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

703 Comments

  1. The Jackal says:

    Never count HIO out – even some of the more thoughtful posters are falling into the panic trap.

    Yes, this game should in theory have been a blow out, but Canada dominated the game and just couldn’t find the net – it happens sometimes. It’ll be a good lesson for the team moving forward.

    Secondly, enough with all the BS directed at the coaches. They say some of their decisions are asinine, but it is the comments which are truly thus. Yeah, we get it, some people are unhappy with some of the decisions, but in all those criticisms they just point at the individual players’ talents and skills but don’t touch on how that would fit on the team that the coaches have in mind. They probably would be good contributors, but not big difference makers, and on top of that, those criticisms ignore the vision that Team Canada had putting the team together. If they haven’t made changes, it’s because they still believe in it despite the hiccups, and so should we. Let’s not play armchair GM and couch coach against the best hockey minds in the country, it’s just arrogant and foolish. If Canada doesn’t win gold, that crowd will be all “I told you so, etc…” but they would still be wrong. Sometimes there are teams that are hotter and who get some bounces, Canada is the best team in the tournament but they still have to play the games – losing is unfortunate but it’s not the end of the world and it’s not an indictment on the brass’ decisions.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • habcertain says:

      Canada is the best team in the tourney, “if they win gold”. I don’t believe this was the vision of squeaking out wins over mediocre teams. They have stuck with the old guard, left a lot of talented young’uns at home or in the press box. Scoring goals shouldn’t have been our problem, I thought it was in nets?
      The whole idea of this blog site is to play arm chair quarterback, why else would we be here?

      • Habfan17 says:

        I agree, Kunitz and Nash have not been very effective. With the exception of Tavares, now out, Toews, and Doughty, no one has really shone.

        I don’t pretend to know what the problem is, but they should be putting more pucks in the net. The defence has been strong. Price has done very well especially considering the low number of shots he has faced.

        Habfan17

    • Habspark says:

      Sorry, but 4 goals against Norway and half of that against Latvia with that roster? I loathe the armchair GMs too, but Canada looks far too sure of it’s skill level and it shows. I’d prefer to see the likes of Gallagher out there, young guys who haven’t won Stanley Cups and young guys who aren’t necessarily sure of how they will stack up against other teams… That’s not a recipe for a Stanley Cup winning team, but for a two week tournament with national pride at stake I want to see guys fighting for their reputation, not having cemented it for just being there.

  2. Wintercount says:

    Does anyone know if the Bolshoy has the same dimensions, zone wise, as the sheet the juniors played on in Malmo?

  3. Sportfan says:

    This was posted but dutchy on twitter
    Canada 4 games 6 goals from the forwards including 3 from Jeff Carter against Austria! That’s 6 against Norway,Austria,Finland and Latvia!

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  4. PrimeTime says:

    Canada will play the defensive role and system played against us to stifle USA offense. If weaker teams can almost upset Canada doing it, why cant Canada do it to USA?? I smell a HUGE upset with Canada winnning and advancing to the Gold Medal game.

  5. Mavid is a Canadian says:

    FREE PK…FREE PK….

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Cal says:

      I’m at the point where I want to see Vlasic exposed for how poorly he’s been playing. I think the left-right BS that Babcock has nattered on about is going to bite him on the ass and leave a big mark.

  6. scarboro_habitant says:

    John Lu – Habs Galchenyuk’s hand(s) appear to be just fine — scored in tight on a between-the-legs shot. Mind you, goalie is a retired J. Thibeault. also taveres out for rest of tourney.

  7. BriProfessional Team Canada Hockey Fan says:

    Tavares is finished for the rest of the Olympics. They didn’t specify the nature of the injury.

  8. Dodger says:

    Hard to believe a team with Dan Hamhuis in the line up would have so much trouble beating Latvia.

  9. Hobie Hansen says:

    Anyone know what time the games is on Friday yet? I’m guessing noon?

    • Timo says:

      Yep. Same time.

    • RockinRey says:

      Noon!

      I would say this game was significantly more like an NHL game and the only thing you can fault team Canada for is a lack of finish.

      The Finland game lacked any sort of strategy except for cycling the puck along the wall.

      I do believe the players are suffering from information overload and Babcock is overcoaching with the tinkering of the forward lines..

      And form a Habs fan perspective . Price looked sound and I really believe Canada would be better served with PK in the lineup.

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

    • Sportfan says:

      Either 7 or 12

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  10. Timo says:

    So, what’s the strategy for the game against US? More Kunitz and Hamhuis?

  11. Dr.Rex says:

    Was Subban playing today?

  12. Manitoba Provincial Bantam Hockey tournament 21-23 Feb, Sigh, going to miss the best part of the tournament.

    CAREY CAREY CAREY

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 29.31.1.20.33

  13. Maritime Ronn says:

    Pacioretty today
    11:17
    0 goals assists
    1 SOG and was minus-1

    http://m.olympics.cbc.ca/hockey/event/men/match=ihm400304/doc=stats.html

  14. Sportfan says:

    Kaetlyn Osmond has such an infectious smile!

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  15. nn1 says:

    Wow. How bad is Slovakia that they lost two games in a round they didn’t even get to?

  16. CHicoHab says:

    What’s another feed for Friday so I don’t have to listen to cbc lousy play by play etc?

  17. jols says:

    Can’t wait till Friday. It’s gonna be a beauty. Price will have to be on fire. He will be, he always does better when he actually faces a lot of shots.

  18. Sportfan says:

    So is the Kunitz experiment dead yet?

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  19. Cal says:

    Going to be a very tough road to hoe against the US. This team can’t score worth a crap.

  20. JohnnyCanuckful says:

    Good warm-up for the pressure cooker on Friday.

  21. BJ says:

    Most amazing courage performance I’ver ever seen from a team since Canada coming back to take the 72 series. Latvia was so out of gas playing Switzerland, I thought they would show up wearing that oxygen device that Opie’s old man wears in Sons of Anarchy. And then they have this type of performance today. Wow! Can you imagine the per year total payroll for team Canada is 149 million vs Latvia’s 6 million. Give the guys a medal.

  22. TeflonDon says:

    Good on Carey for staying focused. This game as with the others, with the exception of the Austrian game, could have been a disaster. Still…. Not feeling good about Fridays game

  23. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Glad we won but it was very frustrating watching Team Canada miss open nets. They need to burry their chances against U.S or it will be Bronze medal time. Still don’t know what Kunitz is doing on that team & Duchene a healthy scratch.

  24. Steven says:

    Someone on Wikipedia did this. Had myself a good laugh about it.

    http://puu.sh/72rxJ.png

    Sadly, it’ll probably be down in no time.

  25. commandant says:

    Babcock is the worst. Fire him, bring in Therrien.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Mattyleg Won't Change His Handle For The Olympics says:

      Good call.
      Way to disrespect Latvia.
      We should have won that easily because it’s “only Latvia”.
      Our coach must suck.

      Hold on… didn’t we win…?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • commandant says:

        Did we win? Yes.
        Should it be this difficult against a team with 1 NHL player, who is a 19 year old who is mediocre right now (though a good prospect) and on the worst team in the league? Hell no.

        – Two worst offensive wingers continue to play with our best offensive centre. (One shouldn’t be on the team, the other should be a fourth line faceoff/PK specialist).

        – Our fastest forward sits in the pressbox on wide ice.

        – Our best skating defenceman sits in the pressbox on wide ice, he also has a cannon for a shot. Patrick sharp plays the point on the first PP unit.

        Look we know that all these teams… Latvia, Norway, Finland, etc, are gonna play the neutral zone trap on us. How do you beat the trap? SPEED SPEED SPEED. So why do we sit PK and Duchene? For guys like Vlasic and Kunitz to play big roles, its asinine.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • Cal says:

        Barely. It shouldn’t have been “barely.” It should have been a rout. Kunitz can’t score, but he’s playing instead of Duchesne. Vlasic can’t make a pass to save his life, but PK’s not good enough. I could go on, but it looks like it’s going to be the US going for gold against Sweden.

      • DoopsyDiddler says:

        Sure, full props to Latvia but Team Canada is a mess.

    • habcertain says:

      he was outcoached by Nolan today, slick move to score the goal as JayBo was sleeping. How the pickle and an old slow Jaybo are deemed better options than PK is insane.

  26. Habfan17 says:

    Did Patches play for the US today? I looked at the box score and he shows up but with no shots, no plus/minus, nada! I know he was scratched twice before today. He is not doing very well, I guess he does need DD!
    Habfan17

  27. johnnylarue says:

    See? Noooooooo problem.

  28. D Mex-iCanadian says:

    Ted Nolan has done a good job with that team – really happy for him.
    His experience showed in playing the hot goalie again today.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  29. Sportfan says:

    Friday is scaring the hell out of me already.

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  30. Habfan10912 says:

    So happy for Price. Can’t imagine the crap we’d be listening to now.

  31. Mattyleg Won't Change His Handle For The Olympics says:

    Jeezis.
    Hats off to the Latvians, and especially their goalie.
    I knew it would be tough, but wasn’t expecting that.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  32. Sportfan says:

    Can they show the whole damn handshake before they go to commercial.

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  33. I’ll give Nolan some credit for the trick play, but it was all Latvia goaltending here, great work Goalie. Now pack your bags and get out of our RINK!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 29.31.1.20.33

  34. Captain aHab says:

    Please tell me Nolan wasn’t jawing at the ref there.

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

  35. CHicoHab says:

    Petro Canada giving 2 for 1 car washes based on final score.

  36. Habfan17 says:

    I am glad Canada won of course, but they are not looking like the great team they have been made out to be. Yes, they had plenty of shots, but against Latvia, who played yesterday, they should have been better.

    This whole tournament they should have had better scoring chances and should have scored more goals.

    Good thing Price can still play great with limited shots.

    Habfan17

  37. L Elle is Canadian, eh? says:

    Dodged a huge bullet there. Phew!

  38. Timo says:

    $10 Boone says “never in doubt”

  39. Mattyleg Won't Change His Handle For The Olympics says:

    Wow.
    Could this be it?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  40. 25 Stanley Cups says:

    Team Pacioretty vs. Team Price Friday

  41. TeflonDon says:

    How the hell did Latvia even have a chance in this game?

  42. Timo says:

    Too bad Babs doesn’t have another timeout.

  43. Mattyleg Won't Change His Handle For The Olympics says:

    Hold on, is Daugavins playing for Lat??

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  44. Habfan10912 says:

    This is as lopsided as any 2-1 game I’ve seen. Come on Carey!

    • Habcouver BLEEDS MAPLE SYRUP says:

      You get the feeling Pricey is in a no-win situation?

      He wins. “We’ll, he didn’t get many shots, not really tested”.
      He loses, “We’ll, didn’t get many shots, should have stopped it, cracks under pressure”.

      Good thing he is as focused and mentally strong as he is. :)

      Waiting excitedly for GOLD

  45. Timo says:

    You’re kidding me. Timeout by Canada. Gives Babs the opportunity to squint some more.

  46. Last three Latvia shots have been tipped by Canadian D, that’s got to stop. Hard enough to getting no shots then all of a sudden scoring chances on deflections.

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 29.31.1.20.33

  47. Les Canayens says:

    57 shots on the Latvian goalie!

  48. piter says:

    What makes Prices’ saves special, are they were tipped by our defencemens sticks. Very dangerous.

  49. TeflonDon says:

    All of then

  50. BriProfessional Team Canada Hockey Fan says:

    Carey looks bored.

  51. db says:

    So, of the powerhouses in this tournament… which one(s) can Canada beat?

    Sweden?
    Finland? (watch out for the Teemu!)
    USA?

    Those ‘Mericans have some firepower..

  52. Sportfan says:

    I FIGURED OUT WHY PK ISN’T PLAYING, they don’t want Price and PK doing the low FIVE! MT told Babcock to not allow this!

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  53. Les Canayens says:

    Can Team Petrol Canada hold the fort?

  54. Mattyleg Won't Change His Handle For The Olympics says:

    Lat are pooped from their game yesterday, but they’re still good on the break.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  55. Captain aHab says:

    You just watch now…there’ll be a cheap penalty on Canada.

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

  56. Timo says:

    And now they are sitting back. Still losers.

  57. Stevie.Ray says:

    It’s not over yet

  58. adamkennelly says:

    Hamhuis looks great on the PP eh?

  59. L Elle is Canadian, eh? says:

    Chrisadiens, awesome handle. LOL

  60. Mattyleg Won't Change His Handle For The Olympics says:

    *hurl*

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  61. Prop Is Canadian says:

    My feed is on a huge delay. Hats off to the Latvian goalie though, he’s stood on his head.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  62. jackbutt says:

    This team doesn’t impress me one bit, but yaaaaaahooooooooo!

  63. Rugger says:

    Can Canada fire the coach before the next game?

  64. Habfan10912 says:

    That “useless loser” Weber with the biggest goal of the tournament.

  65. L Elle is Canadian, eh? says:

    WooHOOO!!

  66. Sportfan says:

    BOUT FREAKING TIME

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  67. Et le Canadian but says:

    How big are the two saves Carey made this period?

  68. jols says:

    What a blast. Very PK esque.

  69. Mattyleg Won't Change His Handle For The Olympics says:

    Holy eff.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  70. Shiram.ca says:

    D does it again.

  71. Stevie.Ray says:

    Wow. If only canada had more players that could shoot like Weber

  72. commandant says:

    Put Kunitz on the ice for the third period PP.

    JESUS CHRIST BABCOCK IS STUBBORN

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  73. About time! That guy wasn’t stopping everything tonight.

    End this game, and release the HOunds!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 29.31.1.20.33

  74. Chrisadiens is a Canadian stuck in an American body says:

    There we go!!!! Yeah!!!

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.


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