The latest on Alexander Ovechkin, Thomas Vanek, Steven Stamkos, Marian Gaborik, Johan Franzen, Mikki Koivu and many more as NHL teams return to practice.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun breaks down the reasons behind the Russians elimination from Olympic men’s hockey by Finland.
WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals hope Olympic disappointment won’t adversely affect Alexander Ovechkin’s performance.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve said for weeks the Russians lacked the depth on defense and on their third and fourth lines to win gold in Sochi. Russia’s elimination confirmed my opinion. Finland’s strong team play was critical in their victory over Russia. The Finns march on to meet Sweden in tomorrow’s semifinal. As for Ovechkin, he’ll probably be thrilled to return to NHL action and put the Olympics behind him.
NHL.COM: A solid effort by Team USA powered them to a 5-2 victory over the Czech Republic. The Americans will face arch-rival Canada in the semifinal tomorrow.
TORONTO STAR: Ten things to know about Latvian goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis, who nearly carried his club to an upset over Canada.
NBC SPORTS: Too much partying by the Austrians may have played a role in their 4-0 loss to Slovenia.
NOTE: News on Canada’s Men’s Olympic team will appear in “Canadian Corner”.
NBC SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos (broken leg) could return to the lineup during their road trip following the Olympics.
CBS SPORTS: Marian Gaborik (broken collarbone) is cleared for contact as he nears his return to the Columbus Blue Jackets lineup.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: NY Rangers scorer Mats Zuccarello suffered a non-displaced fracture to his left hand. It remains to be seen how long he’ll be sidelined.
DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings forward Johan Franzen (concussion) hopes to return to action on February 26.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu (broken ankle) has returned to practice but is not yet ready for game action.
THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (hip) has returned to practice but there’s no timetable for his return
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clots) has been medically cleared to return to action.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins could be forced to juggle some salary, as Vokoun’s return gives them only about $500K in cap space.