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Author: Kevin Woodley

Roberto Luongo Interview before the Olympic Gold Medal Game

What about the early start? “It’s an early start so it’s a bit different, I’m going to get up early have a nice breakfast and pretty much head to the rink right away. Not much time to sit on it, so that’s a good thing. Get to the rink early and start preparing. Making sure, once the puck drops I’m ready to go.” Will you see your wife? “Not tomorrow morning for sure. Probably after. In a moment like this, it’s such a big opportunity you have to make sure your intentions are on the game and you’re fully focused.” Have you thought about that last save Friday night on Pavol Demitra? “Yeah, the fact that it’s Demo makes it so much better. I can’t wait to see him on Tuesday (laughing). It was great, it is for moments like that you play the game. When you’re a kid in the streets you play for moments like that. You try to imitate those moments and I’m happy something like that happened. Why were you laughing with Demitra at the handshake? “That’s the whole thing. I didn’t know it was him. That was my reaction when he told me he was the guy who shot that puck. I was kind of surprised and that’s why we started laughing there.” What are your thoughts on facing a sizzling Ryan Miller? “He’s...

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Ryan Miller Interview before the Olympic Gold Medal Game

Ryan Miller caught the same flight to Vancouver with his Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff, and even bought him a McDonald’s sausage ‘n egg mcmuffin at the airport. But the friendliness ended there. “I told him that was the last favor I was going to do him,” Miller said. True to his word, he was the difference in the preliminary round as he stopped 42 shots en route to a 5-3 win over Ruff’s Team Canada. He’ll need to be on top of his game once again to lead the U.S. to gold in the final against Canada. Here are the rest of Miller’s thoughts on the day before facing Canada for gold: You grew up and now live near the border, so do you know more about rivalry? “All the guys in the U.S. room, we’ve all been there, we’ve all played in Canada. I remember as a kid going into tournaments and you are 11, 12, 13 years old and (pauses to laugh) you got the Canadian parents yelling at you.” What role will the last game against Canada play in this one? “It was a turning point for both teams. We got some extra positive energy from it, maybe got some confidence. And it kind of jolted them awake and they smoked two really solid teams and held on against a very talented Slovakia team.”...

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Canadian goalie Luongo thriving on Olympic experience

Just in case the permanent grin plastered across his face didn’t say it already, inGoal Magazine asked Canadian goalie Roberto Luongo Thursday if this really was the most fun he’s ever had between the pipes. “For sure, I’m having a blast,” he replied with a wider smile. “It’s kind of sad to think there’s only two games left. They’re going to be two great games and I’m just going to enjoy them as much as I can.” From the very real twinkle in his eye to the noticeable excitement in his voice, it’s been clear Luongo is relishing an opportunity he’s waited his whole career for, a chance to finally step out of the long shadow of Martin Brodeur after the living legend stumbled against the U.S. last Sunday. Luongo has been careful to say there will be plenty more chances to win championships and insists his career won’t be defined by this. But with a salary-capped NHL, he also knows there may never be a better chance, a better supporting cast to help shake a reputation – fair or not – for not winning the big games. The best news for a nation counting on him to do just that may be the way Luongo is embracing this pressure-packed opportunity. “I’m trying to stay indoors as much as I can because the couple of times I have been...

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Quiet goalie Miller calming young American Olympians

The big headlines went, appropriately, to Swiss standout Jonas Hiller on Wednesday. Which is fine by his American counterpart Ryan Miller, who has quietly – literally and figuratively – backstopped the United States into medal contention in Vancouver. As easy as it could be to overlook Miller’s 19 saves on an afternoon when Hiller stopped 42 – including several in spectacular fashion – don’t discount some of the tough early stops Millers was forced to make. Playing behind a U.S. team that looked jittery in its first game as the unquestioned favorites, Miller threw out a blocker on Julien Sprunger’s labeled shot from the slot after a bad turnover just 3:30 in, and made another point blank stop off Raffaele Sannitz less than a minute later, allowing the Americans to finally settle down and into a game they would go on to dominate for prolonged stretches in the other end. “With a goalie like Ryan Miller, just like Hiller, you expect the big saves,” said U.S. coach Ron Wilson. It’s that calming influence U.S. teammates cite first when asked about Miller. “Sometimes I wonder if he even has a heartbeat back there,” said U.S. forward David Backes. “He’s a cool, calm and collected guy. Even after a 42-save performance against Canada (on Sunday) we might have got half a smile out of him. He just went about his business,...

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More goalie notes and anecdotes from Olympics quarterfinals

Nabokov disappointed, but classy As hard as it was to see Evgeni Nabokov on the bench, his eyes welling up as he looked distantly at nothing after getting pulled after giving up six goals on 23 shots, the like-able Russian stopper showed his class after the game. While teammates stormed by the media with their heads down, ignoring their names being called out, Nabokov stopped for a familiar voice and, after a brief pause. came over and spent more than 10 minutes – first a few in English and then a lot more in Russian – explaining a bitterly disappointing loss. “We expected they would come out very hard and they scored three minutes into the game and they keep coming, keep coming,” Nabokov said. “We weren’t able to stop the bleeding. They played a hell of a game.” That game included an intense physical style, especially against Russia’s top offensive players, and a relentless attack off both the rush and cycle, with plenty of those big Canadian forwards driving the net and parking there. “That’s Canadian hockey right there. They stay in front, shoot and they’re there for a rebound,” Nabokov said. “I don’t think they surprised us with the physicality but how hungry they were, that was the reason why they won.” Nabokov said it was tough to stay on the bench, but tipped his hat to...

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Come into the Florid



Come into the Florida Panthers locker room with us as James Reimer goes over the details of the new @daveart mask, featuring more Panther and a little less Optimus Prime, that he might wear for first time tonight against the Vancouver Canucks. Full video featuring Reimer is up at (link in bio)

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