Tag: Teemu Selanne


‘What a great ending’: Selanne caps off Olympic career in style


Teemu Selanne has been so great for so long, it’s hard to believe his career’s coming to an end. Heck, many don’t believe it’ll happen, even though he’s been very direct about his intentions.

So it’s appropriate the international phase of his career had a storybook ending, as Selanne scored two goals in his final Olympic contest — Saturday’s 5-0 win over the U.S. in the bronze medal game — making him the oldest medal winner in men’s Olympic hockey history.

“What a great ending,” Selanne said, per the Toronto Star. “Twenty-six years ago I played my first national team game. I’ve been carrying this jersey with a lot of pride and love.”

Since the NHL started sending its players to the Olympics in 1998, Finland has led the pack with four medals and Selanne is a big part of the reason why. Just as he has excelled on the NHL stage, Selanne has consistently found a way to elevate his game.

He has 24 goals and 43 points in 37 Olympic contests. He tied the Olympic lead in scoring twice (1998 and 2006) and goals twice (1992 and 2006) and, as noted by Sportsnet’s John Shannon, has been a pretty consistent scoring threat (save a slump in Vancouver):

Despite being 43 and having his role with the Anaheim Ducks being significantly diminished, Selanne played a critical role in Finland’s success from start to finish on Sochi. He had six points in six games and, for the first time, agreed to lead the Finns while serving as captain.

“Usually I’m [alternate] captain and a lot of times if they have asked if I want to be captain, I don’t really need a letter to be a leader,” Selanne explained to NHL.com before the tournament started. “A lot of times it’s better if somebody else going to be [captain]. But now it’s my last one, this time I felt it’s time to be captain and I’m very honored.”

Selanne wanted to make the most of his last trip to the Olympics as a player. As has been the case so many times before, he succeeded.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said, per AP. “What a great ending.”

U.S. players ’embarrassed’ after blowout loss

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 22: Zach Parise #9 of the United States looks on in the third period against Finland during the Men's Ice Hockey Bronze Medal Game on Day 15 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 22, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

After losing 1-0 against Canada, the Americans still wanted to bring at least something back home with them. They just simply couldn’t.

Finland handed them a crushing 5-0 loss in the bronze medal game and left the U.S. players in no mood to sugarcoat things after an Olympics that started with such promise and ended so badly.

“I’m not proud at all right now,” American forward Max Pacioretty told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Dejan Kovacevic. “I don’t think anyone is. We were playing for a medal and didn’t show up.”

That’s a sentiment his teammates certainly seem to agree with.

“Disappointed,” Parise said. “A little embarrassing with what was on the line for is the last two days and not play well.”

The game certainly didn’t start terribly for the Americans. They out-shot Finland in the first period, but Parise confessed that they started to get frustrated after Teemu Selanne and Jussi Jokinen opened the contest up with goals just 11 seconds apart. As the game progressed and the United States’ chances of winning a medal diminished, that frustration only built until the team collapsed entirely.

There’s plenty of blame to go around, but obviously you can’t win if you don’t score. America had 20 goals in their first four Olympic games before being shutout of back-to-back contests. Parise’s assessment of why they dried up offensively was blunt.

“We played better teams,” Parise told Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski.

The sting from this end will linger for a while. Perhaps it’s good that the United States has four years before it needs to bounce back.


Just Finn, baby: Finland medals again, routs U.S. for bronze

Just Finn, baby: Finland medals again, routs U.S. for bronze


All Finland does at Olympic hockey tournaments is win medals.

On Saturday, the Finns became the first country to medal four times since NHLers began participating 16 years ago, trouncing the Americans 5-0 at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in the bronze medal game.

After a scoreless opening period, Finland broke out early in the second when Teemu Selanne scored the first of his two goals just 1:27 into the frame. Jussi Jokinen scored 11 seconds later to give the Finns a 2-0 lead, and they broke the game wide open in the third period with three goals in a seven-minute span from Jusso Hietanen, Selanne (his fourth of the tournament) and Olli Maatta.

Tuukka Rask, back in goal after missing Saturday’s semifinal loss to Sweden with illness, stopped all 27 shots faced for his first shutout of these Olympics.

As mentioned above, the win caps off a remarkable 16-year stretch for the Finns: bronze at Nagano ’98, silver at Turin ’06, bronze at Vancouver ’10 and bronze once again in Sochi. The Finnish performance at this tournament was very impressive, especially considering the team was ravaged by injury — Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu and Tampa Bay’s Valtteri Filppula were ruled out by injury just prior to the start of the Games, and Florida rookie Aleksander Barkov was shelved during the group stage following a knee ailment. Finland’s only two losses in this tournament came to the teams playing for gold, too — they lost 2-1 in OT to Canada in the group stage, and 2-1 to the Swedes in Friday’s semifinal.

While the Finns have much to be proud of, Saturday was a massive disappointment for the Americans.

After losing 1-0 to Canada in the semis on Friday, head coach Dan Bylsma said the goal was to come home with a bronze medal. But the U.S. never got its game on track against the Finns, exhibited by Patrick Kane missing a pair of penalty shots. The Americans also failed to score for the second game in a row, a startling reversal of fortune given they scored 20 goals over their first four games of the tournament, often looking like a dynamic offensive force.

U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick was on the hook for all five Finnish goals, making 24 saves in the loss.

Kane misses pair of penalty shots against Finland


Patrick Kane’s had a tough time going one-on-one with goalies this year, and that continued on Saturday.

Kane missed not one, but two penalty shots against Finland in the bronze medal game at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, the second coming early in the middle period with Finland holding a 2-0 lead. This comes during an NHL campaign when Kane has struggled in the shootout, going an uncharacteristic 1-for-11 on the year, and missed his only penalty shot (making him 0-for-3 in his career.)

Kane’s first attempt on Saturday came with just under six minutes to go in the first period, when Finnish defenseman Kimmo Timonen shot part of a broken stick towards Kane, knocking the puck off Kane’s stick in the process. The Chicago sniper couldn’t convert the penalty shot, however, putting his backhand wide of Finnish goalie Tuukka Rask.

At the 6:24 mark of the second period, Kane got his chance for redemption.

Ex-Leafs forward Leo Komarov slashed at Kane’s stick on a breakaway, shattering the lumber for Kane’s second opportunity of the game. But much like the first, No. 88’s shot didn’t find the back of the net — Kane rang a wrister off the post, a tough result given the Americans were in dire need of a goal having conceded a pair to the Finns to begin the period.

Teemu Selanne scored at the 1:27 mark of the second frame, and Jussi Jokinen made it 2-0 just 11 seconds later. Kane, meanwhile, remains goalless in Sochi.

WATCH LIVE: United States – Finland for men’s hockey bronze

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men

The United States and Finland are just coming off losses to big rivals, missing out on a chance at the gold-medal game in men’s ice hockey. They won’t have much time to lick their wounds, as they face each other for a spot on the podium on Saturday.

MEN’S HOCKEY – Bronze medal game

United States vs. Finland: 10 a.m. ET (NBCSN) – CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Both teams enjoyed their moments of offensive explosiveness in this tournament, yet when they met elite goalies in Sweden’s Henrik Lundqvist and Canada’s Carey Price, they hit a brick wall. Canada blanked the United States 1-0 while the Swedes locked down the Finns 2-1 in Friday semifinal games.

Whether it’s Kari Lehtonen or Tuukka Rask, Finland’s expected to have a strong goalie in net. In the case of Saturday, Rask appears healthy enough to play. The U.S. enjoyed some fantastic goaltending from Jonathan Quick in this tournament, so it’s quite possible that this could be another tight game.

Again, though, these two teams have also shown the ability to break things wide open … so we’ll just have to see. Phil Kessel has been a standout for the U.S. while Teemu Selanne is likely entering his final international game to wrap up his sixth Olympics.

The U.S. is going for its second bronze medal and 12th Olympic men’s hockey medal overall. Finland is shooting for a fourth bronze, which would give them six.