Author: Joe Yerdon

Devils’ AHL coach says Larsson is ‘his own worst enemy sometimes’


New Jersey Devils prospect defenseman Adam Larsson has had a rough season. He’s played 20 games for New Jersey and has been playing for the minor league affiliate in Albany since Jan. 9.

So what’s wrong with the 21-year-old 2011 fourth overall pick? Randy Miller from The Star-Ledger shares the story.

“I think Adam’s his own worst enemy sometimes,” Albany coach Rick Kowalsky said. “He wants to be an impact, and sometimes he wants to make an impact every shift. He doesn’t have to make a play that leads to a scoring chance. Sometimes he’s got to make the simple play, and he’s done that at times, but he has a tendency to get away from it.”

Larsson admits he’s trying hard but he wants to make it with the Devils and not somewhere else. He’s in the final year of his entry-level deal and not exactly in line for a big raise.

Defensemen are always a bit slower to develop, but after his rookie season in which he played 65 games and had a taste of success during the playoffs, expectations shot through the roof. For now, he’ll continue to work on his game in Albany while other young defensemen join the battle to stick in the NHL.

Putin forgives referees, thought Russia would beat U.S. ‘by a big margin’

Vladimir Putin

In case you didn’t know, Russian president Vladimir Putin is a big time hockey fan. He’s also all-in on seeing his country come away with the gold medal and beating anyone and everyone along the way to do it.

That’s what made the United States’ 3-2 shootout win against Russia all the more difficult to handle for Putin. From the disallowed goal in the third period to seeing T.J. Oshie score on four out of six shootout attempts to seal the victory, he’d have a lot to gripe about if he wanted to.

But he won’t do that as RSport out of Russia shares.

“Even referees sometimes makes mistakes, here I wouldn’t tar anybody with any brush, but I thought that we would win by a big margin,” Putin said. “You and I shouldn’t forget that sport isn’t only about skill but also about the athletes’ courage, and even a good slice of luck.”

 The only thing better than a good slice of luck is a good slice of pie.

It’s likely a relief for referee Brad Meier that Putin said he wouldn’t “tar anybody” because of a bad call. Meier was the official who caught Jonathan Quick’s net being off the moorings thus disallowing what would’ve been Fedor Tyutin’s go-ahead goal.

Of course, as Puck Daddy shares, Russian fans aren’t as forgiving to Meier as their president is.

Larionov on Olympics: ‘Hockey is the main event’

Igor Larionov

We’re focused on hockey here, but the Winter Olympics have more than just that going on for it. With the number of other big sports and events, sometimes we get a little caught up in our own thing, but Hockey Hall of Famer and Russian legend Igor Larionov says it begins and ends with hockey in Sochi.

In an interview with SophieCo in Russia, Larionov says the rest of the events in the Olympics can’t hold a candle to ice hockey.

“I mean, the hockey is the main event – I don’t care what anybody says about figure skating and all in that respect, and other sports, but hockey – because you got so many superstars coming to play and they play against each other, so it’s not every time you can see top teams from around the world playing. It’s like a World Cup of soccer. But this is NHL players coming and playing especially at Olympics, and for the players to come and play and to be proud for their country, so I think it’s kind of historic event for the players because of that.”

The Olympics always create stars in other sports. Such is the case in figure skating, bobsled, and skiing, but the superstars come into hockey prepackaged.

Fans of other sports might call Larionov biased since he comes from, and is a player agent in, hockey but it’s not unlike NBA talent in basketball in the Summer Olympics.

That said, having NHL players in Olympic hockey in Russia turns the players into rock stars of sorts given how hockey-mad the country is. That kind of status causes those involved in some of those other sports, as Puck Daddy shares, to sound off in a fit of jealousy.