Sochi hockey notebook: Bylsma keeps steady hand
TribLIVE Sports Videos
SOCHI, Russia — Amid apparent panic on the Canadian and Russian fronts regarding line changes, strategy and the like, Dan Bylsma has carried a comparatively cool hand for the United States.
His forward lines have stayed mostly steady, his defense pairings about the same, and his reliance on Jonathan Quick has paid off. Quick, predictably, got Bylsma's nod Tuesday for the quarterfinal noon Wednesday against the Czech Republic.
The top forward lines will be Zach Parise-Ryan Kesler-Patrick Kane and James van Riemsdyk-Joe Pavelski-Phil Kessel.
Safe to say his players have appreciated the approach.
“We're getting stronger with every game,” defenseman Paul Martin said. “That's how we feel, and I think we're feeling that together.”
Other teams are noticing. After the Czechs beat Slovakia, 5-3, on Tuesday to qualify for the quarters, the Czechs' Jakub Voracek called the Americans “the best team in the tournament.”
Malkin blanked again
Evgeni Malkin continues to skate relentlessly, to no avail. And his scoreless showing in the Russians' 4-0 flatliner of a qualifying victory over Norway on Tuesday might have been his low point, with two shots on goal, an ill-advised penalty and several giveaways while the score was tight.
Russia has no time to rest. Finland is next in the quarterfinal Wednesday.
After splitting Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz for Canada's final round-robin game, coach Mike Babcock reunited them for Tuesday's practice in advance of the Wednesday quarterfinal against Latvia.
Babcock was adamant it had nothing to do with Crosby or Kunitz. Both have been heavily criticized in Canada for their showings to date.
“We're just trying to get everyone going as best we can,” Babcock said.
Not that the Finns needed a reminder to play tight defense — that's been the national hallmark — but it'll be particularly incumbent to do against all the Russians' snipers.
“What you're seeing right now is that one goal is so huge,” Finland's Jussi Jokinen said. “If you're a guy who's supposed to score and you get a chance, you've got to put it away.”
Dejan Kovacevic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com 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.
- Penguins notebook: Malkin picture muddy
- NFL notebook: Raiders name Sparano interim coach
- I-79 line painting begins Thursday
- Steelers film session: Harrison on the field often
- Animal Friends receives $1.5 million state grant
- Virginia kicker says parents preached commitment
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin bringing officials to practice
- Shareholders cheer eBay’s decision to spin off PayPal
- Public station WQED cutting staff in face of financial woes
- Pittsburgh rallies for second year of Pirates magic
- Feds say $100M in data hacked