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Sights From Sochi

Panthers play-by-play man Steve Goldstein is in Sochi to cover his second straight Winter games for Westwood One radio. And while he's there, he'll be blogging on his experiences and his thoughts on the hockey tournament and the the Winter Games in general. Only seen on floridapanthers.com, enjoy as Steve brings you closer to the action (unless you're actually in Sochi and at the games that is).

 

Hello From Sochi

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 6:40 PM ET
By Steve Goldstein - FloridaPanthers.com / Sights From Sochi
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Sights From Sochi

Greetings from Sochi.

The US women are on a gold medal collision course with Canada. Both teams are 2-0 with wins over Finland and Switzerland. They play in what should be a gold medal preview on Wednesday with the winner finishing atop Group A.

The US beat the Swiss 9-0 today. It was an impressive offensive display, highlighted by Amanda Kessel, who's brother Phil plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs and is a part of the men's team. Kessel had two goals and two assists, as did her linemate Kendall Coyne.

The men's teams are practicing and the US starts play Thursday against Slovakia with Tomas Kopecky of the Panthers suiting up for the Slovaks. There are eight teams that realistically think they can take home a medal and of those, five have a legitimate shot at the Gold; the US, Canada, Russia, Sweden and Finland, which has Panthers rookie phenom Aleksander Barkov as its top center with Anaheim and Finnish legend Teemu Selanne and fellow Young Gun Mikael Granlund of Minnesota. All five teams feature top-notch goaltending.

The pressure of the Winter Games will be great, particularly for the home team Russia. It should be a great tournament, one that could be decided by goaltending and which team handles the pressure and bigger ice the best. The international ice surface is 10 feet wider and longer than North American rinks. Goalies must adjust to the angles and skaters have to make the mental and physical adjustments, realizing they have more room.

The US plays its first game Thursday at 4:30pm Sochi time, 7:30am eastern. I am broadcasting with former Panther Bret Hedican on Westwood One radio network and all games will be picked up on Sirius/XM satellite radio as well. Make sure to check the local listings for which stations will air the games.

The Olympic village is super and the proximity of the arenas and things to do in the Olympic Park are outstanding. My hotel room is perfect and security everywhere is tight. I do not share the negative image being portrayed by some in the media. In the 24 hours I've been here in Sochi, and this is my fourth Olympics covering, the setup couldn't be better. And it was 55 degrees and sunny today, making me feel like I was back in South Florida! The staff at the hotel and everywhere else are helpful and it's evident they have much pride in these games being in Russia.

I am still feeling the affects of the long trip and nine-hour time change so until next timeā€¦

Goldie

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 49 16 21 11 37
J. Huberdeau 52 10 27 10 37
A. Barkov 42 16 19 13 35
J. Jokinen 52 10 25 12 35
V. Trocheck 52 17 16 4 33
R. Smith 52 16 15 11 31
B. Pirri 48 10 13 -4 23
A. Ekblad 48 10 12 21 22
B. Campbell 52 4 16 17 20
N. Bjugstad 37 9 8 -3 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 13 5 .930 2.13
A. Montoya 8 2 1 .931 1.93

 
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