SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13: Paul Stastny #26 of United States celebrates with team-mates after scoring a goal against Jaroslav Halak #41 of Slovakia in the second period during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Team USA coach Dan Bylsma might be a good poker player. He certainly didn't show his hand during his press conference following his team's 7-1 smoking of Team Slovakia.
He was asked about whether Game 1 starting goalie Jonathan Quick would be in net for Game 2 Saturday against Russia. Bylsma's answer was short and sweet:
"I am not going to answer that question or name our starting goaltender for Game 2 at this time."
So there you go.
Bylsma did manage to say a few decent words about Quick's performance in Game 1:
"It wasn't one where he saw a lot of shots, but he was up to the task on the seven or so scoring chances that he had."
So there you go, again.
Stastny's Family Affair
Paul Stastny plays for Team USA. His dad, Peter, was born in Czechoslovakia but later defected to Canada to play in the NHL for the Quebec Nordiques. Peter's brother, Anton, also defected at the same time to play in Quebec. Another brother, Marian, defected a year later.
Peter played for Czechoslovakia in the 1980 Olympics. And when Slovakia got a chance to represent itself in the 1994 Games, he played for them (and carried the country's flag, to boot).
Paul has dual citizenship between Canada and the United States due to his dad playing some of his NHL career in the U.S. He was excited to be able to beat his dad's former team in these Olympics, scoring two goals in the process.
"I think it's the first time I've beaten them," he told NBC's Pierre McGuire. "I think I've played them three times now and I'm finally on the winning side on the biggest stage, so that's huge."
He also made it known who his dad is cheering for.
"I think my dad and my family are rooting for the USA first and foremost," he said.
Dog Days Aren't Over
Team USA forward David Backes is a huge dog lover, as documented here by Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski.
So it's no surprise that when news came out that freestyle skier (and now silver medalist) Gus Kenworthy was trying to adopt some stray puppies he found in Sochi, Backes threw his
support behind him.
— David Backes (@dbackes42) February 13, 2014
Backes has started his own organization to help homeless animals. Backes has signed up several of his teammates as "Athlete Ambassadors" for his Athletes for Animals project, as
well as St. Louis Rams Jake Long and James Laurinaitis and MLB pitchers Kyle McClellan and Mark Buehrle. Another Olympian, curler Jessica Schultz, is also taking part.
If anyone is interested, Backes has thoughtfully tweeted out an explainer on how to adopt a dog from Russia.
— David Backes (@dbackes42) February 12, 2014
Finland Cruising Sochi in Style
Finland's Olympic squads may be easy to spot in Sochi. That's because they've got some stylish wheels to get around on.
The bikes were provided to the athletes by a company called Helkama, according to Finnish women's goaltender Noora Raty, who tweeted out a picture of the blue bikes in action:
— Noora Räty (@Nooraty41) February 7, 2014
And since the weather has been so great in Sochi, the bikes have been a hit. The men's hockey team rode them to their opening game of the tournament. They may want to do it again, as they beat Austria 8-4.
And by the way, a bike seems like quite a luxury in comparison to how Team Canada's Sidney Crosby traveled to a team practice the other day:
That's kind of like Canada's version of The Beatles' Abbey Road, eh?