Olympic Hockey Day 1

Team USA kicked things pool play off yesterday with a game against the Swiss, winning 3-1.  Cherry Hill native Bobby Ryan started the scoring.  St. Louis Blue David Backes and Lightning forward Ryan Malone each had a goal in the win.  Former Flyer Luca Sbisa, playing for the Swiss team, finished even with one shot on goal.

In the second game of the night, Mike Richards and Canada took on Team Norway.  Canada streamrolled Norway, 8-0.  Richards took advantage of the playing time he got, by following his own rebound and scoring the third goal for Canada.  Richards finished with the goal, +2 and 3 shots on goal.  Other Flyer representative Chris Pronger had an assist on Dany Heatley’s second period goal and finished +3.  Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla was the star of the show, with a hattrick.  Former Flyer Patrick Thoresen, a Norway representative, finished -3 with one shot on goal. 

The nightcap saw Russia take on Latvia.  Latvia appeared nervous early, leading to a couple of quick goals by Russia.  Latvia settled down and played better, but Russia was just too powerful, earning a 8-2 win.  Alex Ovechkin and Danis Zaripov lead Russia with two goals apiece.  Flyers defenseman Oskars Bartulis, playing for Latvia, finished the game a -1, but took a bad cross checking penalty in the first period.  In any consolation, the brutal cross check was on Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk.

Today’s action features Kimmo Timonen & Finland taking on Belarus, Sweden taking on Germany and Slovakia facing rival Czech Republic.  Sweden features former Flyer Peter Forsberg, who is looking to return to the NHL, once again.  The Czech Republic’s drawing card is former NHLer Jaromir Jagr, who also may be interested in an NHL return next season.  Talk about all the hockey games here.

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Anyone else think the IOC is ridiculous in its ruling that forces US goaltenders Ryan Miller and Jon Quick to cover ‘slogans’ on their masks?  Miller’s “Miller Time”, I can see because it is a beer slogan, but not a tribute to his deceased cousin. 

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In a very good article by Phantoms beat writer Tim McManus, Phantoms assistant coach tells readers that he believes defensemen Kevin Marshall, Joonas Lehtivouri & Marc-Andre Bourdon could use another year in the AHL for seasoning.  Right now, the Flyers have four defensemen under contract for next season, and if these three aren’t ready, they will have to fill the holes elsewhere.  Although, this can all change if any of the three play strong down the stretch, and have a nice training camp in the fall.

Keep an eye out, Mike will be doing a Flyers prospect update during the Olympic break.

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