Swedish coach ‘furious’ about Backstrom ban, claims IOC ‘made things up’


Swedish coach Par Marts was livid following a 3-0 loss to Canada in the gold medal final, but it wasn’t about the result.

Marts took direct aim at the IOC after Swedish center Nicklas Backstrom was declared ineligible to play due to taking a banned substance, suggesting the entire situation was “made up.”

“I think IOC has made things up here,” Marts said, per “It sucks.”

Marts wasn’t done there.

“I’m furious that it can happen in this damned way,” he said, per Swedish news outlets TT/SVT. “It’s inconceivable that it can happen. We’re all angry that we weren’t able to compete with a full squad.”

Backstrom, 26, was apparently banned due to an issue with allergy medicine he’s been taking daily for the last seven years — including at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver — according to a Swedish team doctor. The Capitals center had been a vital contributor leading up to the gold medal game, notching four assists through five games while averaging over 18 minutes per night. What’s more, Backstrom’s presence was crucial as Sweden had lost a pair of centers — Henrik Zetterberg, who was lost during the tournament, and Henrik Sedin, who was removed from the team just prior to the start of the Games.

Marts told reporters he only found out about the Backstrom ruling two hours prior to puck drop, and was angry about the timing, noting that Backstrom was tested Friday but notified of the results on Sunday.

As such, there was little surprise Marts was so emotional about losing Backstrom, acknowledging it did have an impact on his team.

“Backstrom, what happened with him, that affected us,” he said. “It’s only human beings sitting in there.”

WATCH LIVE: Game 3 of Sharks – Predators, Stars – Blues

Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) skates with the puck against St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) during the first period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinals, Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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The Nashville Predators hope to get back in their series now that the San Jose Sharks are visiting “Smashville.” Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars and Blues jostle for a 2-1 lead in St. Louis.

You can keep up with Game 3 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders (which is in progress) right here and on NBCSN.

Game 3 of Sharks – Predators is on USA Network and can be streamed via the link below.


Finally, Game 3 of Stars – Blues airs on NBCSN. Keep an eye out for notes if there’s overlap with Bolts – Isles (which would bump it temporarily to NHL Network), but either way, you can stream the action below.


Video: Jonathan Drouin shaken up by huge Thomas Hickey hit


Jonathan Drouin‘s strong playoff play has been a big story for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but his health is in question after taking a huge hit on Tuesday.

As you can see from the video above, Drouin was shaken up by an enormous check from New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey. It’s believed that Drouin went to “The Quiet Room” to see if he suffered a concussion; PHT will pass along whatever information becomes available.

(NHL teams aren’t exactly forthcoming with this information.)

The Islanders actually ended up with a power play from the fallout, as Hickey’s hit didn’t earn a penalty. The general reaction is that it wasn’t a dirty hit, yet some might disagree with that sentiment.

Update: Drouin didn’t come out during the beginning of the third period. He did, however, return midway through the final frame.

2016 Foundation Player Award finalists: Giordano, Martin, Subban

Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban walks away after taking with reporters during an end of season availability at the team training facility Monday, April 11, 2016 in Brossard, Quebec. None of the seven Canadian NHL teams was good enough this season to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs, a dismal milestone in the home of modern hockey and the first time it has happened since the 1969-70 season. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

The NHL named the three finalists for the 2016 Foundation Player Award on Tuesday: Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano, New York Islanders forward Matt Martin and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.

The awarded is handed to “an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community.”

The winner gets to hand $25K to the charity of his choice.

Video: Things get heated before Lightning – Islanders Game 3

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You know a playoff series is starting to rev up when teams can’t even peacefully share an ice surface during warm-ups.

The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to draw a red line in the sand between each other before Game 3, with the two sides exchanging a couple bumps and mean looks.

It’s … honestly a pretty amusing spectacle.

You can watch it all in the video above. Perhaps this GIF will fuel a meme or two:

Brian Boyle downplayed the exchange(s):