Finland goaltender Tuukka Rask watches play down ice from his goal against Austria in the first period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Finland sticks with Rask, doesn’t alter lines

1 Comment

Finnish goaltender Tuukka Rask and their current line combinations frustrated Team Canada and forced their round robin game to overtime. The Finns are hoping that they can do at least slightly better against Russia.

Rask will stay between the pipes for their quarterfinals match today and the lines that faced Canada will remain intact, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman. The only change is that Kari Lehtonen will serve as Rask’s understudy instead of Antti Niemi.

While Rask was able to hold his own against the Canadians, he got off to a rough start in the 2014 Winter Games by allowing four goals on 20 shots against Austria.

The Finns certainly have their work cut out for them when they take on the Russians at home, but Finland can take some comfort in its history of success against them. The Russians have not been able to defeat Finland in an Olympic game since 1998. In 2006, Finland beat Russia 4-0 in the semifinals and in 2002, Finland earned a 3-1 victory over the Russians in the round robin.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.