May 10, 2013, 4:14 PM EDT
With news of a working understanding that NHL players will participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics, we thought it’d be a good time to start looking at the fight for jobs in 2014.
Why four? Because the games are every four years, and I couldn’t come up with a fifth.
Who’ll be Canada’s starting netminder?
While the state of Canadian goaltending is hardly in flux, the current choices for No. 1 do come with question marks…
– Roberto Luongo, who led the country to gold in Vancouver, was resigned to a backup role with the Canucks.
– Carey Price struggled mightily for Montreal down the stretch and into the playoffs.
– Cam Ward suffered a season-ending knee injury in March.
– Martin Brodeur will be closing in on his 42nd birthday.
Who’ll be Finland’s starting netminder?
Almost the polar opposite situation from Canada’s — it could be argued Finland has the best goaltending depth in the world right now:
– Tuukka Rask, who just posted arguably the finest regular season of his career.
– Antti Niemi, who just received his first-ever Vezina nomiation.
– Pekka Rinne, who finished third in last year’s Vezina voting.
– Niklas Backstrom, who tied for the NHL lead in wins (24) this year.
– Kari Lehtonen, who posted back-to-back 3o-win seasons from 2010-12.
No shortage of quality candidates to choose from, and this list doesn’t even include Miikka Kiprusoff.
Who’ll be Team USA’s head coach?
The smart money is on Pittsburgh’s Dan Byslma who, since taking the Pens gig in 2009, has:
– Posted a 201-92-25 regular-season record (.671 winning percentage).
– Qualified for the playoffs every year, won Stanley Cup in 2009.
– Captured Jack Adams in 2011.
Despite that resume, Bylsma will have challengers for the gig.
New York’s John Tortorella and Philadelphia’s Peter Laviolette will likely be in the mix, as both have coached at the national team level in previous years.
Jack Capuano, coming off a highly-successful campaign with the Islanders, will also garner some consideration, as will Jackets bench boss Todd Richards after orchestrating a tremendous playoff push in Columbus.
Who’ll play defense for the Russians?
According to NHL.com, there were just nine Russian defensemen in the league this year — Andrei Markov, Sergei Gonchar, Slava Voynov, Fedor Tyutin, Alexei Emelin, Dmitry Kulikov, Nikita Nikitin, Anton Volchenkov and Dmitry Orlov.
It’s an odd group, age-wise:
– Gonchar (39) and Markov (35 in December) are old.
– Orlov (22), Kulikov (23) and Voynov (23) are young.
– The guys in the middle are…nothing to write home about.
There were signs of trouble on the Russian blueline during the ‘1o winter games, when the roster included three KHL defensemen (and a fourth, Edmonton’s Denis Grebeshkov, who would soon join them.)
Team Russia proceeded to allow 13 goals over four games, including seven in a quarterfinal loss to Canada.
Oct 31, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT
The hit occurred seconds before Vancouver scored.
Oct 31, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT
Hasn’t played since Oct. 8.
Oct 31, 2014, 5:36 PM EDT
Could play Saturday against Washington.
Oct 31, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT
At the same time, Claude Julien admits the B’s “are still trying to find that confidence level that comes with winning on a regular basis.”
Oct 31, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT
All the latest from the blue paint.
Oct 31, 2014, 3:10 PM EDT
“I just haven’t come to that decision yet.”
Oct 31, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT
When Philly takes on the Panthers in Florida.
Oct 31, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT
Veteran forward is hurt again.
Oct 31, 2014, 2:32 PM EDT
On a professional tryout contract.
Oct 31, 2014, 1:57 PM EDT
Former 13th overall pick doesn’t want to comment on trade rumors.
Oct 31, 2014, 1:48 PM EDT
Club is dealing with a team-wide bacterial infection.
Oct 31, 2014, 1:21 PM EDT
“He was the bettor. He bet on football games.” And that, according to Steve Bartlett, is all he did.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:52 PM EDT
We’d say we were surprised, but we totally thought this could happen.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT
Hurricanes forward was benched Tuesday in Vancouver.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT
“We’ve given up a lot of goals and we need to be better, help our goaltenders out.”
Oct 31, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT
Antti Raanta retains the backup gig behind Corey Crawford.
Oct 31, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT
Dallas has lost two straight.
Oct 31, 2014, 10:58 AM EDT
As most expected they’d do with the No. 2 overall pick.
Oct 31, 2014, 10:39 AM EDT
With AK Bars Kazan.
Oct 31, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT
They’re building a $350 million arena with AEG, which owns the Kings.
- Burrows suspended three games for ‘late hit to the head’ on Emelin 0
- Blues say Center for Disease Control hasn’t been to Scottrade, don’t plan on it coming 4
- Agent: Vanek was not ‘involved’ in money laundering 7
- Even after big changes, Isles still struggling defensively 12
- Back to junior: Sabres return Reinhart to WHL Kootenay 4
- Report: Phone hearing for Burrows, who says hit on Emelin wasn’t late 33
- Video: Burrows catches Emelin with a late hit (Updated) 12
- Report: Thomas Vanek involved in money laundering scandal 36
- Video: Devils (finally) win a shootout 4
- Video: Lucic and Stewart drop the gloves 24
- Video: John Moore with an elbow to the head of Erik Haula (Updated) (62)
- Report: Varlamov being sued by ex-girlfriend (47)
- Kreider calls Brodin hit a ‘bang-bang play,’ doesn’t plan to dramatically change his game (46)
- No hearing scheduled for Kreider after Brodin hit (44)
- Kopitar out, Lombardi irate as Kings will play shorthanded vs. Flyers (40)