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NHL Players to Take Part in 2014 Olympics

Friday, 07.19.2013 / 1:34 PM / News
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NHL Players to Take Part in 2014 Olympics
The NHL announced Friday that the League will pause the 2013-14 regular-season schedule for roughly two weeks in February.

Canadian superstar Sidney Crosby again should be among a legion of NHL players with the chance to become the next Olympic hero.

The NHL announced Friday that the League will pause the 2013-14 regular-season schedule for roughly two weeks in February so the League's players can participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics, to be held in Sochi, Russia. The decision to once again send NHL players to the Olympics was a joint agreement between the League and the National Hockey League Players' Association.

The dozen nations competing for gold in Sochi are Russia, Slovakia, the United States, Slovenia, Finland, Canada, Norway, Austria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and Latvia. NHL players should have a presence on each of the 12 teams.

Slovenia is participating in its first Olympic men's hockey tournament after failing to qualify for the past six. Austria is back in the tournament for the first time since 2002, while Belarus and Germany, which took part in the 20110 tournament, did not qualify for the 2014 event.

For Crosby and Canada, it will be an opportunity to become the first country since the Soviet Union in 1988 to repeat as Olympic champion. The Unified Team, which comprised Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Armenia, also won gold in 1992.

Group A Group B Group C
Russia Austria Czech Republic
Slovenia Canada Latvia
Slovakia Finland Switzerland
United States Norway Sweden

Crosby's golden goal came Feb. 28, 2010, when he sent a low shot from the bottom of the left circle through the legs of USA goalie Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres for the overtime winner in the gold-medal game in Vancouver. The goal gave Canada its second gold medal since the NHL started sending players to the Olympics in 1998.

In that game, American left wing Zach Parise, who now plays for the Minnesota Wild, scored his memorable game-tying goal with 24.4 seconds left in regulation, but Crosby topped the dramatics and capped Canada's Olympics with his goal.

The United States has been on the wrong end of each of Canada's gold-medal wins during the NHL era, also losing the championship game in 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Americans haven't won Olympic gold since 1980, the iconic "Miracle on Ice" win in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Russia is hoping to recapture its gold-medal glory in Sochi, the first Russian city to host the Winter Olympics. Russia won the silver medal in 1998 and the bronze in 2002.

Finland leads all nations with three medals since NHL players started attending the Games in 1998, winning bronze that year and in 2010, as well as silver in 2006.

Dominik Hasek led the Czech Republic to the first Olympic gold that featured NHL players, in 1998 in Nagano, Japan. Hasek was perfect in a 1-0 win against Russia in the gold-medal game.

Four years later, in Salt Lake City, the Canadians celebrated their first Olympic gold medal in men's ice hockey in 50 years. With a Canadian loonie frozen into center ice, Canada beat the United States 5-2. Joe Sakic, now a front-office executive for the Colorado Avalanche, and Jarome Iginla, who recently signed with the Boston Bruins, scored two goals apiece in the victory.

Sweden won gold in 2006, beating Finland 3-2 in Turin, Italy, behind 25 saves from New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 47 31 10 6 139 124 68
2 NSH 45 30 10 5 137 104 65
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 48 26 14 8 135 117 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 45 26 16 3 124 114 55
8 CGY 47 25 19 3 136 125 53
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 48 20 18 10 125 137 50
11 DAL 46 21 18 7 144 151 49
12 MIN 46 20 20 6 128 137 46
13 ARI 46 16 25 5 105 156 37
14 EDM 47 12 26 9 109 158 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 48 24 18 10 42
L. Couture 48 18 24 2 42
J. Thornton 44 10 27 0 37
B. Burns 48 11 24 -6 35
P. Marleau 48 9 24 -10 33
T. Wingels 47 11 14 -2 25
J. Braun 47 1 18 4 19
T. Hertl 48 8 9 -2 17
M. Vlasic 47 6 10 13 16
J. Sheppard 42 4 9 -2 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 19 11 5 .912 2.57
A. Stalock 5 5 1 .905 2.65
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