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Vanek critical of Austrian goalie in blowout loss

Feb 13, 2014, 7:22 AM EDT

The puck flies past Austria goaltender Bernhard Starkbaum for a goal by Finland in the third period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey ) AP

Austria was able to match Finland blow-for-blow for the first 10 minutes of Thursday’s contest, then the Finnish squad pulled away en route to an 8-4 blowout.

Austrian forward Thomas Vanek was understandably upset and he was hard on goaltender Bernhard Starkbaum.

“We started great and then gave up easy goals. We gave up too many shots from the middle and our goalie couldn’t control them,” Vanek said, according to the Olympic News Service. He added, “For us to beat a team like Finland, (Starkbaum) needs to be our best player.

“I thought that he was good but not great. That is not a knock on him, that is just reality.”

Starkbaum is 27 years old and has never played professionally in North America. He wasn’t drafted by an NHL club and instead got his start in the Austrian league. He was playing in the Swedish Hockey League before joining his nation’s Olympic team.

The Austrian goaltender faced 52 shots against a Finnish team loaded with NHL talent.

  1. ethanmacleod1685 - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    I’m not sure what to think of this. Did he really need to make it public? He should have been more Messier or L.Robbinson-esque and let him have it in the sauna.

  2. rrsm53 - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    what did the all world Mr. Vanek do for his team today. I dont see him with any goals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dont know about asissts but where was big mouth. He obviously contributed to the poor team play or did he sit out this game. Such a tool.

  3. kmo25 - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    Gee, who needs enemies when you have a teammate like this? That is pretty funny, Vanek ended up with ONE assist and also ended up with a +/- of -1 meaning he was on the ice for 2 other goals against. I wonder if he thought of maybe playing better defense while he was on the ice to help his goalie out?

  4. killerpgh - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Playing for the Islanders you would think Vanek should be used to weak goal tending.

  5. sjm1717 - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    Vanek is soft like butter…absolutely pathetic to throw a teammate under the bus like this…guy faced 52 shots

  6. jr507 - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    meanwhile Grabner lights it up and stays quiet. Can’t wait until the Isles trade this lazy bum. Brock Nelson will score way more playing with Okposo and Tavares.

    • bullwinkle88 - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Now you know why the Sabres wanted to get rid of him. He was a cancer in the lockeroom.

  7. imgoingtowichita - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Shut your mouth and stop decreasing your trade value you lazy bum! And he’s the captain.

  8. guitarhunterdude - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    I don’t see how this is such a big deal. He basically just said that Austria as a team is completely overmatched by just about everyone in this tournament and they’ll need their goalie to give them an insane performance to beat anyone, which he didn’t today (despite how many shots he faced). He’s not calling out the goalie, he’s just saying there’s not much talent on the team, which is true. People are blowing this way out of proportion.

    • bullwinkle88 - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      He singled out the goalie as someone who needs to play better. That’s true of the whole team, so why single out one guy?

  9. 7mantel - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    JERK Plain and Simple !!

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