Sweden vs Finland and Canada vs USA in today’s Olympic men’s hockey semifinals, plus updates on Alexander Ovechkin, John Tavares, Josh Harding, Alex Tanguay and more
ESPN.COM: Five subplots in today’s Canada-USA semifinal, including the pressure on Canada and the meaning of this game for Team USA.
NHL.COM: The three keys for each club in today’s Finland vs Sweden semifinal.
THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators GM David Poile has lost the sight in his right eye after he was struck in the face by an errant puck earlier this month. Doctors are uncertain if his sight will ever return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Poile in his recovery from this injury. Here’s hoping he gets his sight back in his injured eye.
WASHINGTON POST: Alexander Ovechkin’s father is in stable condition after undergoing heart surgery earlier this week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not making excuses for Ovechkin but that might partially explain the decline in his offense during the Olympics.
NEWSDAY: NY Islanders GM Garth Snow is fuming over his best player, John Tavares, suffering a season-ending knee injury during Canada’s 2-1 win over Latvia earlier this week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tavares’ injury will be “Exhibit A” for NHL owners unwilling to participate in Olympic hockey. Granted, the argument can be made that the Islanders aren’t a playoff team so losing Tavares for the rest of the season wouldn’t affect their position in the standings. But what if the Isles were battling for a playoff berth? What if they were a Cup contender? Losing Tavares in that instance would have huge consequences.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals defenseman Mike Green (concussion) has been cleared for contact.
TWINCITIES.COM: It’s looking increasingly unlikely Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis) will return to the lineup following the Olympic break.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild management will have to decide if they’ll trade for a rental goalie or stick with the tandem of Darcy Kuemper -who’s inexperienced but has played well – and Niklas Backstrom, who looks like a shadow of his once-dominant self between the pipes.
DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche winger Alex Tanguay will undergo season-ending hip surgery.
CSNNE.COM: Defenseman Adam McQuaid (leg injury) has rejoined his Bruins teammates in practice.
SEATTLE TIMES: A group interested in bringing an NHL franchise to Seattle will visit with the Vancouver Canucks next week to take in a game and study their operation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It seems only a matter of time until the NHL puts a franchise in Seattle via relocation or expansion.