Will Sunday present a stamp-worthy moment? Maybe, maybe not … but either way, the Canadian and Swedish men’s hockey teams will face off in a gold-medal game. Coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. ET:
Men’s gold-medal game, Canada-Sweden, 6:30 a.m. ET — CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Both nations are coming off big wins against significant rivals, as Canada shut out the U.S. 1-0 while Sweden edged Finland 2-1.
The two nations haven’t met in a men’s gold medal game in a while, with the last one coming almost exactly 20 years ago. Sweden won on the strength of Peter Forsberg’s iconic goal.
There’s plenty of talent on the ice, including in net, as rising star Carey Price backstops Canada while Sweden features 2006 gold medalist Henrik Lundqvist as their goalie. Beyond some elite forwards, the two teams really stand out from the pack with outstanding defensive talent, ranging stylistically from Canada’s Shea Weber to Sweden’s Erik Karlsson.
Sweden aims for its third consecutive gold on the larger Olympic ice surface while Canada is going for a rare top finish outside of the comfort zone of North American ice. They are also going for the first repeat gold since the Soviet Union/Unified Team won three in a row from 1984 to 1988 to 1992.
This is a rematch of one of the most memorable Olympic hockey finals ever, the epic 1994 shootout game in Lillehammer, Norway. The game 20 years ago was the final Olympic men’s hockey tilt before NHL players arrived in 1998. Could this year’s affair be the last of the NHL era?
Sweden is going for its third straight Olympic title on European ice. Canada is going for its first gold outside North America since 1952 in Oslo. And to be the first nation to repeat as Olympic champion since the Soviet Union/Unified Team won three straight golds from 1984 through 1992.
Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.
“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”
Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.
The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
In a survey of 29 beat writers, the Anaheim Ducks emerged as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you’ll recall, they have that in common with the EA Sports simulation. (Boston Globe)
Alex Ovechkin would pick an Olympic hit against Jaromir Jagr as the biggest check of his life. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Colorado:
The Montreal Canadiens seem committed to using Alex Galchenyuk as a center throughout the 2015-16 campaign. (The Canadian Press)
The NHL recently enlisted its players to read off some not so mean tweets. (USA Today)
Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about the Sabres in Thursday’s press conference. (NHL.com)
Frederik Andersen may have the Anaheim Ducks’ starting job for now, but with John Gibson still a big part of their plans, Andersen has to keep proving himself. (Orange County Register)