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McKenzie: Ovechkin leading charge to Sochi for 2014

Bob McKenzie
2/28/2010 3:33:15 AM
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Alexander Ovechkin may have been knocked out of the Olympic hockey tournament, but he is not actually gone.

Ovechkin has stayed in Vancouver and there is all sorts of speculation he is going to carry the Russian flag at the closing ceremonies. It is unusual as most National Hockey League players leave as soon as they have been eliminated from the tournament and start practicing with their teams as the NHL starts up again on Monday. But, Ovechkin has been told he can stay as neither the NHL nor the Washington Capitals have a problem with him remaining in Vancouver.

There will now be a full-court press by the organizing committee of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics to have Ovechkin's face out in front of everybody as much as they can. It will start with the closing ceremonies.

There will be all kinds of pressure from many different areas to get the NHLers to play in Sochi. For example, U.S. President Obama and his administration will encourage the league to go in 2014. While I believe they will ultimately be there, the NHL and Gary Bettman will not do it for nothing.

- - So Close For Slovakia  - -

The loss against Finland on Saturday night will be the last Olympic game for several members of Team Slovakia.

Pavol Demitra, had a great tournament and along with players like Miroslav Satan and Zigmund Palffy, this was their last hurrah at the Olympics. Slovakia came so close against Canada and, if not for a save by Roberto Luongo, they might have gone to the gold medal game.

They also came close in the bronze medal game against Finland as Richard Zednik had an open net, but could not put it away.

The rest as they say is history and Team Slovakia ends up in fourth place, but it was a marvelous and inspirational performance by the Slovaks.

Bob McKenzie

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