Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 

CBJ Olympic Notebook: Feb. 16

Sunday, 02.16.2014 / 9:30 AM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com
X
Share with your Friends


CBJ Olympic Notebook: Feb. 16
Blue Jackets news and updates from the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games on Feb. 16.


With a 5-1 victory over Slovenia today at Shayba Arena in Sochi, Team USA clinched the top spot in Group A and a bye through the next round of the Olympic hockey tournament.

Facing a surprising Slovenian squad with just one NHL player (Anze Kopitar), the Americans did what they had to do and got out to a quick start in their final preliminary round game. Phil Kessel recorded a natural hat trick, which began with two quick strikes in the first period, to stake the U.S. to two-goal lead and set the tone early on.

Starting in goal was Ryan Miller, the 2010 Olympic MVP for Team USA and a guy who has been the backup to Jonathan Quick during this tournament. He was solid for the Americans and in particular during a second-period push by Slovenia, but Kessel notched his third goal minutes later to boost the lead to 3-0 and Team USA went into cruise control from there.

Ryan McDonagh made it 4-0 and David Backes added a fifth goal for the U.S. in the third period, giving Miller a comfortable lead to bring home for the Group A clincher.

Provided there aren't many drastic changes (and the United States takes the third seed into the quarterfinal round), they will face the winner of Switzerland-Latvia on Wednesday for a chance to advance on to the semifinal.

And now, for the Russians...

A day after a hard-fought shootout loss to Team USA - in one of the more memorable Olympic games in recent memory - Russia had to get right back on the horse for a tough game against a motivated opponent. The Slovaks, battered by injuries prior to the tournament, dropped both of their first two games in disappointing fashion and really wanted to head into the quarters on a positive note.

For much of the game, things were positive. Slovakia defended well, neutralized the Russian attack and survived on the penalty kill.

Sergei Bobrovsky, after a brilliant performance in Saturday's game against Team USA, got the day off in favor of Semyon Varlamov. Varlamov was good when he needed to be, and was spotless in the shootout to lock up a second point for Russia.

- Another game and another steady, two-way effort turned in by Artem Anisimov on the Russians' third line today. He, Tarasenko and Kulemin have had their share of chances in the tournament but haven't been able to cash in. Anisimov has been a go-to penalty killer for Russia, as well.

- Both Blue Jackets defensemen on the Russian roster have been good so far in the tournament, and Tyutin's been gaining responsibility throughout. He and partner Ilya Nikulin are earning the trust of the Russian coaches and have drawn top-four assignments.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL
 
Columbusbluejackets.com is the official Web site of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Columbus Blue Jackets and columbusbluejackets.com are trademarks of The Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club.  NHL and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the NHL Shield and NHL Conference logos are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P.  Copyright © 2009 Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club and the National Hockey League.  All Rights Reserved. View the Columbus Blue Jackets Privacy Policy AdChoices NHL.com Terms of Service
Please use the feedback form if you have any recommendations or comments.