Olympic honor a ‘surreal’ opportunity for Ryan Donato, Troy Terry


NEW YORK – Troy Terry found out during his college break. Ryan Donato received the call last week. Less than a year ago, both had no reason to believe that the person at the other end of the line would be telling them they were Olympians, but thanks to the NHL they’ll be representing their country in PyeongChang at the 2018 Olympics.

“They were special calls. Those were calls that I won’t forget,” said U.S. head coach Tony Granato. “Where they are in their careers to find out they have an opportunity to represent their country, every single one of them was the same reaction.”

There was shock. There was disbelief. There was joy. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. Once the happiness died down, a secret now needed to be held close to the vest until USA Hockey made the official roster announcement during the Winter Classic at Citi Field. Immediate family members knew, but they weren’t going to spill the beans to friends.

[Full 2018 Olympic hockey schedule]

“I didn’t want to hint anything, but I just said there’s a chance, we’ll see,” said Harvard junior Ryan Donato. “But now everybody knows and it’s really exciting.”

“It’s something that’s so exciting. It is hard to try and keep it in sometimes,” added Troy Terry, a junior at Denver.

Donato also has a family tie to representing his country on the international stage. His father, Ted, played for the U.S. at several World Championships, the World Junior Championship and the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville. He grew idolizing American hockey and has fond memories of his dad and Mike Modano wearing the red, white and blue.

Donato and Terry are getting this Olympic chance thanks to the NHL, who decided against sending its players last spring. Both weren’t even born the last time the league didn’t participate.

The realization they’ll be Olympians is still settling in.

“It is crazy. I think if you had told me this this time last year… no one knew this was coming,” Terry said. “Some people might be upset about the situation, but I’m thrilled that I get an opportunity and I’m excited to take it. It’s going to create an interesting dynamic at the tournament. It’s still pretty surreal … once we go, it’s going to be all business.”

“It’s very surreal,” said Donato. “Obviously, the timing is kind of crazy but it perfectly works. I’m at my junior year at Harvard so [I’m] at the peak of my college career … I didn’t really want to focus too much on it, to be honest, but now that it’s actually here and coming closer it’s very exciting.”

Terry made his mark on the international stage a year ago while helping the U.S. to gold at the World Junior Championship. His shootout heroics helped the Americans beat Canada in the final.

Four years ago in Sochi we had the T.J. Oshie show against Russia. Is Terry up for the challenge should his shootout skills be required in the tournament?

“I don’t know about that. Hopefully we don’t have to go there. I don’t know if I could take it again,” he joked.

“Anytime you’re on an international stage anything can happen. I’m exciting to just have another opportunity to represent [the U.S.]. If it comes to that situation, I’ll do my best. I can’t let everyone down now at this point. I’ll start practicing.”


Sean Leahy is a writer forPro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line atphtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

The Buzzer: Spezza bounces back after healthy scratch; another injury for Predators

Leave a comment

Player Of The Night: Jason Spezza, Dallas Stars

On Monday night the Dallas Star made veteran forward Jason Spezza a healthy scratch as he was mired in a lengthy goal-scoring drought. The Stars wanted to see more from him, and they knew he could provide more.

When he stepped back into the lineup on Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings he did exactly that by scoring a pair of goals in the Stars’ 4-2 win.

Even though Spezza had been struggling to put points on the board he was still doing an excellent job when it came to driving possession and generating shots, as well as the fact the team was outscoring its opponents when he was on the ice. His ice-time has been cut significantly this season, but he was doing enough to suggest that it was only a matter of time until he got back into the goal column.

He snapped out of it in a big way on Tuesday.

Another big injury for Nashville

The Nashville Predators are already playing without two of their top forwards with Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson sidelined.

They lost another one on Tuesday night in their 1-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights when Ryan Johanson had to leave the game after taking a high hit from William Carrier.

Johanson left the game and did not return. There was no penalty called on the play.

Predators coach Peter Laviolette had no update on Johansen after the game and said they were given an explanation that it was a clean hit.

The Predators ended up winning the game 1-0 thanks to a goal from Kevin Fiala and 43 saves from Jusse Saros.

Highlight Of The Night

Not much in the way of highlight reel plays tonight, but here is a big goal from Vince Dunn to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Factoid Of The Night

A big milestone for New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist as he picks up his 20th win of the season.


New Jersey Devils 4, New York Islanders 1

New York Rangers 5, Philadelphia Flyers 1

Dallas Stars 4, Detroit Red Wings 2

St. Louis Blues 2, Toronto Maple Leafs 1

Nashville Predators 1, Vegas Golden Knights 0

San Jose Sharks 3, Arizona Coyotes 2

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Report: Blackhawks concerned Crawford could miss remainder of season


Here is some less than encouraging news for the Chicago Blackhawks.

According to a report from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun Times on Tuesday night, there is some growing concern within the Blackhawks organization that starting goaltender Corey Crawford could miss the remainder of the season due to experiencing vertigo-like symptoms for the second time in his career.

Crawford has been sidelined since before Christmas due to an upper-body injury, but the team has been quiet on specifics other than to say publicly that they expect him to return this season.

Over the past few years Crawford has become one of the NHL’s top goalies and when he has been on the ice this season has been absolutely stellar for the Blackhawks. Given the current state of their defense and the rate that they give up shots he has become one of the team’s most important players and the one that seems to drive their success more than any other.

[Related: Corey Crawford has become the Blackhawks’ most important player]

In his absence the team has leaned on Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass. Both have played about as well as could have been expected, but they aren’t Crawford and there is a noticeable drop in play at the position when he is not in there.

In 26 games this season Crawford is 16-9-2 with a .929 save percentage.

As of Tuesday night the Blackhawks are on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture, sitting three points back of the Minnesota Wild. They also have the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche sitting between them.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Rick Nash snaps out of slump, powers Rangers to huge win

1 Comment

The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers are two of the teams in the middle of the free-for-all that is the Eastern Conference playoff race that had five teams separated by just three points heading into Tuesday night.

Both teams had been rolling in opposite directions over the past week with the Flyers having won four in a row and five of their past six, while the Rangers were riding a three-game losing skid and had lost four out of five.

Their past two losses coming out of the bye week were especially ugly, losing to the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins (two other teams they are competing with) by a combined score of 12-4.

Both the Rangers’ and Flyers’ streaks came to an end in their game on Tuesday with the Rangers picking up a huge 5-1 win.

Rick Nash was the big star for the Rangers on Tuesday with a pair of goals, including a breakaway goal in the first period to tie the game at one after the Rangers gave up an early goal. It was a big performance for Nash because he had been mired in a brutal slump that had seen him go 12 consecutive games without a goal. He also had just one assist during that stretch. That slump has contributed to a down year offensively that has him on track for one of the least productive seasons of his career.

But he came through in a big way on Tuesday to help give the Rangers two huge points and move them three points ahead of the Flyers. The Flyers still have one game in hand while the two teams will still play three more games the rest of the season.

The Rangers’ win on Tuesday, combined with the Islanders’ 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils, moves the Rangers back into the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference for the time being.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Predators place forward Viktor Arvidsson on injured reserve

1 Comment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Nashville Predators have placed forward Viktor Arvidsson on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and recalled forward Frederick Gaudreau from the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals.

The Predators made the move Tuesday afternoon.

Arvidsson was helped off the ice Monday during practice, and The Tennessean reports he tested himself during Tuesday morning’s skate.

The forward ranks third on the Predators with 13 goals and fourth with 27 points. The Predators already have Filip Forsberg on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

Gaudreau has played 18 games with the Predators with three assists. He had 14 points in 21 games with the Admirals this season.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey