It's done. Finally! All the suspense, and teeth gnashing, and speculating, and making dumb predictions is over, as all of the Olympic rosters have been set. Let's get the Sochi Olympics started!
What? Not for another month? Son of a...
Well here we are. Biding our time with an NHL hockey season. But we can still be a little excited after yesterday's roster announcements. I mean, now we know we'll all be cheering for Russian, Finland, and Canada. Oh, and maybe the USA. There are a few more countries represented though. Here, if you care to see, is a list of every Olympic roster and a few notes on each team. [International Ice Hockey Federation]
Now, while some of you might have an inside line to the strife caused by the Swiss team's selection process, or the notable snub of some Latvian player I've never heard of, the primary talk around town yesterday focused on Team Canada. No Team White and Team Red for Canada, so they had to narrow it down to the 25 best and brightest. And, because everybody in north North America feels they know exactly who should have been selected, and some of those players weren't selected, the talk has largely focused on those snubs. Or rather, as Puck Daddy would have it, those S.N.U.B.s.
And it's true. Everybody and their dog could have picked better international teams than the respective Olympic selection committees. At least though with Team Canada Jamie Benn was included. And P.K. Subban, who had been rumored to potentially be missing out, so there is some justice in this world. The one I still don't get though is Martin St. Louis. It's almost as though Steve Yzerman, general manager for Tampa Bay and executive director of Team Canada, was scared to show favoritism. So St. Louis didn't get the call, despite winning the Art Ross last year and captaining the Lightning to a 13-8-4 record since the injury to Steven Stamkos. Along with putting up 22 points in those 25 games. Apparently it was an agonizing call for Yzerman, and he laments the decision. I know what you coulda done to avoid all that anguish Steve...
All said and done though, I think these teams left certain players off their rosters just so the competition would look at them and think, 'Wait... They're so good they don't even need to select [fill in the blank]?'
Call it intimidation.
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No previews today. Or recaps. My rhythm of alternating game days has been thrown off as, for the first time in weeks, the Stars won't have a single day off between games. They'll have two. Maybe it's a good time for a break, but I don't know what to do with myself...
Luckily, we have the internet.
Three keys to the Stars finishing the season strongly. 'Three?!' you say. 'After Monday night's game I've got a list that goes round the block!' Well you gotta start somewhere. [The Hockey Writers]
I've found the reason for the Stars' recent struggles. This writer obviously jinxed Kari. [CBC Sports]
Jamie Benn is clairvoyant! [Times Colonist]
You know the Stars are truly a team on the rise when they make it into computer game blogs. [Kotaku]
I missed posting this one yesterday. I know. I've failed you. Please forgive me. Puck Daddy's Weekly 'What We Learned' feature. [Puck Daddy]
You know how pointless it seems when a team is down by 2 goals with a couple minutes left, and they still pull the goalie? Even though everybody knows it's a useless gesture as, sure, they might score one goal with an extra skater, but they're never in a million years gonna score two without giving up an empty-netter... Well, for all teams down by 2 goals with 72 seconds left in the game, may the Pittsburgh Penguins bring you hope. [NHL.com]
Wait. Chris Kreider leads the Calder race? Who? [NHL.com]
And lastly, the beauty of hockey lies in its speed and physicality, combined with an incredibly high level of skill. At the highest levels of play though that same speed and physicality can lead to horrific injuries, be they suffered from bone-jarring crashes into the end boards, brutal open ice checks, frozen pucks taken in the face, or vicious post-goal hockey hugs... [Puck Daddy]