marcus-johansson-ice-bucket-challenge

Over the weekend, Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in his native Sweden. It was a no-frills affair… hey, wait a minute.

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Photo: David J. Phillip

Nicklas Backstrom did not participate in Sunday’s gold medal game against Canada. Originally reported as suffering from a migraine, we later learned Backstrom tested positive for a banned substance. Swedish hockey officials have stated that drug is an allergy medicine.

Here’s everything we know so far.

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canada

Photo: RIA Novosti

Canada shut out Sweden 3-0 to win gold in the last Olympic hockey tournament I will ever watch.

Three players who had been without a goal, Toews, Crosby, and Chris Kunitz, each scored in the effort.

Carey Price kept the Swedes without a goal, extending his shutout streak to 164 minutes.

Nick Backstrom did not play. Originally, reports stated Backstrom was suffering from a migraine. Now, an NHLPA source says Backstrom was disqualified for using a banned substance– possibly an allergy medicine containing pseudoephedrine.

So, not a great day for much of our readership.

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usa-fin

Photo: RIA Novosti

Defeated. Deflated. Enervated. Team USA went down in flames against a flashy Finnish team, losing the bronze medal in stunning fashion. 5-0.

Patrick Kane missed two penalty shots. The American penalty kill sucked. Jonathan Quick let five pucks past him. Tuukka Rask was exemplary with a light workload.

No medal for America. Everything sucks and so do you. Let’s talk about it.

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carly

Damn. I don’t even want to write this.

Two Caps players will vie for gold on Sunday, but they won’t be Americans.

Marcus Johansson and Nick Backstrom won with Team Sweden to make the finals. Canada vs USA was David vs Goliath except Goliath won, and don’t even come at me with that Malcolm Gladwell craptrap.

This sucks.

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KSTZ2Hc

From /r/hockey

Unlike this morning, Wednesday afternoon’s games went as planned. Well, almost. There was that whole thing where Latvia, led by inhuman goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis, scared the living hell out of Canadian Hockey Twitter for 55 minutes of rego hockey. But the US put away the Czechs with a strong, evenly distributed scoring effort, and that was pretty cool.

The wins by America and America’s stupid hat set up a rematch of the 2010 Vancouver finals for Friday at noon. It’s going to be absolutely unbearable; I need you to start rationing your anti-anxiety drugs now.

But first: let’s delve into the recap.

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Team Russia and Alex Ovechkin in Five Charts

Russia

Photo: RIA Novosti

I think Team Russia is fascinating. Scoring just eleven goals in their first four games, the much-ballyhooed offense of the home team hasn’t really shown up yet– especially from their NHL stars. After a brilliant start with back-to-back goals by Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin in game one, Russia broke up its top line, sending Alex Semin to the dreaded checking assignments of the bottom six. The team’s power play, meanwhile, has converted just two of its 13 chances despite having a handful of the best offensive players in the world.

To most observers, Russia has been a disappointment. They’re still very much alive, playing Finland at 7:30 am on Wednesday, but what they’ve shown us so far isn’t what we were promised. Of course, four games is a measly sample– particularly when measuring rare events like goals and power plays. While there aren’t a lot of data available, let’s take a big old grain of salt and play with them anyway.

I don’t really have an agenda in sharing this stuff. I looked it up because I was curious; I thought you might be too.

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Ovi-AP

Photo: AP

And down they drop! Tuesday was the first day of elimination in the Olympic mens tournament, meaning lots of high stakes and desperate players. More importantly, the recaps will be easier from here on out because there will be fewer games. Maybe that’s not more important for you, but it is for me.

Peace out, Austria. Adios, Norway. Keep it real, Slovakia. YOLO, Switzerland.

Let’s do the recap.

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ovi-duck-lips

Ovi does duck lips like an Instagram selfie. #girlsweekend #seacrets  #lovemylittle (Photo: RIA Novosti)

No stupid stat snapshot today, so all you nerds can go play D&D.

Sunday’s hockey schedule didn’t stand a chance of matching yesterday’s operatic levels of excitement. The USA’s Phil-acrity was too much for an inspiring and inspired Slovenian crew. Russia squeaked a win out of a really deflated effort against Slovakia. The Finns nearly exsanguinated the Canadian offense, but couldn’t get the win. And I didn’t even know Austria and Norway were playing.

With these games in the books, we now look towards the next round. Prepare for seedings, brackets, elimination games, and the pressure getting amped up to UNHEALTHY.

But first, let’s do the recap.

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Olympic Hockey, Day Four: Oshie Owns Sochi

oshie2

Russia and America collided and our site didn’t self-destruct. Yay!

Saturday in Sochi was an upset festival, but all anyone is gonna talk about is how T.J. Oshie became a superstar in the States’ shootout win over Russia. In today’s recap, I’m gonna pretend to care about everything else that happened, but you’ll know my heart just isn’t in it. T.J. Oshie rules!

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