2018 Olympic Hockey Tournament

scotian1

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
14,558
Kingston, Nova Scotia
Well this years tournament seems like a difficult one to handicap with so many unknowns or relatively unknowns as participants. I know the Canadian team has participated in several tournaments, has the American team had any games as of yet?
Here is the Canadian roster.:
https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/team-canada/men/olympics/2018/2018-men-olympic-hockey-team
Over half of the Canadian roster are currently playing in the KHL.
Bruin fans will be familiar with one of the Canadian forwards; Chris Kelly.
Here is a link to the U.S. roster:
http://teamusa.usahockey.com/news_article/show/871007?referrer_id=2389102
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
17,322
Rene Bourque and Maxim Lapierre on the team and Scott Walker on the coaching staff? Couldn't be rooting harder against them.

I do hope that Kelly scores all their goals.
 

MiracleOfO2704

not AWOL
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
5,986
The Island
No one else has finalized their roster as of yet. I’d have to imagine that the “Russian Athletes”team has to be heavy favourites, since they’re only lose a handful of their better players, and will bring Kovalchuk, Datsyuk, Shipashov, etc.

God, I can’t believe I’ll be told to cheer for Maxim Lapierre...
 

TheRealness

Don't make him go all Lucic on your ash
SoSH Member
Feb 8, 2006
10,855
The Dirty Shire
Hopefully he is on one of the top 2 lines, and PP units. rather than say some AHL lifer
I tweeted at Kevin Allen from USA Today about it asking if Donato would have a top 6 role, and this was his reply (I'm on my iPad and suck at embedding on this):

Yes. USA general manager Jim Johannson and coach Tony Granato also said they expect offense from college players such as Troy Terry and Ryan Donato. USA will score by committee, but these guys will be key members of the committee. #USA #Olympics
 

ConigliarosPotential

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
FYI, I discussed my experience of trying to communicate the newly announced Canadian Olympic hockey roster during my KHL commentary broadcast in the Media Forum. I'm finding it pretty crazy that as someone who has been commentating on the Champions Hockey League for four seasons and started commentating an average of 2-3 KHL games per week this season, I've had a direct line of sight to the European leagues from which probably 80-90% of the Olympic participants will be drawn...and this happens to be the year when I'm getting my first Olympic hockey assignment. I certainly wouldn't call myself an expert on European hockey, but suspect I'm more directly familiar with it than anyone who is going to be covering the tournament for NBC or the CBC, and possibly more than all but one or two English-speaking commentators based in Europe, so I'm really looking forward to getting involved from a position of relative strength. So if anyone has any questions, feel free to give me a shout.
I'm enjoying the hodge podge rosters, there's something endearing about seeing "Oh yeah, that guy!" next to some AHL lifer next to some NCAA prospect.
FWIW, there are only three AHL players on the Canadian roster, and only three AHL players and four NCAA players on the American roster. I think all the rosters are being updated on Wikipedia as they're finalized, if you want a ready reference point:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_hockey_at_the_2018_Winter_Olympics_–_Men's_team_rosters
 

TheRealness

Don't make him go all Lucic on your ash
SoSH Member
Feb 8, 2006
10,855
The Dirty Shire
FYI, I discussed my experience of trying to communicate the newly announced Canadian Olympic hockey roster during my KHL commentary broadcast in the Media Forum. I'm finding it pretty crazy that as someone who has been commentating on the Champions Hockey League for four seasons and started commentating an average of 2-3 KHL games per week this season, I've had a direct line of sight to the European leagues from which probably 80-90% of the Olympic participants will be drawn...and this happens to be the year when I'm getting my first Olympic hockey assignment. I certainly wouldn't call myself an expert on European hockey, but suspect I'm more directly familiar with it than anyone who is going to be covering the tournament for NBC or the CBC, and possibly more than all but one or two English-speaking commentators based in Europe, so I'm really looking forward to getting involved from a position of relative strength. So if anyone has any questions, feel free to give me a shout.

FWIW, there are only three AHL players on the Canadian roster, and only three AHL players and four NCAA players on the American roster. I think all the rosters are being updated on Wikipedia as they're finalized, if you want a ready reference point:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_hockey_at_the_2018_Winter_Olympics_–_Men's_team_rosters
So knowing most of the players, do you have a country that you think should be th favorite? I think at first blush I put the Russians as favorites, but they can be very inconsistent.

As for the Americans, do you have anyone from the Euro leagues that we should look out for? And do you think they are serious gold medal contenders?
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
21,970
306, row 14
From looking at some mock rosters, I think it has to be the Russians. They are going to have the best top end talent. Datsyuk, Kovalchuk, Markov, Shipachyov, Tryamkin, Slavia Voynov, etc. Older I guess, but I don’t see any other team that can get anywhere close to matching that talent.
 

ConigliarosPotential

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
I think Russia should be favored, and the bookies would seem to agree: for example, William Hill has them at 7/4, with Canada second at 3/1, Sweden third at 7/2, and everyone else 8/1 or higher (USA sixth favorite at 14/1). Russia has the advantage of having by far the most players in the best non-NHL league in the world, and having a tight-knit national team setup. The Americans and Canadians who play in the KHL are almost exclusively players who couldn't make the grade in the NHL and have given up hope of doing so, but many really good Russians in the KHL are young and/or haven't yet wanted to go to North America (e.g., CSKA Moscow's Kirill Kaprizov, a 5th round Minnesota draft pick in 2015 who is averaging a point a game in the KHL at age 20) or have returned from the NHL and still have plenty left in the tank (e.g., Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Andrei Markov; Markov took a big pay cut to leave Montreal for Kazan in part because he wanted to be available for Olympic selection). At the recent Channel One Cup warmup tournament in Moscow in December, Russia picked a squad in which all but two players were from SKA St. Petersburg or CSKA Moscow, the two clubs that are by far and away the best two in the KHL, and that sort of continuity could really benefit them. Think of how the Spanish national soccer team is largely made of players from Real Madrid and Barcelona, then lose the crippling rivalry between those clubs, and that's what you'd have with a team full of SKA and CSKA players.

For Team USA, goalie Ryan Zapolski - who plays for Jokerit in Finland, which is part of the KHL - is a really interesting story. Undrafted out of college, he played a few years in the ECHL, then made his way in 2013 to Lukko Rauma in the Finnish Liiga (the domestic league in which every Finnish club bar Jokerit plays) and became one of the Liiga's best goalies before moving to Jokerit in 2016. He leads the KHL in shutouts with 9 this season and has the fourth-best goals against average (1.61) and fifth-best save percentage (.937); at age 31, it might be too late for him to play in the NHL, but he's probably good enough to get a look in, and he'll be one of the best goalies in Korea next month. He should certainly start ahead of the other two goalies, David Leggio (who doesn't start every game for Red Bull Munich in the relatively weak German league, the DEL) and Brandon Maxwell (who plays for an unfancied team - Mlada Boleslav - in the Czech Extraliga). If the USA is to get into serious medal contention, it'll probably be on Zapolski's back.

Zapolski has two Jokerit teammates with him for Team USA - former BU and ex-NHL defenseman Matt Gilroy is solid, while forward Brian O'Neill (Yale '12) is undersized but decent. One other notable name outside of the KHL is Noah Welch, a former Harvard man who plays in defense for Vaxjo Lakers, which leads the Swedish SHL (probably the second-best league in Europe behind the KHL) by 15 clear points and is in the semifinals of the Champions Hockey League, the top pan-European competition. I am rather puzzled by some of the teams where many of the USA players are based, though: the KHL and the SHL are good leagues, and the Swiss NLA is decent (the standard of play is slightly lower but the wages are a bit higher), but some of the players even in the NLA like Bobby Sanguinetti at Lugano, Broc Little at Davos or Jim Slater at Fribourg-Gotteron are with lesser teams and don't particularly stand out from their teammates. And I don't for the life of me understand why a player in the German second division (DEL2), James Wisniewski, is worthy of selection (regardless of however many NHL games he may have played in the past). So definitely a few head-scratchers there.
 
Last edited:

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
12,614
Tuukka's refugee camp
Zapolski sounds a bit like Tim Thomas, even down to the Jokerit connection. Obviously he probably won’t turn out that way but the stories have parallels.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
12,614
Tuukka's refugee camp
I’m more looking to be entertained by the hockey. It will be fine but hard to get as into it when most of the guys playing are of the “Oh, I remember when he played for [insert team]...or was that someone else?” It will probably be more akin to slightly-more-than-casual hockey fans’ watching habits of Workd Juniors.

Regardless, fuck Canada and Russia.
 

Tokyo Sox

Baka Gaijin
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 16, 2006
3,847
There
Not sure if this is the right place for it but just watching a news report that says SK and DPRK will play as one team for women’s ice hockey.
 

Awesome Fossum

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,515
Austin, TX
Wow. I'm wouldn't have thought North Korea would have much of a program, but it looks like they lost to South Korea 3-0 last April in the DII World Championships, so it seems there's not too big a gap in quality.
 

ConigliarosPotential

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
I'm definitely surprised to see only three KHL clubs represented in the Russian roster - there are 15 players from SKA St. Petersburg, 8 from CSKA Moscow and 2 from Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Almost a tribute to the Soviet days where the government would stack all of the best players on a single team and then basically send that team to the Olympics. I'm sure it's no coincidence that the Russia coach (Oleg Znaroks) is also the SKA coach...

To be fair, SKA has been one of the best Russian regular-season clubs in the KHL era this season, and it makes sense to build a national team out of a solid core rather than like you would an all-star team. But I suspect the likes of Andrei Markov - who moved to Russia this season in large part to be available for the Olympics and is arguably the biggest name to have been excluded from the squad - will be bitterly disappointed. (Note: Russia's is apparently the youngest squad at the Olympics, with an average age of 27, and that probably helps in a compressed tournament format.)
 

kbourdon

lurker
Apr 26, 2016
21
Not going to lie the games aren't going to be as exciting in my eyes because that the NHL players cannot compete. Thanks Bettman.
 

ConigliarosPotential

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Women's Tournament starts on 2/10. USA plays its first game against Finland on the 11th. Plays Canada (sure-fire medal round preview) on 2/15.
And I'm commentating on that USA-Canada game on the 15th (on tape delay). :) There is no medal round as such, though - the top two teams in Group A (USA/CAN/FIN/OAR) go straight to the semifinals. So if USA or Canada gets upset along the way, they might not play each other after the Group Stage.
 

drleather2001

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
25,522
And I'm commentating on that USA-Canada game on the 15th (on tape delay). :) There is no medal round as such, though - the top two teams in Group A (USA/CAN/FIN/OAR) go straight to the semifinals. So if USA or Canada gets upset along the way, they might not play each other after the Group Stage.
I
 
Last edited:

drleather2001

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
25,522
I’m devastated.

Hey seriously: have a blast and congrats on an awesome gig!

Thanks for humoring me.
 

MiracleOfO2704

not AWOL
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
5,986
The Island
The unified Korean women's team are making their Olympic debut against Switzerland, and it's a bit rough. 6-0 in the second for Switzerland.
 

Ale Xander

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
22,191
USA Women begin prelims tonight v. Finland, 11:40 PM PT/2:40AM ET. Stream on NBColympics.com online, on tv probably later.
 

Ale Xander

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
22,191
By the way, does anyone know why the heck Megan Bozek, and even more so, Alex Carpenter, were cut from the team?
 

soxhop411

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2009
34,150
the NCAA even thinks this is an asinine rule.... Why have flags at the podium then?

GANGNEUNG, Korea – USA Hockey is working with the IOC to see whether goalies Nicole Hensley and Alex Rigsby really will have to remove the Statue of Liberty from their goalkeepers masks.

USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer said on Tuesday “discussions are ongoing” after the IOC said earlier the images would have to be removed.

The IOC views the image as a possible violation of its policy against political symbols. The rule from the IOC Guidelines Regarding Authorized Identifications: No item may feature the wording or lyrics from national anthems, motivational words, public/political messaging or slogans related to national identity.

Hensley’s Statue of Liberty image is on the left side of her mask, and Rigsby’s is on her chin. Neither goalie played in USA’s opening 3-1 win against Finland. Maddie Rooney was the starter.

Fischer said it the situation should be resolved before USA’s Tuesday game against Russia (7:10 a.m., ET, NBC Sports Network.)
https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/winter-olympics-2018/2018/02/12/ioc-orders-u-s-womens-hockey-goalies-remove-statue-liberty-helmets/331918002/
 

ZMart100

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 15, 2008
1,283
Looks like the IOC allowed it. The USA goalie in the game v. Russia is wearing a mask with the Statue of Liberty on it.