Austria is far from a hockey power and a surprise entry into the Olympic hockey tournament. A country of approximately 8 million people, it is known more for alpine skiing and soccer than hockey. Remarkably, Austria’s national hockey team finds itself in the Olympic Games, with the top 12 hockey playing countries in the world.
The Vancouver Canucks probably could not get out of town quick enough as Rogers Arena has turned into Heartbreak Ridge. The Canucks will look to erase a dismal 6 game home stand and get back to their road winning form in a game vs the Ottawa Senators on Thursday at 4:30 PM PST.
What can I say? The Canucks are coming off the most devastating loss of the season and quite likely the most disheartening loss since game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. How can a team that does so many positive things in a game still lose? Your guess is as good as mine. The Canucks went down early 1-0 to the Los Angeles Kings, but rallied after a hit by Jordan Nolan on Henrik Sedin. The Canucks showed some impressive push back against a strong Kings team and took over the game, but the Kings found a way to tie the game up late. As for OT, it didn’t take long for the Kings to do this (oh the torment of being a Canucks fan):
The “outdoor” game that will be played between the Canucks and Senators on March 2 at BC Place hasn’t exactly been riding a wave of hype and intrigue, though we did get our first dose of marketing today in Ottawa.
The Canucks lost 3-2 in overtime on Monday night after outworking, out-shooting (39-22) and out-chancing the Kings. This was despite being the more desperate team, having home ice advantage and playing a backup goalie (albeit a capable backup who is red hot right now).
After the most gut wrenching loss in recent memory last night to the Los Angeles Kings, many things crossed my mind. Were they just unlucky yet again? Did they need a particular player to step up? Or (and this is the scariest thought) are they just not good enough?
Here are a few things that could turn their fortunes. Five ways to fix this team:
I wasn’t planning on doing a preview for Latvia, Norway, Austria or Slovenia (aka the other guys), but I’ve had a change of heart. Sure, only the top eight countries are likely to be a factor in the Olympic tournament, but anything is possible. Nobody thought that Belarus had a chance to beat anyone in 2002, but they upset Sweden in the quarterfinals. Nobody thought that Switzerland would steal a point against Canada in 2010 either (Canada’s trouble with the Swiss set-up a much tougher matchup against Russia in the quarterfinals). So lets take a look at the other guys!
Perhaps no country in the world has so many wildly passionate fans as Latvia. Ice hockey is wildly popular in the tiny former Soviet country of about two million people. Their fans seem to be a presence at every tournament and I’m sure Sochi will be no exception.
After yet another home loss, the Vancouver Canucks return for the final game of their 6 game home stand Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings. Has Drew Doughty said enough to fire up the Canucks? Read on to find out.
The Vancouver Canucks are looking to build on a decent effort vs the Columbus Blue Jackets in a Saturday night tilt vs the hated Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena. The Canucks will not lack for motivation as the Blackhawks are arguably their biggest rival. One thing is for sure, we won’t have to hear the horrid sounds of “Chelsea Dagger” that torment on a nightly basis.
The Canucks finally scored more than 2 goals and cruised to a relatively uneventful 6-2 win vs the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets completely stink, but it was a moral victory for the Canucks to see the red light turn on multiple times. Daniel and Henrik Sedin took over the game and showed the rest of the team that if you can get in the dirty areas it pays off.
Hey, I decided to get off my fat semi retired ass and do another Top 6! “Fuckin’ Awesome!” I hear you thinking. I’m sure nobody’s life is affected one way or the other if I do or don’t do a Top 6, but if for some inexplicable reason it’s part of your Friday routine, I’m sorry it wasn’t here last week. Took a day trip to Cathedral Grove. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a provincial park outside Port Alberni that contains some of the tallest trees in the world. Pretty cool stuff if you happen to be in the neighbourhood.
The Canucks are back at Rogers Arena Friday night for their second and thankfully final tilt of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Will the Canucks suck again? Or will John Tortorella have scared the living hell out of them?
Canada will try to defend its status as Olympic hockey champion in Sochi and it won’t be easy. Canada won’t have the home crowd or small ice surface to their advantage like they did in 2010.
With 78 days until the start of the Sochi Olympics and 40 days before the team has to be named, here are my choices for Canada’s Olympic hockey team in Sochi.