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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Expected Women's Gold Medal Match Has Canada Facing the USA

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In which the Big Five becomes Four, Valeri Nichushkin survives the Olympics in one piece, and Canada and the USA will play against each other two days in a row, but not the same, well, you know...

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Shocker. The Russian hosts have retired early from the tournament. Or been retired rather.

I mean, we knew it was going to be the toughest of the quarterfinal draws, for both teams, but with this being Russia's Olympics it's still shocking that we've seen the last of Alex Ovechkin and Co. And, judging by his post-game interview, we've seen the last of the Russian coach as well...

Reporter: What future, if any, do you see for your own work and for your coaching staff? Because, you know, your predecessor was eaten alive after the Olympics-

Russian Head Coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov: Well then, eat me alive right now-

Reporter: No, I mean-

Bilyaletdinov: Eat me, and I won't be here anymore.

Reporter: But we have the world championship coming up!

Bilyaletdinov: Well then, there will be a different coach because I won't exist any more, since you will have eaten me. [Wall Street Journal]

I still feel as though some Russian translator working for the Wall Street Journal is having a laugh with us after posting that interview, but then again, that probably was how Bilyaletdinov was feeling after the loss to Finland. Of course, he didn't take it all on his shoulders. Naturally, some of the blame fell on Alex Ovechkin.

Ovi was also called out by the coach: "Tough to explain the loss, of course, why scored so little. Players who score so many goals for their clubs, like Alex Ovechkin who scored 40 goals for his club [didn't score]... Right now I cannot explain that."

*Bilyaletdinov grabs Ovi and throws him under the approaching team bus*

As if the poor guy didn't feel bad enough. There's a heartbreaking video floating around out there of Ovi's post-game interview. Naturally though, the International Olympic Committee has blocked it for fear of the collective empathy of the world causing another depression.

Any more tears for Russia? Anyone? The world's smallest violin? Not interested?

Ah well. Poor Russia. But at least you can come on home now Val. We've missed you.

* * *

Yeah there's this whole Olympic malarkey, but look. The Dallas Stars are practicing again. [Stars Inside Edge]

Right. Every days a school day. Let's run down what we learned yesterday about Canada. [Puck Daddy]

And, as this would appear to be a paired series of articles, here's what we learned about USA. [Puck Daddy]

And, continuing a theme, why not one more article looking forward to Friday's matchup? [Puck Daddy]

Now, lest you think I'm ignoring the Canada-USA matchup taking place today, I've got you covered. Keep reading though, this rivalry is serious. America is looking for revenge.

Not good news for the other Team Canada, or indeed for the New York Islanders. John Tavares went down in the quarterfinal match against Latvia and is out for the tournament. And beyond? [Yahoo Sport]

All the highlights, from all the sports, in Sochi yesterday. [Washington Post]

Everybody loves a photo finish. It's like the overtime of racing sports. The best, and closest, of the Sochi Olympics. [Yahoo Sports]

And lastly, some recent highlights of this storied rivalry in women's hockey. Just to get you pumped up for today's gold medal match.