An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• And the bodies keep falling for Sweden. Henrik Zetterberg’s bad back has him “in a great deal of discomfort,” forcing him to pull out of the Olympics. It’s another tough break for the Swedes, whose forward corps is now thinner than Mats Sundin’s hair. No telling yet how this could impact Zetterberg’s ability to return to action for the Red Wings when the Olympic break ends.
• Corey Masisak says that Zetterberg’s absence shifts the balance of power in the Sochi tournament.
• USA Hockey has announced its starting goalie for tomorrow’s key game against Russia.
• It was pretty much a given that P.K. Subban and Matt Duchene, Canada’s Game 1 scratches, would draw in for Friday’s contest against Austria. The question was, who would come out after the 3-1 win over Norway? No real surprise that Dan Hamhuis was scratched on the back end, but the decision to send Patrick Sharp to the press box is a bit of a head scratcher. Rick Nash would have been the obvious choice after his uninspired effort, but with Subban ready to assume Sharp’s power play spot on the point, the Blackhawks forward might have been the easiest to excise.
• Will we see Subban get the green light for Canada the way Erik Karlsson has for Sweden? The mobility of Canada’s D was key to yesterday’s victory, and that style is right in Norris Trophy winner’s wheelhouse.
• Ken Campbell lists five things we learned from Canada’s first game of its gold medal defense.