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NHL Shift: Sochi By The Numbers
February 7, 2014 08:38 AM
The Sochi Games are the fifth consecutive Winter Olympics to feature NHL players. The first was Nagano in 1998.
NHL coaches in charge of national teams at the Olympics: Dan Bylsma (Penguins, U.S.), Mike Babcock (Red Wings, Canada), Ted Nolan (Sabres, Latvia).
Two-thirds of the 12-nation field are legitimate contenders for a medal; the other four countries will need a miracle greater than the one in Lake Placid. The contenders (in order, in this reporter’s opinion): Sweden, Canada, Russia, U.S., Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland. Best of luck to Latvia, Norway, Austria and Slovenia.
|Ryan Suter (left) and his father Bob, a 1980 Olympian, do a ceremonial shave for Gillette.
Duration, in minutes, of NHL Network’s “NHL Tonight: Sochi Edition,” a wrap-up of the day’s events from the hockey tournament with highlights, interviews and analysis. The show, which debuts on Wednesday, Feb. 12 — the first day of the hockey tournament — will air daily at 3 p.m. ET and loop until 8 p.m. ET.
Games missed by Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who was excused by the team so he could leave early for Sochi in order to be the flag-bearer for Slovakia in the opening ceremony. Chara was the only NHL player to leave early for Sochi ,with the rest departing this weekend. Chara’s reaction to the Bruins’ decision to let him go? “Overwhelmed, I would say.”
Media credentials shared by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association that will allow access to the Olympic Broadcast Center. As part of the league’s agreement to shut down the NHL season for two weeks so its players could participate in Sochi, the league negotiated for more access for its NHL.com and NHL Network reporters and production executives.
NHL games this season between Feb. 9-24 because of the Olympics. That compares to …
NHL games played between Feb. 9-24 during the 2013 season, which was shortened to a 48-game schedule for each team because of the lockout. Which compares to …
Games during the same period in 2011-12, the most recent “traditional” season for the NHL.
Miles traveled from Washington, D.C., to Sochi for Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin, who said he was determined to play in these Olympics in his homeland — whether the NHL agreed to participation or not.
LOOKING AHEAD …
7:30 a.m. ET: That’s the start time for all three of Team USA’s pool play games, which are Thursday, Feb. 13, and next Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15 and 16.
Noon ET: That’s the start time for all three of defending gold-medalist Canada’s opening games, which are Thursday, Feb. 13, and next Friday and Sunday, Feb. 14 and 16.