The Olympics got off to a great start for Ranger participants as Henrik Lundqvist, Carl Hagelin and Team Sweden downed Jaromir Jagr and the Czech Republic 4-2 yesterday.
Lundqvist stopped 27 of 29 shots and had an assist on the second goal, while Carl Hagelin was held pointless with two shots on goal in 12:25 of action.
...i initially criticized Lundqvist on Twitter for the Jagr goal as it was basically a one handed, back hander that dribbled into the net, but upon further review he was absolutely interfered with before the puck got to him...
...damn, Jagr's still got it.
Derek Stepan will be a healthy scratch for Team USA, while Ryan Callahan will play on a line with Zach Parise and David Backes. On defense, Ryan McDonagh is paired with Kevin Shattenkirk. Here's the American's full lineup (via United States of Hockey)...
Zach Parise – David Backes – Ryan Callahan
Dustin Brown – Ryan Kesler – Patrick Kane
James van Riemsdyk – Joe Pavelski – Phil Kessel
Max Pacioretty – Paul Stastny – T.J. Oshie
Cam Fowler – John Carlson
Ryan Suter – Paul Martin
Ryan McDonagh – Kevin Shattenkirk
Scratched: Justin Faulk and Derek Stepan
...obviously not very shocking to see Stepan scratched. Pumped to see Cally on the top line though.
The big news from Team USA yesterday was that Dan Byslma named Jonathan Quick his starting goalie over Ryan MIller.
...i know Team USA likely doesn't sniff a medal four years ago in Vancouver without Miller, but I think Bylsma made the right decision here as, in my opinion, Quick is the better of the two netminders.
Over at Team Canada, Rick Nash talked to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com about his selection to the team...
"Yeah, my expectations weren't too high. I had an injury and wasn't having the best season. But Steve [Yzerman] called me and said they believed in my game and trusted me as a player from my past. They put a lot of trust in me and I was honored by that."
Here's Nash on whether his inclusion onto the team lifted a weight off his shoulders and led to his improved play with the Rangers...
"Whether that was the reason I was producing or not I'm not going to worry about it. But pucks just started to go in."
...i think it's too coincidental for it not to be a large reason for his turnaround.
...Nash has always had success during international competition, so I'm looking forward to a real strong effort from him at the Olympics.
Meanwhile, Mats Zuccarello discussed Norway's daunting task of taking on Team Canada (via IIHF)...
“We have to try to play our game. I think we can play our max and Canada, with their skill set and the players they have, it’s going to be tough for us. But you never know. All we can do is go out and give 100 percent and try to play a perfect game, and hopefully Canada’s a little jet-lagged.”
Callahan looks pretty ineffective on the first line.. running around. falling alot he's just not meshing with his linemates so far.
Norway made Canada look not so special.Canada played an uncomplicated game Norway's goalie was impressive. Zucc was noticeble-made some turnovers tho. Nash was sometimes noticeable but mostly on a par with the rest of the Canadian team.
Norway has acquitted themselves well. Great for them if they can get through this with a -2 or -1 goal differential.
Canada looks brutal. Norway looks like it's made up of a bunch of Zuccs. They're all small, fast, and back down to no one. Although I think Zucc is trying to do too much.
I know most of you guys dont care about the olympics but its good to have hockey at teatime for once
Jim Hughson needs to stop pronouncing Zucarello with a fake Norwegian accent. It's not even a Norwegian name.
Players to watch on Norway. Defense: Tollefsen (55) and Holøs (8). Holøs is a really athletic player who playes big minutes every game, and Tollefsen is a gritty player, some times down right nasty. The only offensive players to keep an eye on are the Olimb brothers, especially Mathis (46), who is a smart player with good vision. They both play in Sweden and are putting up big points there. Ofc there are others too that aren't a complete mess, but thought I would give you guys some pointers from a norwegian Rangers fan (pre-Zucc)!
Btw, norways keeper hasn't played a game since 10th of december... Scary.
MZA! FTW! http://i.imgur.com/fxfv8R1.jpg
Zuc ! Zuc the most popular Ranger . Nash will be invisible . If Nash can uses his size and crash the net he would be #NASHTY .
ya they're tiny.
I'm on Saturn time myself, so it's definitely time for my celestopod sandwich!
@omnishambles breakfast for me on the west coast...love it!
Holos have been playing in NHL for Colorado
He is now playing in KHL for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, Russia
@cb1 For some reason the norwegian broadcast is pronouncing his name with an American accent. That's worse.
Norway scouting report awesome
They seem like good skaters and they're playing with a physical edge.
Thanks for the preview!
@Hotfreak Canada looks disinterested
Oh, did you lose it?
My pleasure! Forgot to mention Thoresen (41). He played in NHL for a while (Oilers and flyers I believe). Didn't work out all that well. Now he playes in KHL where he is sort of a key player on his team. He has always been a streaky player for norway, so not sure what to expect from him.