NHL News: Player News and Updates for 2/21/14
NHL Daily Updates: Checking in on Ovechkin, USA-Canada, Post-Olympics Schedule and More
February 21, 2014
Today’s the big day. We’ll be seeing a huge semifinal matchup between medal favorites Canada and the United States in the coming hours, and the game is sure to have a huge impact on the international hockey stage. Before we get settled in, let’s take a closer look at some of the noteworthy players out there who are making headlines both at home and abroad.
Alex Ovechkin, RW, Washington Capitals: After a difficult Olympic run, Ovechkin has some more unfortunate news to deal with before he returns to the states. His father underwent heart surgery, so his return from Russia will be postponed for now.
There’s no word on when Ovechkin is scheduled to return--or if it will affect his availability for when the Caps start playing again--but we’ll keep an eye on things and await any new information.
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
John Tavares, C, New York Islanders: Islanders fans are packing it in after yesterday’s devastating news. Tavares suffered a torn MCL and torn meniscus in his left knee during team Canada’s 2-1 victory over Latvia in the quarterfinal on Wednesday.
He’ll be out for the rest of the season (which prompted Isles GM Garth Snow to call for the IIHF and IOC to reimburse the team’s season-ticket holders). Tavares was on a stellar pace in his NHL season, logging 66 points over a 59-game span, good enough for third among the league’s scorers.
Canada-United States Outlook: Well, this is the one everyone wanted to see, and it should be a stellar matchup. Canada and the USA have clashed in gold-medal games a couple of times before in the last decade, but this one may hold even more significance. The winner will move on to the gold-medal game on Sunday, assuring themselves of a medal. The loser will have to win one more matchup to secure bronze.
Canada was expected to plow through this tournament, given the level of talent on their team. They’ve done anything but, eking by in much-closer-than-expected contests that have a lot of people questioning their chemistry. Expect them to come out firing today in an attempt to silence the doubters.
The US, on the other hand, has averaged 4.75 non-shootout goals per game, and has really clicked offensively. They’ll face a tough Canadian defense that will try to prevent them from scoring first, which is a position the Americans would much rather be in.
The game begins at 12:00 PM ET (NBCSN, CBC).
Upcoming NHL Schedule: Due to the Olympics, we won’t be seeing any NHL games until the 25th of this month--and most of the league won’t get back into action until the 27th. That said, here’s an advance look at the upcoming games when the league kicks back into gear, along with the start times and TV networks carrying each matchup.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014:
7:00 PM ET:
Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres: (NHLN-US, SPSO, MSG-B, BELL TV)
Wednesday, February 26, 2014:
7:30 PM ET:
Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres (TSN2, NBCSN)
Detroit Red Wings at Montreal Canadiens (RDS, TSN, FS-D)
10:00 PM ET:
Los Angeles Kings at Colorado Avalanche (TSN2, NBCSN)
10:30 PM ET:
St. Louis Blues at Vancouver Canucks (FS-MW, SNET-P)
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