The goaltending match-up is set for Saturday’s game between the United States and Russia.
Russia announced Sergei Bobrovsky would get the start against Team USA (7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN). That pits him against Jonathan Quick for the United States in what is shaping up to be the marquee game of the opening round of the Olympic tournament.
Semyon Varlamov earned a 5-2 win against Slovenia on Thursday for the Russians, but isn’t the clear top man in net. Bobrovsky, the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner, will have his opportunity to stake a claim on the starting job against the U.S. Should he play well, he’ll have a strong case built to stay in goal the rest of the way.
The last time Bobrovsky started a game for Russia was in the 2008 World Junior Championships.
A day after Buffalo Sabres forward Linus Omark didn’t report for his minor league assignment in Rochester, there’s an update as to where he would report instead.
John Vogl of The Buffalo News shares (via a Swedish newspaper) that Omark is trying to work out a deal to play for Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League. He’s played for Lulea in the past and was last there during the 2008-09 season, two years before he came to North America to join the Edmonton Oilers.
Omark was waived by the Sabres last week and was not claimed. The team assigned him to the AHL, but that apparently didn’t fit with his desires to stay in the NHL. He had two assists in 13 games with the Sabres this season after being acquired in a trade from the Oilers in December.
When the United States faces Russia on Saturday (7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN), it’s shaping up to be the most-anticipated game of the opening round.
For the Americans, they know they’re not just going up against Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, and the rest of the team but also the crowd as they told Yahoo! Sports.
“Obviously this will be a lot like playing Canada in Vancouver with the hostile atmosphere,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said.
Team USA knows all about what that was like after facing Canada twice in 2010 in Vancouver. They’ll have to recreate some of that success they had if they want to send the Russian fans home disappointed.
“We’re going to play a Russian team that’s at home. They’ve got their home country cheering them on. They’re going to need no motivation for sure,” forward David Backes said. “[They have] a skill level on that team that’s probably the highest in this tournament so we’re going to have to work our butts off, do the little things, and play our blue collar hockey in order to win that game.”