TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Sochi hockey notebook: Bylsma keeps steady hand

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Dejan Kovacevic
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, 6:18 p.m.
 

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.

Crosby-Kunitz reunited

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.

Goals precious

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 dkovacevic@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Dejan_Kovacevic.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Freeport’s Morrison strong-arms way to title
  2. Steelers’ Harrison awaits go-ahead from Tomlin before practicing
  3. Experts say Pennsylvania is a breeding ground for corruption
  4. 4 ejections, benches-clearing scrum mark Pirates’ win over Reds
  5. Tax fight brews among Southwest Greensburg business owners, landlords
  6. Cyclist injured in hit and run in East Liberty, police say
  7. Pittsburgh airport improvements noted as CEO tries to expand activity
  8. Zimbabwe alleges Murrysville doctor illegally killed lion
  9. Greensburg native runs unique catering service in California
  10. Work planned for Route 711 in Ligonier
  11. Slot cornerback Boykin should give Steelers options in secondary