SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 22: Zach Parise #9 of the United States looks on in the third period against Finland during the Men's Ice Hockey Bronze Medal Game on Day 15 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 22, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

U.S. players ’embarrassed’ after blowout loss


After losing 1-0 against Canada, the Americans still wanted to bring at least something back home with them. They just simply couldn’t.

Finland handed them a crushing 5-0 loss in the bronze medal game and left the U.S. players in no mood to sugarcoat things after an Olympics that started with such promise and ended so badly.

“I’m not proud at all right now,” American forward Max Pacioretty told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Dejan Kovacevic. “I don’t think anyone is. We were playing for a medal and didn’t show up.”

That’s a sentiment his teammates certainly seem to agree with.

“Disappointed,” Parise said. “A little embarrassing with what was on the line for is the last two days and not play well.”

The game certainly didn’t start terribly for the Americans. They out-shot Finland in the first period, but Parise confessed that they started to get frustrated after Teemu Selanne and Jussi Jokinen opened the contest up with goals just 11 seconds apart. As the game progressed and the United States’ chances of winning a medal diminished, that frustration only built until the team collapsed entirely.

There’s plenty of blame to go around, but obviously you can’t win if you don’t score. America had 20 goals in their first four Olympic games before being shutout of back-to-back contests. Parise’s assessment of why they dried up offensively was blunt.

“We played better teams,” Parise told Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski.

The sting from this end will linger for a while. Perhaps it’s good that the United States has four years before it needs to bounce back.


Just Finn, baby: Finland medals again, routs U.S. for bronze

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci
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The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.