For the second straight game, Sweden won’t be facing the opponent’s No. 1 goalie.
According to multiple sources (here, here and here), Switzerland will start Reto Berra against the Swedes on Friday, putting Jonas Hiller — who recorded a 21-save shutout against Latvia in the Olympic opener — in a reserve role.
Berra, 27, is in his first NHL season with Calgary and has played quite a bit, going 8-16-2 with a .896 save percentage and 3.02 GAA. But he’s clearly the second-best goalie on the Swiss roster, as Hiller has performed extremely well with Anaheim this season and for the national team in the past, including several quality outings at the ’10 Games in Vancouver.
As mentioned above, the decision to start Berra could have something to do with the opponent.
Sweden looks to be the powerhouse of Group C and jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead on the Czechs on Wednesday en route to a 4-2 victory. In that game, Czech head coach Alois Hadamczik opted to scratch Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec, only to later confirm that Pavelec was the team’s No. 1 goalie and was simply “rested” to adjust to the time zone change.
(A dubious claim, to say the least. Pavelec will play against Latvia on Friday.)
It’ll be interesting to see how Berra fares against the Swedes. He has shown an affinity for thriving in games with high shot totals — he stopped 42 of 44 in a win over Chicago and 43 of 47 against Winnipeg in a pair of wins earlier this season.
‘John leaves a lasting mark’: NHL announces Collins’ departure as COO
One of the driving forces behind the NHL’s growth over the last decade is moving on.
John Collins, who’s served as the league’s chief operating officer for the last seven years, will be leaving his post to embark on a new business opportunity.
More, from the League:
Collins, who joined the NHL in November 2006, had been COO since August 2008.
“John leaves a lasting mark,” said Commissioner Bettman. “His energy, creativity and skill at building strategic partnerships helped drive significant revenue growth for our League. We are grateful for his many contributions and wish him the best in his new endeavors.”
Said Collins, “I’m grateful to Commissioner Bettman for his leadership and friendship over the past nine years. He had a vision for extending the reach of the NHL and supported us completely as we set out to make the game as big as it deserves to be.
“The NHL’s future is filled with promise and potential and I will admire and cheer the League’s successes to come on the global stage.”
Collins, 53, was regarded as one of main presences behind a number of the NHL’s most successful initiatives, including the Winter Classic and Stadium Series, the HBO 24/7 collaboration, the relaunched World Cup of Hockey, Canadian and American television deals and partnerships with companies like SAP, Adidas, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and GoPro.
During Collins’ tenure, the NHL was twice named “Sports League of the Year” by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily — once in 2011, and again in 2014.
Columbus will have some reinforcements up front when it takes on the Devils tomorrow in New Jersey.
Brandon Dubinsky, who’s missed the last six games with an elbow injury, and Alexander Wennberg — who’s also missed the last six games, but with a foot ailment — have both been activated from injured reserve, and should be available for selection on Wednesday.
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)