The men's Olympic hockey preliminary round is over and they have a day (or two) off, but the women's semifinals happen this morning -- Canada faces Switzerland while the U.S. faces Sweden.
The men's results and initial playoff pairings:
- Sweden, USA, Canada and Finland (1-4 seeds) get byes to the quarterfinals.
- On Tuesday, Feb. 18, Russia gets 12th-seeded Norway, the Czechs and Slovaks renew their brotherly rivalry, Switzerland rematches with Latvia, and Austria meets Slovenia.
- On Wednesday, Feb. 19, the winners of those games meet the top seeds: Sweden vs. Slovenia/Austria; U.S. vs. Czechs/Slovaks; Canada vs. Switzerland/Latvia; Finland vs. Russia/Norway.
- That means U.S. and Canada could meet in the semifinal, and the winner of that could meet Russia (or Sweden, or Finland) in the gold medal game.
Other reads and things:
- Bridgeport scored 12 goals over the weekend (highlights vs. Albany above, with a sweet Anders Lee goal). Anders Nilsson feeling and playing better after his latest NHL stint, and Matt Donovan climbing up the ranks of all-time Bridgeport scorers. [Soundin' Off | Conn. Post]
- Michael Grabner talks about his six-point Olympic tourney so far. [IIHF]
- The Isles Olympic scoring through three games [LHH]
- More on Canada, and it's insane depth: Arthur: When very, very good perhaps isn’t good enough for Canadian men’s hockey | 2014 Winter Games
- With the Swiss enjoying another narrow win via Jonas Hiller shutout, Nino Niederreiter says "the gap is closing." His agent probably told him so. [IIHF]
- Every four years the cynic in me dreads Olympic hockey, and every four years-plus-a-few-days some things happen to draw me back in. This article about the TJ Oshie-Vladimir Tarasenko handshake line embrace is a little over the top, but it's one of those things. I picked up on that during the live post-game: Cool that such drama and rivalry could be followed by two young NHL teammates giving it proper respect.
- Also from Sports On Earth: The greatness of hockey and its fans, who can pretty much take or leave the casual fan.
- Completely OT but Olympic in nature: People were ticked off yesterday about an NBC interviewer evidently pushing Bode Miller to tears during post-race interview. All I could think of was Kevin Nealon's old "Bob Waltman Specials" for SNL.