Miracle? Japan beats Canada in sledge-hockey

The term “miracle on ice” is thrown around a bit too much these days,
especially with the USA making it to the gold medal game in this year’s
Olympics. This time, I think it’s warranted.

Not enough attention
is given to Paralympics, and sledge-hockey certainly doesn’t get the
attention it deserves. It may not be as fast-paced as ice hockey (how
could it be) but it’s certainly just as exciting. And now we have
another miraculous win on ice, as Japan took down Canada 3-1 to move on
to the gold medal game.

Yes, Japan.

“My head
went blank,” said [Japanese coach Kojin] Nakakita, when asked how he
immediately after the game ended.

“I knew if we played
Canada 1,000 times we were going to lose 999 times. But not this one. We
had a huge loss against the U.S. [6-0 on Tuesday] but we came back very

I’m sure Canada would have loved to take
home another gold medal on home ice, but how great is it that Japan is
the team that knocked them into the bronze medal game?
Unlike…some….I am all for the spread of hockey around the world and
the improvement of the sport in non-traditional markets and countries.
And it’s great to see a country like Japan, where hockey is trying hard
to catch on, be the team that is able to take that next step.

courtesy of Terry Bell, Camwest News Service

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
AP Photo
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.