Canada forward Sidney Crosby battles against Finland defenseman Ossi Vaananen in the third period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Duchene: There’s a lot of obstruction not getting called


The Canadians drew just a single penalty in their 2-1 overtime victory against Finland on Sunday and they don’t seem happy about it.

“You saw two penalties tonight (including one against Canada). There’s a ton of obstruction. It’s not getting called. I guess that’s the nature of it,” Duchene remarked to the Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk.

He wasn’t the only Canadian venting after the game.

“Obviously it seemed like the whistles were put away for the most part,” John Tavares told PHT’s Jason Brough.

This has become a recurring theme for Canada, as the team has only received five power-play opportunities in three games.

“It can be frustrating, especially when sometimes you got a step on a guy,” Tavares added. “Sometimes they’re letting a little more go, but that’s the way it is, just like in other sports. Sometimes there’s a little more leeway, and it seemed that way tonight.”

Canada’s power play is one of its strengths and the lack of penalties is particularly problematic when playing against teams that intend to put an emphasis on defensive play as Finland did in the hopes of counteracting Canada’s skilled forwards. Switzerland will almost surely do the same against the 2010 gold medalists in the quarterfinals if they beat Latvia.

Canada’s forwards have had difficulty gaining any traction in this tournament and only three of them have even found the back of the net. If not for the team’s defense, which has not only taken care of business in the Canadians’ own end, but has also been scoring the majority of the team’s goals, they would be in a very different position right now.

It’s worth adding that, while fingers were pointed at the referees, the Canadians aren’t fans of the international ice either.

“This is why the NHL should never go to a big ice, it’ll take the scoring out of the game,” Duchene said, according to the Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno.

Blues’ Shattenkirk suffers lower-body injury

Kevin Shattenkirk
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This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.

Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.

While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.

There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.

Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.

Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:

It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning


In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.