jets, and probably had Yzerman shaking his head.
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Henrik Lundqvist, Carl Hagelin, and Mats Zuccarello will be joining Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, and Ryan Callahan (USA) in Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Games. Lundqvist and Hagelin will be playing for Team Sweden, and Zuccarello is the lone NHL player participating for Team Norway. Lundqvist and Zuccarello were expected to make their respective clubs. Hagelin was a bubble player, but Team Sweden went with speed.
Rick Nash is expected to make Team Canada this morning at 11am. If he does, the Rangers will be sending seven players to Sochi. (Update: Nash is headed to Sochi with Canada.)
Bobby Ryan. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
At the finish of the Winter Classic game played at the Big House in Michigan (and after Dion Phaneuf won a minivan…?), American viewers were treated with the revealing of the 25 men who will represent the red, white, and blue in Sochi next month. Before we all play armchair GM, there are a few things to remember: a) the depth of unbelievably talented players that the United States have bred over the past decades, and b) the management staff responsible for selecting this team and their view on how to coach it. “We did not pick the 25 best players,” general manager David Poile said. “We picked the 25 players we thought gave us a chance to win the gold medal.”
My dissection of this team bears a lot of variables. For one, I’ve never played hockey, nor have I ever managed a hockey club aside from my decent fantasy teams and a few very bad ones. I have, however, played lacrosse – a similar game from a systems standpoint – and I had the fun responsibility of managing a number of players regarding league guidelines and who would fit. Secondly, I’m human. It’s difficult to separate how you feel about a player from what they would provide for a team, which I believe had a stake in some of the selection process. Third, all of us fans are going to have differing opinions and they’re usually based on which team you bleed for. Please keep these in mind while you read ahead.
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Team USA has released the roster for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics, and the Rangers will have three representatives playing for the red, white, and blue. Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan, and Ryan McDonagh will all be heading to Sochi in February.