Olympic men’s hockey recaps, plus the latest on P.K. Subban, Matt Duchene, Tuukka Rask, Semyon Varlamov, Ondrej Pavelec and more.
NHL.COM: Erik Karlsson scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves as Sweden jumped out to a 4-0 lead and hung on for a 4-2 win over the Czech Republic. The Czechs decision not to even dress Ondrej Pavelec, their only NHL-calibre goaltender raised eyebrows as well as questions about Pavelec’s relationship with coach Alois Hadamczik.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Czechs are a team in transition with many of their key players now ageing, but the decision not to start Pavelec against a strong opponent like Sweden certainly raises questions over internal politics on the Czech club. It’s been suggested the Czech management and coaches favor KHL talent over NHL talent, especially when they passed over Jiri Hudler twice for their roster. I don’t know if that’s the case with Pavelec, or if they just simply lack confidence in his performance.
NHL.COM: Mikael Granlund scored twice as Finland thumped Austria 8-4. It was a costly victory for the Finns as captain Teemu Selanne left the game early with an apparent neck injury. Finnish coaches claim the injury isn’t serious. Michael Grabner tallied a hat trick for the Austrians.
NHL.COM: A last minute goal by Simon Moser lifted Switzerland to a 1-0 win over Latvia. Edgars Masalskis made 38 saves in a losing cause for Latvia.
SPORTSNET: P.K. Subban, Matt Duchene and Mike Smith are healthy scratches for Canada’s opening game today against Norway. Subban and Duchene will be in the lineup for Friday’s game against Austria.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I usually post Team Canada news in “Canadian Corner”, this was the only notable headline involving Canada’s Men’s team today.
NBC SPORTS: Joe Yerdon reports Derek Stepan, Justin Faulk and Jimmy Howard are healthy scratches for Team USA’s opening game against Slovakia. Yerdon also reports Semyon Varlamov will be Russia’s starting goalie in their opening game against Slovenia
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Young Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin won’t be dressed for Russia’s game against Slovenia.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis underwent successful knee surgery. He will miss the remainder of this season and the playoffs.