Liveblog: Olympic Games, quarterfinal: Canada 2, Latvia 1

OK, Canada … we can breathe again.

Shea Weber scored in the third period to give Team Canada a 2-1 win over Latvia Wednesday in quarterfinal action at the Sochi Olympics. Carey Price got the start in goal for Team Canada, while Habs defenceman P.K. Subban was a healthy scratch. Canada outshot Latvia 57-16 as goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis stood on his head. Gudlevskis has played this season with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades and the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.

Forward Martin St. Louis returned to the Team Canada lineup, while Matt Duchene was a healthy scratch.

The game was tied 1-1 heading into the third period after first-period goals by Patrick Sharp for Canada and Lauris Darzins for Latvia.

Canada will now face the United States in Friday’s semifinals, starting at noon ET. The U.S. beat the Czech Republic 5-2 in quarterfinal play Wednesday. The Habs’ Max Pacioretty had one shot on goal in 11:14 of ice time for the U.S., while Tomas Plekanec had two shots in 17:28 of ice time for the Czech Republic.

The other semifinal matchup will have Sweden facing Finland at 7 a.m. Friday. Sweden beat Slovakia 5-0 Wednesday, while Finland upset Russia 3-1. The Habs’ Andrei Markov had two shots on goal in 17:16 of ice time for Russia, while teammate Alexei Emelin had one shot in 14:07.

The gold-medal game will be played at 7 a.m. ET Sunday.

Mike Boone was blogging live during Canada’s quarterfinal game along with other hockey writers from Postmedia News. You can see the live blog by clicking here.

This week’s HI/O Show, with Chris Nilan and Boone as the guests joining sports editor/host Stu Cowan, will be taped on Thursday morning and be available online around 5 p.m. that day focusing on Team Canada. If you have any questions you would like answered on the show, post them in the comments below or email Cowan at scowan@montrealgazette.com and we will take them into consideration.

Here’s how the Team Canada lineup looked against Latvia:

FORWARDS
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Patrice Bergeron
Jamie Benn – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Patrick Marleau – Jonathan Toews – Jeff Carter
Patrick Sharp – John Tavares – Rick Nash / Martin St. Louis

DEFENCEMEN
Duncan Keith – Shea Weber
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Drew Doughty
Jay Bouwmeester – Alex Pietrangelo
Dan Hamhuis

GOALIES
Carey Price – Roberto Luongo

SCRATCHES
Matt Duchene – P.K. Subban – Mike Smith

(Photo by Jean Levac/Postmedia News)

Mike Boone’s post-game take on Canada vs. Latvia, Postmedia News

Canada vs. Latvia live blog with Mike Boone, Postmedia News

Complete Olympic hockey coverage, Postmedia News

Hamilton’s Big Three developing on blue line for Habs, by Brenda Branswell

706 Comments

  1. saskhabsfan says:

    Tim peel proved once again that he’s an embarrassment of a ref! He has screwed the habs at least 10 times in the last 2 years! He is a joke, maybe he should ref the ice dancing! Lol

  2. NiceOnee says:

    That was really interesting game,Kristers Gudlevskis was on fire:D…Good luck Canada and hope that GOLD will be urs..All the best from Latvia

  3. etcheverry92 says:

    You posters are talking, but you aren’t saying anything. Here’s the real story: for a fourth straight game, a Canadian referee (Tim Peel) worked a Team Canada game. Since Canada would not accept Finnish, Latvian, Swedish or Norwegian refs working games involving their respective countries and Canada, these countries should not have to put up with this blatant attempt to rig games or give Canada an edge.

    Olympic Federations have long been known for their corruption and the IOC and IIHF deserve contempt for knuckling under to Canadian/NHL blackmail. The whole episode is a complete disgrace.

  4. Storman says:

    Over Managed, no Claude Giroux, Milan Lucic sure would help this team how about Logan Couture over Kunitz, Sharp,, over managed,, and now greatly over coached,, systematic hockey with the best players in the world,, USE Subban blue lines 6 feet closer to the net his shot would be deadly.. Stop the systematic bs play hockey win or lose going for it not worrying about limiting shots to under 20 against..Like watching soccer, pure bs over coaching,, Look what over coaching and KHL managing did to the Russians.. Man today’s game sucked to watch…

  5. ths says:

    USA will smoke our lillywhites.
    Over coached over managed

    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

  6. 25 Stanley Cups says:

    New thread.

  7. CHicoHab says:

    Mike Smith in the bleachers too.

  8. Captain aHab says:

    So with Tavares injured, Duchesne draws back in so Subban will be alone in the bleachers, correct?

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  9. CHicoHab says:

    Is it a given Price plays Friday?? And I will say that PK plays.

  10. Habspark says:

    And there’s the result between technically outstanding individual players and a team with nothing to lose… Hats off to Latvia, and well done Price. Re Russia, sorry to see them out so ingloriously, but based on what I have seen so far, my money is on Finland for gold.

    As for NHL players in the Olympics, I think it is revolting that their presence there is even questioned by Bettman etc. I’m guessing if none of them wanted to be there, they simply wouldn’t be there (nb. Jagr, Nedved, Selanne). But, on the back of the Latvia game and with Lake Placid in mind, maybe a team of young guns would show the hunger that seems to be lacking in the Canadian team. Food for thought…

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      The whole Canadian management team needs to be rethought, as well. It’s the Olympics. Higher, faster, further! Instead of safe choices, veterans and terror at the prospect of losing, go with youth, energy and an unquenchable desire to win. Going with Price is the best decision they’ve made.

      Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  11. Captain aHab says:

    Latvia wasn’t overly interested in scoring and so played like the Devils on steroids with a goalie channeling horseshoes up his yazoo. The US will want to score and I’m therefore expecting less turtling in their own zone. I think we’ll get better chances. Latvia played a great road game today.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  12. AH says:

    Good luck on PK playing at all anymore..it’s one and done now, so each time they win, Babcock can easily say we don’t need him, we’re winning. Is anyone else torn like me..I want them to win good because Price is in net, but I’m torn because part of me wants them to lose because PK is being benched. I so wanted to see him fly on the large ice…sigh.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      No, I wouldn’t wish losing on them. I only hope it motivates Subban to vie for another Norris and prove them wrong the only way he can … by winning.

      Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

    • Cal says:

      I am hoping it bites Babcock and Hitchcock and Jabba on the ass big time. Playing Vlasic, aka Mr. Turnover, over PK is the biggest bleeping joke of the tournament. Maybe when Canada is behind in the bronze medal game it’ll dawn on them how stunned they have been.

      • Strummer says:

        57 shots on goal today. These forwards can’t finish.
        I don’t think PK could solve that crisis.

        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

    • Habspark says:

      I’d loved to have seen him too, and think it’s a mistake not to have played more of him at least in the early rounds… But, would you seriously prefer to see your country’s national pride damaged because your backyard pride is damaged??! This isn’t about the Habs, this about winning the one thing that Canada is known to the outside world for, because I hate to say it, there ain’t much else!!

  13. matrags says:

    Another squeaker and still a nagging doubt about how this team will finish.i did notice a complete lack of physacalty by our team again?I wonder whether they get it that you win on the ice! it is never a given?I know we dominated territorially but I think more of a physical presence early would have wind bagged this team .i was suprized to see the Latvians hitting us at every opportunity and relativity no response fr the Canucks.

  14. Danno says:

    After today’s upset, Putin is not amused…

    Russians Dismissed

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

    • Strummer says:

      He has a $51 billion invoice to pay plus riots next door in Kievand terrorists on his own soil.

      Not to mention Pussy Riot on his case.

      Sucks to be Putin today

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  15. Strummer says:

    Tim and Sid on Sportsnet ( with Kypreos and Scott Morrison) floating a theory- “too many chefs”
    With Babcock, Yzerman, Hitchcock, Chirelli etc.- who exactly is making all the personnel decisions?
    Who sits, who plays on what line?
    We are assuming its all on Babcock’ shoulders. maybe not.s

    ____________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  16. Thomas Le Fan says:

    The Latvian goalie was terrific. He should get a serious look by the NHL. I believe they said he’s a TB draft pick. Canada will have trouble with the US if they can’t score against Latvia, however. The good thing is the more games they play, the better they get and they’ve only allowed three goals in four games.
    The Latvians scored on a clever trick play that they’ve obviously practiced. TC coaching staff and defence were caught with their pants around their knees. Anyone blaming Price for that should seriously give his head a shake. Would have been nice if he’d stopped it but goaltenders aren’t to blame on defensive lapses of that magnitude.
    Hopefully, the US will have as much trouble putting the puck in the net against us as everyone else. This is the game I’ve really looked forward to. Go Canada!

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

    • Strummer says:

      Gudļevskis played well no doubt. But having 5 other guys tending goal in front of him didn’t hurt either.
      ____________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Nolan did a great job preparing them, for sure. He should be a (full time) head coach in the NHL. If he doesn’t secure the job in Buffalo, I’d love him in Montreal but … how’s his French?

        Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

        • Strummer says:

          Hey- how’s his Latvian?
          Doesn’t seem to be an impediment.

          ______________________________________________________
          “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  17. Timo says:

    I can’t wait for babcock press conference. More smart looking squinting and getting pissed off at journalists.

    • Strummer says:

      He seems to be taking all the heat. I’d like to see what the rest of the braintrust has to say. This isn’t all on him.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  18. Vito says:

    First of all, congratulations to all of us on the win!

    I am not sure if any of you have seen an analisys regarding team Canada and Mike Babcock just before the olympics started where they were outlining the startegy of employing 40 second shifts for forwards (instead of 45). It was on TSN if I am not mistaken, but could have been CBC. The guy kept sayign how brilliant it is because it gives an X amount of extra shifts per game and all the guys can give it much more as they will not stay for as long… It seemed a bit crazy to me back then, but with the very unconvincing wins of team Canada I caught myself watching the clock during today’s game and every 40 seconds of play I would be imagining that the line HAD to go change or else!!

    It is ridiculous how short 40 seconds is for the likes of Crosby and co. Am I the only one that thinks the management should just let the players play freely?? With such a team of stars would it be crazy for a captain to be the head coach as well??

    P.S. Not trying to give a stub against Babcock, just thinking that perhaps there is no time to coach a team and have them adapt a new startegy in a tournament that lasts 2 weeks.

    Canada IS hockey!
    -Mike Weir

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      This whole thing has been over thought by Team Canada “brain thrust”.

      Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

      • Vito says:

        To be fair, it is quite rare that a coach must lead a team of superstars to the promised land. All the coaches are used to having a couple of superstars at best and build a strategy around them, so perhaps they are a bit lost when it is the other way around.

        Canada IS hockey!
        -Mike Weir

  19. Forum Dog says:

    Wow. That was way too close. Hopefully a character builder for Team Canada.

    Gotta tip your hat to the Latvian goaler though. A few of their players looked pretty good actually, especially Girgensons, but I guess we knew that already. Props to Teddy Nolan as well for his good work with that team. They played Canada hard.

    On to the US. This is where things get really tough…..

  20. The Teacher says:

    Put freaking PK in

    • Strummer says:

      Are you familiar with the expression “Beating a dead horse”?

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  21. Habsbill24 says:

    Not sure why Babcock is coaching this lot. Seems like his ship has sailed as a top coach. Cannot believe Hamhuis brings more value to this team than PK. Stevie Y vastly overrated as. GM. We will need a lot of luck on Friday to advance.

  22. Mavid is a Canadian fan and thinks they should free PK says:

    On to the Yanks…..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  23. Shiram.ca says:

    The lack of finish is indeed a concern for the Canadian team, they really are missing Stamkos.

  24. Plekasuares says:

    Play PK, or else USA will destroy us

  25. habsfan0 says:

    Given how the two teams have played the entire tournament,I’m not optimistic about Friday’s game,particularly if PK doesn’t play.
    Pacioretty with the winning goal.

  26. Storm Man says:

    2-1!!!!!! 2 pucking goals? Is JM coaching this team? I shake my head.

  27. mrhabby says:

    Tavares out with knee injury.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Brutal. Islanders can’t be happy

      • krob1000 says:

        Well in all reality since they are int ank mode anyway this may work out for the better…but it could have been differnet and who knows the severity of the injury. Tavares was a weak skater out of junior who worked and worked on his skating to become the player he now is…..a knee injury to him could really set him back if he cannot make a full recovery.

  28. Ron says:

    To bad Tavares gone from tourny..

    • krob1000 says:

      Too bad for Korea…both New York teams (hello NHL headquarters!) have lost their top scorers in the Olympics..Tavares and Zuccarello…..so much for NHLers at Olympics again for a while. SO….World Cup or Canada Cup?

  29. habsfan0 says:

    PK better play next game,or something stinks.

  30. Timo says:

    What would this team look like with Ted Nolan behind the bench, I wonder?

  31. CH Marshall says:

    caught 2nd period at the downtown library on big screen… If there is one player they should be playing, it’s Subban. Defending is not a problem. Scoring is. Why playing into the trap if you know that’s what they’re using? Gotta use your weapons and slice up the ice with speed. I’m seeing the players do an admirable job protecting the puck, but what we want is to out skate the opponent. Frustrating.

  32. RockinRey says:

    The only major concerns on US roster as far as I am concerned are Kessel, Kane and Parise.

    If they contain the first two then Canada has a very good chance in this one.

    ——————————————————————————————————
    You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.


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