Little buzz for Olympic hockey this year

Shaun White performs in the men’s snowboard halfpipe event in the Sochi Olympics last year. This year White looks to add another gold medal to his collections

Mark Reis | Colorado Spring Gazette

It's a subject that would be easy for Greenway to downplay.

Although he's known to regular hockey viewers from his NHL and college hockey coverage on NBC Sports Network and "The MSG Hockey Show" in New York, Carter realizes that he might seem like an unconventional choice to those who only pay attention to the sport during the Olympics.

And certainly, Greenway has the resume to support that statement.

Captain Pavel Datsyuk, seen as a future NHL Hall of Famer, is still playing at 39 in the KHL and he was wary about the strength of opposition his side would likely face.

But Greenway has embraced the storyline - and why not?

There will be no NHL players representing their country at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang after the league decided in April to keep its athletes from participating. The U.S. has played Canada in seven worldwide tournaments since the last Olympics and won 11 of 14 head-to-head meetings while claiming six of the seven titles.

Excited and convinced they can finally grasp the Olympic gold that has eluded them for two decades; that after the women's final February 22 gold medals will rest above their hearts, side by side with symbols of perhaps an even greater triumph.

Also on the list: Willie O'Ree, who broke the NHL's color barrier when he played for the Boston Bruins in 1958.

Though the US has recovered with world championship wins against Canada (with the most recent in 2017), no gold is quite as sweet as that from Olympics, Decker says. Some obvious candidates have been left off because they didn't rank among Canada's 13 highest-scoring forwards this season (see "Notable omissions"), but this is still a team that can score at will. "They just go out and they play for the joy, and they get paid performance clauses and everything that goes with it, and we got to feel like those guys". Now, he's following a similar path with Team USA.

Those excuses may sound reasonable, but the truth is that the National Hockey League isn't sending their players to the Olympics for one simple reason.

How long a hockey game goes really depends on the score. "It certainly won't be like the last handful of Olympics we've all gotten to enjoy with the top players in the world but it's the Olympics and I know those guys are going to play with a lot of passion".

Playing in the Olympics is something John McCarthy (CAS'09) says he dreamed about as a kid. I find myself alone and I think about the game.

Roe said of the silver lining: "Ultimately, I still wish I could be playing in the National Hockey League full time, but at the same time, another opportunity has popped up and it's been great". Again, a fine opportunity, and not a knock on these hockey lifers who thought they'd sung their final note.

Toews made that clear this week when he helped fire up the 25 members of the 2018 Canadian squad, imploring them with what it will take to bring home a third consecutive gold medal.

Using it more for assessment than competition, that team lost all three games but held an early 2-0 lead on gold-medal favorite Russian Federation before surrendering five consecutive goals. I'm closing in on probably 1,000 professional games worked.

"This is a hockey tournament", said after practice Thursday.

"I'm very comfortable with the team we've put together in saying that we can have, we have a chance to be very successful". It's exposed more people to our game - some people would say non-tradiitonal.

Mayer is one of seven Americans who have been selected to work the Games.

"When you walk into an ice rink in Southern California, the population or the clientele is different in those rinks than maybe they are in some of our northern rinks, or traditional hockey markets".

"We walked away with 26 medals in 2010, we were good in Sochi and now they think that this may be our best ever". It's certainly a small step forward compared to the late 1980's, and the often horrifying experience by pioneers like Val James.

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