Sochi hockey notebook: Bylsma won't use Penguins' system
TribLIVE Sports Videos
SOCHI, Russia — Dan Bylsma is a passionate believer in the system he employs as Penguins' coach, but he won't be applying it to Team USA.
Mostly, he said, because he can't.
“Even if it was easy to teach something in three days, it's going to be different than what we do in Pittsburgh,” Bylsma said. “There are certain things about the international game, the big ice, that are different. We have to take that into consideration. We want to move quickly, but we have to be more careful with the puck. We have to play a more patient game, not miss on long stretch passes and that sort of thing because of the width of the rink.”
Defenseman Ryan Suter called Bylsma's system here “pretty basic, easy to pick up.”
A Quick start
Bylsma's first big decision has been made: Jonathan Quick will start in goal Thursday vs. Slovakia. Bylsma had been hinting he'd go with Ryan Miller because of Quick's injury-riddled season in Los Angeles.
Bylsma made clear this would not reflect on his choice for Saturday versus Russia: “We have plans for Game 1.”
“I'm fortunate for the opportunity,” Quick said, “and I'll just try to make the most of it.”
Other starters among Olympic teams with Penguins playing Thursday: Canada will go with Carey Price vs. Norway, Finland with Tuukka Rask vs. Austria, Russia with Sergei Bobrovsky or Semyon Varlamov vs. Slovenia.
Malkin off power play
Easily the biggest surprise of the early practices is Russia's decision to not use Evgeni Malkin on the top power-play unit.
Coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov is going with a No. 1 unit of Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Alexander Radulov up front, with Andrei Markov and forward Alexander Ovechkin on the points. Malkin is on the second unit with Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Semin.
Finns loaded in net
Finland is missing Mikko Koivu, and Valtteri Filppula and will be hard-pressed to score. But the Finns have the deepest — maybe the best — goaltending in the tournament in Rask, Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen.
“We're going to be underdogs losing those scorers, but we can rely on our team game and goaltending,” Jussi Jokinen said. “That's our key.”
While most NHL players are living two to a room in the Olympic Village — Crosby is paired with Shea Weber, for instance — the Russians all have single rooms. And they apparently aren't about to offer to bunk up.
“This is our house,” said assistant coach Alexei Kasatonov, a former NHL and Soviet Red Army defenseman.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
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 win bidding for Korean infielder
- Steelers’ Beachum, Williams hurting but could play vs. Bengals
- Rossi: Steelers rising fast in mediocre AFC
- Blues-rock singer Joe Cocker dead at 70
- Penguins’ Sutter, Downie, Greiss being tested for mumps, out tonight
- 1 person stabbed in South Connellsville
- Judge holds for trial 1 charge of theft against Pittsburgh homicide detective
- Heyward, swarming defense get best of Chiefs in Steelers’ win
- Search for Duquesne University graduate Kochu continues
- Steelers offense learning to slam door
- Old-school booksellers learn to survive, thrive in digital age