Sochi hockey notebook: Orpik paired with Martin for U.S.
TribLIVE Sports Videos
SOCHI, Russia — Brooks Orpik moved up to the United States' third defensive pairing along with Paul Martin, his regular partner in Pittsburgh, on Tuesday in the Americans' second practice.
Orpik and Martin have had injury-riddled, inconsistent seasons, so neither was seen as an automatic for inclusion.
In the first practice, Orpik was with the fourth pairing, which is where the healthy scratches go.
This time, Cam Fowler and Justin Faulk were the odd defensemen out.
“We have Brooks and Paul together five-on-five and on penalty-killing,” said Team USA coach Dan Bylsma, their coach with the Penguins. “There's a lot to be said for familiarity in a short tournament where you don't have a lot of preparation.”
The U.S. opens Thursday against Slovakia.
Chris Kunitz is not only on Canada's top line but also on the top power-play unit, as coach Mike Babcock unveiled at practice. Kunitz was in front of the net — a familiar role — with Sidney Crosby and John Tavares up front, Shea Weber and Duncan Keith on the points.
“I'm happy to play any role they need from me,” Kunitz said.
A unified team
The Russian team's pre-Games news conference was by far the best attended of any sport, at the dais — at which the entire team sat as a show of unity — and in the large hall packed with hundreds of reporters.
Evgeni Malkin's only comment came through a translation, and it didn't appear to quite make it: “We know that this year the American team is very strong, but we will step on ice with good intentions, in good spiritis.”
Another ‘A' for Malkin
Malkin will be one of three alternate captains for Russia. The captain is Pavel Datsyuk, the other alternates are Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk.
You should see the first
Malkin's line with Ovechkin and Alexander Semin stayed together, and the Russians added a superb second line, as well, with the return to health of Datsyuk.
He'll be flanked by Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov.
“Yeah, they're pretty strong up front, huh?” Crosby cracked.
Jussi the checker
Jussi Jokinen is skating on the Finns' third, with center Petri Kontiola and right winger Juhamatti Aaltonen. Both play in Europe.
Drop the puck
Men's hockey formally begins Wednesday with Sweden-Czech Republic and Latvia-Switzerland.
Dejan Kovacevic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Dejan_Kovacevic.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates hit 3 HRs in rout of Red Sox
- Video posted online captures Wilkinsburg child’s injuries
- New Kensington-Arnold teachers accept 3-year contract
- Steelers defense a long way from ‘greatest of all time’
- Penguins’ Johnston eager to open 1st camp
- Bayer plastics unit may be gone
- Rayburn man, 74, dies in Manor Township crash
- Daily News Q&A: Clairton’s James Hines
- Steelers remain confident in ground game
- Gilpin settles lawsuit with suspended police officers
- Police chase ends with shooting in Bell Township; suspect wounded