Author: Joe Yerdon

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men

Online oddsmaker makes Canada 2/1 favorite to beat Sweden


With just two days until the gold medal game between Canada and Sweden and only hours until the bronze medal game, that doesn’t leave much time for wondering what the odds are in each game.

Online oddsmaker has come through and, for entertainment’s sake, they’ve got the North American teams looking good to win against their Scandinavian opponents.

Bovada lists Canada as a 2/1 favorite to win gold against Sweden. The odds on the Swedes winning are a bit longer at 33/20.

Both teams head into the game on Sunday (7 a.m. ET Sunday on NBC) undefeated and both teams are coming off one-goal wins against rivals. Team Canada defeated Team USA 1-0 while Sweden beat Finland 2-1.

In the bronze medal game, Bovada lists Team USA as a 19/10 favorite, virtually 2/1, to beat Finland. The Finns, meanwhile, are 8/5 to beat the United States. Those two face off Saturday (10 a.m. ET on NBCSN) for the third-place hardware.

If betting on a team isn’t your thing, the over/under on number of total goals scored in each games is 4.5. With how goaltending has been all tournament, good luck betting the over.

Stamkos: ‘Maybe I wasn’t as far along as I thought’

Steven Stamkos
1 Comment

Steven Stamkos’ return from a broken leg has been a roller coaster of emotions to witness.

From seeing him walking without crutches not long after undergoing surgery to watching him rejoin his Tampa Bay Lightning teammates in January only to see his hopes of playing in the Olympics dashed because of a setback, it’s been a whirlwind.

Now that the Lightning are back on the ice practicing as the Olympic break winds down, things are much better and he understands that he  may have moved too quickly to get back as Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times shares.

“It did feel good, but it feels even better now,” Stamkos said of his leg. “Maybe I wasn’t as far along as I thought, knowing how much better it has felt now that I have kept working on it and taking a couple of days off. It’s just going to continually get better, and that’s positive knowing it’s doing that.”

Stamkos will have an X-ray done on Monday and could be ready to play against Nashville on Feb. 27. Considering he broke his leg against Boston back in November, even getting back this soon is something else.

The Lightning are seven points back of the Bruins for first in the Atlantic Division and have Montreal and Toronto breathing down their necks one point behind. Getting their superstar forward back should provide a nice lift, even with Valtteri Filppula banged up.

Gretzky supports NHL players in the Olympics

Wayne Gretzky

One of the hottest debates we’ll have for the next four years will be whether or not NHL players should return to the Olympics in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

One guy who supports keeping NHL players in the Olympics, however, is none other than Wayne Gretzky.

Gretzky spoke with Rob Pizzo on Hockey Night in Canada radio Friday afternoon and was asked his thoughts about whether or not NHL players should go back to the Olympics. The Great One is all in favor of it.

“When we grew up as kids we dreamed of winning the Stanley Cup. That was a goal that if you made the NHL you couldn’t play in the Olympic Games,” Gretzky said.

“So if I had a vote, I would vote to go because I love the Olympic Games and I think there’s no bigger honor, there’s no bigger thrill than representing your country and being part of Team Canada. It’s something you can’t even describe how special of a feeling it is to know that you get to put that red and white jersey on.”

Gretzky was a member of Team Canada’s 2002 gold medal-winning team in Salt Lake City and was also part of the 1998 team in Nagano. While he’s one major figure putting his support behind keeping NHL players in the Olympics, logistics of sending everyone to Korea could throw a wrench in things.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman refused to address whether or not they’ll participate in the 2018 Games and it’s not likely to be decided right up until the Games themselves. One thing that will the possibility alive, however, would be the players speaking up and saying they want to do it.