Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 8 - Slovakia v Slovenia

After shocking loss to Slovenia, Slovakia looks to rebound against Russia


Through two games in the men’s Olympic hockey competition, Slovakia, four years removed from a fourth-place finish in Vancouver, has suffered a pair of shocking losses.

It started with a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of the U.S., and was followed up by an upset 3-1 loss to Slovenia on Saturday. Now, a date with a likely fired up Russian squad is on the docket for Slovakia on Sunday.

The criticism has grown, with goalie Jaroslav Halak questioning the age of the 2014 Slovak edition, and the depth the nation has in its hockey pool. But they’ll try to pull it together in the final preliminary game for them in the tournament, and heading into the elimination rounds.

But the loss to Slovenia, ranked 17th in the IIHF men’s hockey rankings, seems like it could be particularly difficult to get over.

We have to swallow this one,” Marian Hossa told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We know tomorrow is a really hard opponent, [so] get ready for tomorrow.

“After this disappointing loss, it’s going to be hard. It’s hard to lose a game like this. But there is still one more game in the group, and you never know.”

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.