To finish off the snubs’ 15 minutes of Olympic fame, which of them played the angriest the day he was dissed?
All anyone could think or talk about Tuesday was Olympic rosters. For some reason, everyone pays more attention to who doesn’t make the team than who makes it. It’s ironic the guys not going to the Olympics get the most press on a day like this.
Let’s not fight it. To finish off the snubs’ 15 minutes of Olympic fame: which of them played the angriest the day his country shafted him? We’re primarily looking at Canada, Russia, Finland and Sweden here (excluding the U.S. and Czechs, who named their squads earlier).
The day’s most talked-about snub was a spite monster Tuesday night, scoring twice in the third period to down the Winnipeg Jets. The first goal was the game-winner in a 4-2 affair. St-Louis tipped in a blast from another major snub, Sweden’s Victor Hedman:
It’s fun to call it snub revenge, but it’s just as likely a classy player proving he won’t slouch just because his own GM doesn’t pick him for the Olympics. We’ve come to expect nothing less from a three-time Lady Byng Trophy winner.
The player I believe Canada will regret not taking more than any other came through in the clutch as well, tying the Flyers-Devils game in the third period before Philly won in overtime. He justified his status as THN’s top Canada snub.
I included Yakupov as a “snub” because he’s a high-profile player and a lot of people asked me today why he wasn’t chosen for Team Russia. The reality is he played his way off the team and Valeri Nichushkin deserved the nod over him. That said, ‘Yak’ did score for the third time in four games Tuesday night. A second-half hot streak wouldn’t surprise me one bit.
Would’ve been a “sexy” pick for Canada and was on many pundits’ pre-season projected rosters, but injuries and defensive deficiencies cost him a spot. Tuesday: scored one of Pittsburgh’s heart-stopping two goals in 16 seconds to tie Vancouver in the third period en route to a shootout victory. Letang had six shots, was a plus-1 and had three hits in one of his best all-round games of the season.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin