NHL teammates become foes at the Olympics

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 9, 2014 at 6:49 pm •  Published: February 9, 2014
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — When the puck drops at the Sochi Games, friends will become foes.

Fast.

The Czechs will face the Swedes on Wednesday, just four days after Boston beat Ottawa 7-2 in one of the NHL's last matchups before its Olympic break.

David Krejci and Loui Eriksson both had two assists for the Bruins in the rout. On Wednesday, the forwards will be playing against each other and for their countries — Krejci for the Czech Republic and Eriksson for Sweden.

Most of the 18 preliminary-round games will feature NHL teammates as temporary opponents.

Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are not scheduled to face each other in the preliminary rounds, but both are hoping for a U.S.-Canada rematch in the elimination round.

"We're always, in a fun way, competing against each other on a daily basis," said Toews, who helped the Canadians beat the Americans for the gold in 2010. "We'll be competitive if we get a chance to play each other.

"One guy is not going to want the other to get the best of him."

The Los Angeles Kings have six Olympians, representing four countries. Trash-talking began soon after the rosters were set last month.

"Throughout the room with the different teams, there's always been ribbing going on," Canada's Jeff Carter said.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has an NHL-high 10 of his players in the Olympics, spread out over five teams. He's looking forward to the game within the games.

Quenneville can see a trio of Swedes — Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger — gang up on the Czech Republic's Michal Rozsival on Wednesday. The next day, he can watch Kane get tested by Slovakia's Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus.

"It's going to be great watching these guys play," Quenneville said. "I think they're going to learn a lot being on that stage, in critical situations and big moments.



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