Winter Olympics Update
- USA Hockey had its first game of group play, defeating Switzerland 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon in Vancouver. Former Spartan Ryan Miller thwarted 14 shots by the Swiss for the win. By comparison, USA unleashed 21 shots on Jonas Hiller, the Anaheim Ducks’ goalie who was tending net for Switzerland. ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside comments on Team USA’s win over the eighth-ranked Swiss hockey program.
- Defenseman Brian Rafalski is the only Red Wing representing the U.S. and he’s also one of the few players quite a bit older than the 26 year-old team average. He did not record a point against Switzerland, but did finish the game with a plus-one rating.
- The Detroit Free Press comments on how Rafalski wants to focus on winning and not on how he’s the old guy in the group.
- Team Canada, which has no Wings players but is coached by Mike Babcock and assembled by Steve Yzerman and Ken Holland, also had its first game of preliminary play against Norway and left the rink with an 8-0 victory Tuesday night.
- Detroit Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg writes about Wings’ head coach Mike Babcock and how he is ready to handle the pressure that comes from coaching Team Canada in the host country of these Winter Games.
- DRW.com spoke with the Red Wings playing in the Olympics about the other sporting events they would like to catch while in Vancouver.
- As we mentioned on Monday, forward Johan Franzen replaced fellow Red Wing Tomas Holmstrom in the Team Sweden lineup. Wings’ captain Nick Lidstrom looks to lead Sweden to a repeat gold medal in his fourth Olympic appearance writes the Windsor Star. Sweden will take on Germany first in its pool play on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. EST on CNBC, which ESPN.com previews.
- Wednesday will also feature a game between Finland, which Red Wings’ forward Valtteri Filppula will play for, and Belarus at 3 p.m. EST. Check out NHL.com for a game preview.
- Pavel Datsyuk is the lone Red Wing to represent Russia, but a familiar face to Detroit fans — Sergei Fedorov — will also take the ice. Fedorov set up Russia’s first two tallies as they raced to an 8-2 win over Latvia late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning. Datsyuk earned an assist on Alexander Ovechkin’s second goal in the game.
- When the Wings sent Ville Leino to Philadelphia, they received Ole Kristian Tollefsen and a fifth round draft pick in exchange. Tollefsen made Norway’s squad, but missed the team’s opening game due to a delay as a result of a family illness. He is expected to play in Norway’s next game on Thursday and will be the only NHLer on Norway’s roster.
- For a complete listing of the schedule for the Olympic hockey games, check out NHL.com. Red Wings Hardware points out all the games that Wings’ fans will want to watch if they hope to catch some of the Red Wings in action over the Olympic break.
In Other News
- George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press writes that GM Ken Holland believes veteran forward Kirk Maltby is leaning toward having shoulder surgery.
- DRW.com has a great feature up by Randy Rice about goaltender prospect Daniel Larsson and how his season has gone this year.
- The Detroit News takes a look back and a look ahead at the Wings’ 2009-10 season.
- For some, the Olympics will provide a chance to rest up and heal those bumps and bruises while for others it’s a chance to get those competitive juices going after missing most of the season to injury writes MLive.com.
- Neil Rubin, who is a columnist for The Detroit News, talks about the Red Wings’ poker playing as the Detroit Red Wings Foundation gears up for its charity poker tournament next week at MotorCity Casino.
- Red Wings Central notes that the Wings will be well represented by their prospects in the race for the Memorial Trophy when the playoffs kick off for the Canadian Hockey League next month.
- Kyle, the blogger behind Babcock’s Death Stare, lists his wishes for the 2010 Winter Olympics (hint: no Red Wings’ injuries).
- The latest edition of The Obstructed View went live with a trio of DRW bloggers commenting on the Olympics and its implications for the Wings.
- Speaking of DRW bloggers, there is a new one on the block called Eight Legged Freaks.
- The Production Line takes a look at Patrick Eaves and wonders why the gritty forward hasn’t been re-signed yet.
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