The semifinal matchup between Canada and the United States is one that will grab the attention of the hockey world, but all eyes might be on Chicago Blackhawks teammates who will square off against each other.
Team Canada center Jonathan Toews says Canada-U.S. is now the preeminent rivalry and as Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune shares, he says it’s not exactly a peaceful battle between the two.
“It has become even a bigger rivalry than Canada-Russia. There’s a lot of animosity, a lot of feelings like there’s something to prove between both teams,” said Toews. “It’s for the chance to go and play for a gold medal. It doesn’t get any better than that, playing for your country and going against the United States. There are millions of kids that grow up dreaming of this.”
Toews’ comments come after there was a very minor dust-up of opinions from Team USA’s Patrick Kane who gushed about the play of Phil Kessel.
As Tim Wharnsby at CBC Sports shares, Toews had a bit of fun with that statement himself.
Toews added with a smile, “He’s all right, [but] that Kessel guy is even better.”
All the talk goes away at Noon ET on NBCSN when the two sides square off for a spot in the gold medal game.
Fairly big move out of Anaheim on Friday, as the Ducks have inked defenseman Simon Despres to a five-year, $18.5 million deal, per TVA.
The $3.7 million cap hit represents a nice pay bump for Despres, who’s in the last of a two-year deal that pays $900K annually. A former first-round pick, Despres was acquired by the Ducks from Pittsburgh at last year’s deadline in exchange for Ben Lovejoy, a move that was widely questioned.
Probably because the guy that made it, Pens GM Jim Rutherford, admitted it was a mistake.
“If I had a chance to make that trade today, as we speak, I wouldn’t make it,” he told the Tribune-Review in late May. “I knew at the time, over time, the trade would certainly be in Anaheim’s favor. But at the time we made it, and the reasons we made it for, I still feel it was the right thing to do.”
Despres, 24, has shown well in Anaheim since the deal.
He had six points in 16 games last year while averaging just under 19 minutes per night, and was a big part of the club’s run to the Western Conference final, scoring seven points in 16 playoff games with his TOI going over 20 per.
Lovejoy, meanwhile, looks like he’ll be a bottom-pairing guy on a Pittsburgh defense that isn’t especially deep. He played just 16:28 in Thursday’s season-opening loss to Dallas; only Brian Dumoulin played less.
The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.
Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.
(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)
While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.
The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.
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