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Czechs beat Latvia; Canada-Russia showdown set

(Harry How/Getty Images)

Morning roundup

The Caps' Tomas Fleischmann had a goal in the first period and David Krejci scored 5:10 into overtime to lift the Czech Republic to a 3-2 win over Latvia. They play Finland in the quarterfinals -- with or without star player Jaromir Jagr, who left in the second period with an upper-body injury.

Today's games:

USA vs. Switzerland: The top-seeded Americans' quest for gold begins as they take on Switzerland, an opponent they've already solved. If the U.S. men win, they'll play the winner of Czech Republic-Finland. (3 p.m., NBC)

Russia vs. Canada: Alex Ovechkin's Russians vs. Sidney Crosby's Canadians, the matchup the hockey world has been waiting for. It's a little earlier than expected, but we'll take it. (7:30 p.m., CNBC)

Just a few Olympic-related links:

*Vladislav Tretiak on Canada's goalie switcheroo: "I don't think Brodeur was all that terrible against the USA. Maybe he made one mistake, but the result is not just his fault; the defensemen are to blame as well. So, I don't think their problems are necessarily limited to poor goaltending. Maybe, they just want to try out the other guy today. To change their luck, maybe." (Heavy Medal)

*Canada should thank the U.S. for making them play an extra game. (Puck Daddy)

*Most popular Russian hockey player? (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

*Hey, don't forget about Sweden. (ESPN)

*Shoulda picked Mike Green, Canada. (Ted's Take)

*Ovechkin on fame, Jagr, nicknames and other stuff. (Alex Ovetjkin)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  February 24, 2010; 5:42 AM ET
 | Tags: Morning roundup, Olympics  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: Boudreau, Leonsis on Washington Post Live
Next: Matt Bradley returns to practice


I hope Ovie hits Cindy like he did Jagr. Go Ovie!!!

Posted by: crooks_c | February 24, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

And whatever the chant is for Team Russia.

It should be a good hockey day.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | February 24, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

If he dies, he dies.

Go Russia.

Posted by: Fro_ | February 24, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

It is definitely strange that I have such a strong gut feeling and desire for Russia to win tonight. I never would've thought I would be rooting for them at all much less to have such a strong desire for them to win.

I would love to see a U.S./Russia final and I would pull for the U.S.

As long as Russia beats Canada I'm happy. I think my pro-Russia feelings may subside some in future games if Russia wins tonight.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 24, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Correction for the main blog entry: The quarterfinal between the Czechs and the Finns is Wednesday (tonight) night at 10 Eastern, not Thursday. All of the quarterfinals are taking place today (Wednesday), although the final game of the day (Sweden v. Slovakia) is on Thursday Eastern Time because it begins at 9 PM Pacific, i.e., midnight Eastern.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 24, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3 - sentiment as well. I would have never thought I‘ll be rooting Russia. Once the Russians get past Canada, most likely I would be leaning more towards Sweden... nevertheless, U.S.A. all the way!

Posted by: guer_j | February 24, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Flash for bagging his first Olympic goal.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 24, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

My heart wants a Russian win, but my head says that Canada will win. I think playing last night has actually helped them. Canada played better as a team lastnight and so far Russia is still a bit disjointed. Really hope my heart wins on this one.

Posted by: ruskyfan1 | February 24, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I'd go back to Brodeur tonight.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | February 24, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Canada also looked that good against Norway and that didn't carry over too well. They were talking about how great Crosby and Iginla were together then a game later Babcock changed lines.

I don't think the Germany game will have much influence. I think the game is a toss-up and should be incredible to watch.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 24, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I just get tired of hearing the hockey announcers getting all giddy over Crosby. Last night when Iginla scored all they could do is credit Crosby for making the play because he went to the net hard.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 24, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I think it will be a toss up too. Both teams are so strong. I expect a very intense game and the outcome may well hinge upon the goalies. Both will have to be very good tonight. I just hope that the Russians can pull out a win. I like the idea of giving our guys on that team an even stronger taste for winning the big games.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | February 24, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Tretiak knows a thing or two about a goalie being unjustly pulled in the Olympics.

Viktor Tikhonov acknowledged that pulling Tretiak in 1980 was the biggest mistake of his life.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 24, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I just get tired of hearing the hockey announcers getting all giddy over Crosby. Last night when Iginla scored all they could do is credit Crosby for making the play because he went to the net hard.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 24, 2010 10:47 AM

I was watching that and the attention he received for "opening up a passing lane" was over the top. I stopped watching after that.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | February 24, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Sure, Canada did well against Germany - the team who lost their 4 games by a total of 20-5. I don't think yesterday's game shows any real improvement by Canada. It was almost like putting the Caps against an AHL team - it's going to be a blowout, but it doesn't show you how good they are. Russia is certainly good enough to take Canada out, depending on a couple factors. Namely, how their goalie plays, and how the KHL players do.

Canada has one main issue - they made a team of stars, and didn't throw in the grit players that are needed for a great team. That is why they lost to the US, and why Russia has a great chance at knocking them out of the Olympics.

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 24, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Latvia made it interesting, I am glad I was up to watch that game last night.

Although I didnt really like the way it ended. Latvia's goalie played really well I thought, but that game winning goal was a bit soft.

Flash with the goal and assist WHEN IT COUNTED! Be clutch my friend.

Cant wait for the game tonight. I hope Ovie and his comrades send Crosby and the Green-less Canucks to the Olympic Village crying.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | February 24, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

canada will beat russia tonight but will lose to sweden.

Posted by: joek443 | February 24, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Can's don't resort to some cheap sh! tz on OV & Semin.
Russia needs to just skate around those hicks from up north.

ps - I know this is loser's talk but if Russia loses, not a bad thing for our Russian Caps to get a few days off earlier.

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 24, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

OK, I only watched the first period last night because I just couldn't take Olceyk saying "Doc" drove me crazy in the USA/Canada game so I decided to count last the first period alone he said "Doc" 21 times, and yes you can call me a geek for keeping count but it annoys the hell out of me. When I watch tonight I'm going to just mute it and turn on the stereo! Did anyone else notice this and get really annoyed by it??!!

Posted by: PhilR | February 24, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse


I agree, I think the biggest benefit for the Caps players participating in the Olympics is to have more experience with high pressure situations.

Flash got to experience some last night and will get more tonight. Backtrom will get some. Ovie and Semin are obviously under the most pressure and if Russia wins, especially with Ovie and Semin performing well. That can't be anything but a good think for upcoming pressure situations in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The more times you experience something the less nervous you will get when a pressure moment arises.

On the otherhand, if Russia loses and Ovie and Semin have bad games then that could have a bad lingering effect. But lets just hope that doesn't happen.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 24, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, the only ones that have impressed me for Team Russia has been Ovie, Semin, and Malkin. Really, Malkin hasn't impressed me that much, he looked good when he played on the top line w/Ovie and Semin. Russia's defense is average, I think they need to use Mr. Bruce's system. I haven't been impressed with the coaching style of Russia, they have a lot of fire power but they aren't scoring a ton of goals like you would expect. I hope they win tonight but they haven't played up to their ability yet. Only when Ovie has been on the ice do the other teams look completely outmatched. I'm not saying that as a Caps fan, honestly. I think Ovie's the only one on that team that has played all out and sparked the team. It just proves that he truly is the best in the world at his sport.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | February 24, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Any updates from Caps practice..?

Posted by: Steve_R | February 24, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Tarik are you out at the Olympics?

Big deal for DC area with Alex v the Canadians .. where's the articles? The quotes? Oh and don't forget Backstrom.

Posted by: tslats | February 24, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Russia's defense has played better in the Olympics so far than Canada's defense. Canada didn't get their defense down until last night.

And Radulov, Datsyuk, Zaripov/Zynovyev haven't been impressive? That Ak Bars Kazan line is on fire.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 24, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I loved Roenick last night about Germany's style of play -- "boring" and "stupid". The Germans played man-on-man, taking away any chance for success. If the Germans had played a trap, forechecked, dump-n-chase, and stacked the blueline, they may have kept the game closer. As it was, I'm surprised the Canadians did not score more.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | February 24, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I really want Russia to win, but I would also not mind OV and Semin getting a few days off before the NHL starts back up! Go Russia...but hockey Gods...please keep our players safe...amen!

Posted by: capscoach | February 24, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I wish Ovi and Semin luck tonight because it would be unbelievable to see the Canadiens knocked out in the quarterfinals. After that I'd obviously like to see the US win except for the fact that I HATE Orpik. If the US gets to play Russia for the gold I'd like to see the US win, Ovi get a hat-trick, Semin get a goal and a pile of assists, and Ovi nail Orpik with a clean hit. I don't want to see Orpik hurt because I don't wish injuries on any athlete, no matter how much I dislike them. I'd just like to see a Jagr like hit on Orpik.

I have a strange feeling the Sweden is going to quietly take the gold though. They just look calm and methodical. They made Finland look very bad. Backstrom is proving to be one of the best players on the planet too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 24, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Worse case scenario: the Canadians come back to win Gold. Then Crosby will be labeled "The Greatest Hockey Player Since Gretzky". Mike Milbury and Doc Emerick will worship the ground he walks on. Sorry, bad dream.
Anything from Caps practice today?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 24, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse


Thats not a bad dream...thats a nightmare! But you forgot at the end of that scenario Mike Milburry asks Crosby to marry him and they have a beautiful ceremony and Crosby and Milburry live happily ever after.

Posted by: capscoach | February 24, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Rhino40 | February 24, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@kcb - Emrick and Milbury already worship the ground Crosby walks on (and probably the toilet seats he sits on too).

Posted by: ds_kelly | February 24, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I must break you...

Posted by: playahatah | February 24, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Sitting on the toilet seat being the operative word here....he certainly can not do his business standing up like a MAN...

Posted by: PhilR | February 24, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Canada needed more time together, but the absence of a bye should hurt them. Back to back games are always tough, and this will be a hard-fought battle.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 24, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's game will be very similiar to a Game 7 and maybe Sergei Fedorov can step up again with a game winner!

Posted by: MReilly9 | February 24, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Darn it. I'm going to miss both the USA v. Switzerland and Russia v. Canada games today. Time to get my shout-outs in.


Go Ovie!

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | February 24, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

MyPostIDisAfake: I have 3 letters for you..D V R. Those things were the best thing to my electronics suite. I can't even remember the last time I watched commercials. I even delay the watching the start of Caps games by 45 minutes or so to allow me to fast forward through commercials and intermissions.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 24, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

last night's game wasn't much of a match, if anything it will help canada

history says canada will win tonight because whenever USSR or Russia plays Canada in these big games such as the Canada Cup or other "super" series between the two countries, Canada always wins.

Posted by: joek443 | February 24, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse


Except the 2006 Olympic quarterfinals.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 24, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@dchockeyfan28, @sgm23, @ruskyfan

Also for for Russia for gold. I do think both Malkin and Crosby have been very good so far.

@joek443 - agreed. I may root for them, but can't see the Russians beating Canada. Canada is loaded, loaded. Crosby has been flying out there and now he's with wingers more or less on his level, Staal and Iginla. That's a scary-good line and if that line alone doesn't get two goals tonight, I'll be surprised. Nash-Getzlaff-Perry will be a tough physical matchup for Ovie's line. And then the Russians' non-NHL lines have to go up against the Shark line and the Richards-Toews-Bergeron line.

Biggest fear: Ovie hurts someone. Not good for us.

And if they lose, well at least there's good news: it will be Crosby, the Sharks, the Blackhawks that get worn out, not our guys.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | February 24, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse


yes, you're right Sweden could take it, and yes, Backs has looked like the best player in the tournament so far. Hope he still settles for @6 mil per, though. ...Go Russia!

Posted by: RedLitYogi | February 24, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

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