Mercifully, and for some victoriously, the Olympics are over.
The damage includes New York Islanders leading scorer John Tavares (knee), Rangers leading scorer Mats Zuccarello (hand), Red Wings leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg (back), Panthers forwards Aleksander Barkov (knee) and Tomas Kopecky (concussion), Columbus defenseman Fedor "toot-toot" Tyutin, Pittsburgh defenseman Paul Martin, American hockey pride (suddenly quite low, in circles where Americans particularly care), and the once-quaint resort region of Sochi, which now has a bunch of oddly unnecessary structures.
- The Islanders practice Sunday welcomed back two Olympic participants, those wild and crazy partying Austrians Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner. Newsday's update has Vanek sounding like the public apology for staying out past curfew after their last win was a bit of falling on the sword. [Newsday]
- Also in that update: Kyle Okposo on watching Team USA from afar.
- The Post had more from Vanek, who also saw Tavares post-injury. [Post]
- "New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald has attracted plenty of interest from numerous clubs, including Washington." [The Fourth Period, with no more on the Isles than that]
- It's widely expected that Ryan Strome and perhaps Anders Lee will be recalled to fill Tavares and Frans Nielsen's roster spots. In the meantime, they've keyed Bridgeport winning 11 of its last 13, including a perfect thee-in-three weekend capped by Kenny Reiter's 40-save performance Sunday. Video highlights below. Game coverage: Sound Tigers | Soundin' Off | CT Post
Olympics and Beyond
So the NHL's Olympic trade freeze officially ended last night, and the rumor generator is now back in full swing. As for on-ice things, the Sabres and Hurricanes play a make-up game Tuesday, most of the league resumes on Wednesday, while the Islanders are back at it vs. the Maple Leafs on Thursday.
- Peter Forsberg found the selection of Canadian referees for the gold medal game "a [Averying] joke!" But really since Canada owns the sport they must have the best refs...
- Meanwhile, the IOC in its infinite purity and Upholding of Great Nation of Sport will withhold Nicklas Backstrom's silver medal -- he was barred from the gold medal game -- because he tested positive for pseudopherine, the same thing that got Lubomir Visnovsky in trouble in 2010. [TSN] Backstrom was tested Wednesday, then notified Sunday. Let's shut this league down in 2018!
- Canada: Best defense ever? [Sportsnet]
- Teemu was named tourney MVP and carried the flag for Finland. [IIHF]
- Olympic "winners and losers" apparently include the Kessels as losers (Phil earned all-tournament honors by the way) and Garth Snow for "insinuating" oh whatever nevermind. [Sportsnet]
- Make no mistake and understand this and other Brooksisms: The Lightning have made clear that they have zero interest in dealing Martin St. Louis for some rental, so we will run a headline-screamer about how St. Louis' name has been "in and out of play" with the Rangers who dangle their rental in trade discussions. [#PostgottaPost]
- Steve Ott says he wants to stay in Buffalo, but he's getting the Andrew MacDonald treatment thus far. [Buff. News]
- Nail Yakupov says the Oilers have a new mentality, and they are asking him to, yes, "work smarter, not harder." [Sportsnet]