Marc-Edouard Vlasic

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Crosby disappointed in NHL’s Olympic decision

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The scorer of Canada’s golden goal won’t be headed back to the Olympics next year.

Needless to say, he’s not happy about it.

“It’s disappointing,” Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said on Tuesday, per Upgruv. “I think when you hear about the negotiations and things like that, I really thought something was going to be able to get worked out.

“Unfortunately, that’s not the case.”

It’s not surprising to learn of Crosby’s disappointment. He’s carved out a terrific international hockey resume and, given he turns 30 this summer, might not have many opportunities left to represent Canada. It’s a role he clearly cherishes. He’s captured two Olympic gold medals for his country — famously scoring the OT winner against the U.S. in 2010 in Vancouver, then captaining the Canadians to victory at the ’14 Games in Sochi.

Crosby was asked if he’d still consider going to the Olympics next year.

“I haven’t even really thought that far, to be honest,” he explained. “It’s a difficult situation to be in, no doubt, and I know some guys have been vocal about going regardless, but I’m not sure if I’m going to take it quite that far yet.”

Crosby isn’t the only player to voice his displeasure about the NHL’s decision not to participate in South Korea. San Jose’s Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist were two of the more prominent names to express displeasure on Twitter, while a number of other players told reporters they were also disappointed.

Related: NHLPA ‘extraordinarily disappointed’ with Olympic decision

 

 

Players absolutely roast NHL’s decision to skip 2018 Winter Olympics

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There are plenty of takes balancing the blame for the NHL skipping the 2018 Winter Olympics between the league, the players and the IOC. The NHLPA is having none of that.

Of all the responses to that decision – and this post will get to a few key players’ responses – the union really ripped into the NHL for a “shortsighted decision.”

Here’s the full release via the NHLPA, with a transcript below it:

“The players are extraordinarily disappointed and adamantly disagree with the NHL’s shortsighted decision to not continue our participation in the Olympics.

Any sort of inconvenience the Olympics may cause to next season’s schedule is a small price to pay compared to the opportunity to showcase our game and our greatest players on this enormous international stage.

A unique opportunity lies ahead with the 2018 and 2022 Olympics in Asia. The NHL may believe it is penalizing the IOC or the players, or both, for not giving the owners some meaningful concessions in order to induce them to agree to go to PyeongChang. Instead, this impedes the growth of our great game by walking away from an opportunity to reach sports fans worldwide.

Moreover, it is doing so after financial issues relating to insurance and transportation have been resolved with the IOC and IIHF. The league’s efforts to blame others for its decision is as unfortunate as the decision itself.

NHL players are patriotic and they do not take this lightly. A decent respect for the opinions of the players matters. This is the NHL’s decision, and its alone. It is very unfortunate for the game, the players and millions of loyal hockey fans.”

Phew. /wipes away sweat

There are already people responding to this release with fear of lockouts, which … (reaches for antacid).

Anyway, on a day of run-of-the-mill, PR-speak-soaked releases, it’s nice to see a little spirit in this response. Key players like Henrik Lundqvist, Carey Price and Marc-Edouard Vlasic have added to the discontented fray.

See Price’s thoughts in the video above this post’s headline, while Lundqvist was pretty straightforward:

… And Vlasic was a bit more symbolic:

Much has been made about players like Alex Ovechkin possibly participating anyway, while other players like Erik Karlsson may receive a “flat-no” for doing so.

Speaking of that …

Overall? Well, the NHL’s apparently putting discussions on hold:

So … kind of a mess, but at least this added some spice to something that’s been almost universally sour for fans (and, apparently, players?).

What is wrong with the Sharks?

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Not that long ago, the San Jose Sharks appeared well on their way to winning the Pacific Division title.

On March 14, they had a seven-point lead on both Anaheim and Calgary. Gone is that advantage. Not only have the Ducks surged back into the fight for the division, but the Sharks have lost five in a row and are having a terrible time of late creating any offense.

The Ducks defeated the Jets on Friday, moving into a tie with the Sharks at 91 points.

San Jose’s struggles hit a new low Friday with a 6-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, a team with its own flaws and nowhere close to a playoff position.

At one point midway through the second period, the Sharks trailed the Stars by four goals and had only six lousy shots on goal. During this skid, San Jose has scored only five goals.

Earlier this week, members of the Sharks said they weren’t terribly worried about this losing streak. The losses, they had said, were in close games, which is true: San Jose lost three consecutive one-goal games.

“When I look at the losing streak, we dominated some of those games for long periods and found ways to lose. You never like to lose, but I’m not that concerned,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “We’ve got to obviously end it. We’ve got to get healthy. I don’t see a bunch of symptoms of a team that can’t get this fixed pretty quickly.”

This, however, was a blowout. Adam Cracknell recorded the hat trick, pushing his single-season career-high in goals to 10.

The performance at one point forced DeBoer to take a timeout, in which he expressed his displeasure.

Making matters worse for the Sharks: Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic left the game early in the third period and was put under further evaluation. He didn’t return.

The Sharks visit the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Flu seems to be in the water for Sharks with Vlasic out this time

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The San Jose Sharks have already been struggling to score goals and win games. Now they’re also fighting off the sniffles.

Chris Tierney missed Monday’s game with the flu, now Marc-Edouard Vlasic is missing tonight’s contest against the Minnesota Wild (in progress, on NBCSN) with an illness.

CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz wonders if a bug is going around, and he’s likely not the only one.

With Jannik Hansen hurt – likely injured, at least? – the Sharks are trying to break their three-game skid with a group that’s far from 100 percent.

Yeo asked Blues ‘for a response’ in San Jose, and he got it

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) With points at a premium down the stretch of the NHL season, there’s no time to lament over lost opportunities. So the St. Louis Blues shook off the disappointment of a loss in Anaheim to end the treacherous California trip with two wins in three games.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals to give him 34 on the season and Zach Sanford added his first since joining St. Louis to help the Blues complete a regular season sweep of the San Jose Sharks with a 4-1 victory on Thursday night.

“We asked for a response and we got it,” coach Mike Yeo said. “Last night, it was a close game, but we weren’t really happy with the way things went. We knew that we left something on the table. So we asked for a response today and the guys more than delivered.”

The 2-1 loss in Anaheim on Wednesday is the only loss for St. Louis in the past seven games. But with an early goal by Scottie Upshall setting the tone and Carter Hutton providing a solid night in goal with 19 saves, the Blues remained two points behind Nashville for third place in the Central Division and four points up on Los Angeles for the second wild-card spot.

“You want to get on them early,” Upshall said. “You want to show them you’re here to play and you have your legs. We had a tough game last night, almost came back and tied it late. I like the way we came out and played. We held them to under 20 shots. We peppered their goalie from some good scoring chances. It was a game we needed.”

Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored the lone goal for the Sharks. Aaron Dell made 32 saves.

“I thought we looked tired out there, sluggish, we just didn’t have any jump up front,” forward Logan Couture said. “I think a lot of it was on us.”

San Jose still holds a seven-point lead in the Pacific Division over Anaheim but missed a chance to pass Minnesota for the second most points in the Western Conference with a third loss this season to St. Louis.

The Blues, despite playing the back end of a back-to-back and their third game in four nights, managed to keep the Sharks away from the net for most of the night and allowed only three shots from Sharks forwards in the first 54 minutes.

They took the lead for good when they scored the only goal in the second period. The play started innocently as Jay Bouwmeester took a shot from the boards that deflected behind the net. The puck hit off the backboards and went right to Sanford, who knocked it in for his first goal with St. Louis since being acquired last month from Washington in the trade that sent Kevin Shattenkirk to the Capitals.

“I saw it coming the whole way,” Sanford said. “I didn’t know if it was ever going to make it to me. It slowed up a little there at the end, but it ended up getting there in time.”

Tarasenko provided the insurance when he knocked in the rebound of Alexander Steen‘s shot off the crossbar on the power play midway through the third and added an empty-netter late in the period.

“We fought the puck a bit and got some bad bounces,” Dell said. “It kind of didn’t go our way. The whole game went that way for us with the bad bounces.”

The teams traded goals late in the first period with Upshall scoring after intercepting a pass from Brent Burns and San Jose tying it when Vlasic’s point pass deflected off defenseman Carl Gunnarsson‘s skate past Hutton.

NOTES: San Jose’s Micheal Haley fought with Ryan Reaves late in the second period. … Sharks D David Schlemko (lower-body injury) missed his seventh straight game but could return Saturday.

UP NEXT

Blues: Visit Arizona on Saturday.

Sharks: Host Anaheim on Saturday.