The U.S. men’s hockey team better get its offensive act together and there are three sets of American teams in the medal hunt in the ice dancing finals. Maybe if they had sticks, they could climb the standings faster.
Anyway, here’s what to look for when live coverage resumes tonight. Click here for the full TV schedule.
Goal to go
The U.S. men’s hockey team has an elimination game Monday night against Slovakia (10 p.m., NBCSN), the only team it beat in preliminary play.
The Americans weren’t expected to medal at the 2018 Games, but they were expected to score more than three times in four games.
“We haven’t scored goals,” coach Tony Granato told the Associated Press, “but we’ve a made it hard on teams in their own end.”
The USA was shutout by the Russians on Saturday on 29 shots. Their three goals have come on 96 shots. Ryan Donato has two of the goals, Brian O’Neill (Yardley) has the other.
The winner of the U.S.-Slovakia gets the Czech Republic on Tuesday night. The Czechs won all three of their preliminary games to capture Group A.
“We need to make sure we’re getting more pucks to the net and earn our bounces,” said defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti, a South Jersey native. “It’s a combination (of) screens, the traffic and the secondary speed crashing the net, trying to find those loose pucks.”
The United States have three of the top seven ice dancing pairs going into the free skate on Monday (8 p.m. Eastern, NBC). Realistically, though, just the bronze is in play.
Zachary Donohue and Madison Hubbell are in third after Sunday’s short program. Trailing by just two one-hundreths is the sibling tandem of Alex and Maia Shibutani. Evan Bates and Madison Chock are in seventh, 2.30 points out of third.
Those three pairs finished 1-2-3 at the U.S. national championships in January in that same order.
Canadians Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue lead the way and can stake their claim as the best duo ever by winning again. They won gold in 2010 and silver in 2014. France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron overcame a torn costume that momentarily exposed Cizeron’s left breast to grab second.
The Japanese sumo wrestler who finishes his program by gently cupping a baby bird presumably did not qualify.
Ice dancing top 10/Through Sunday’s short program
- Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, Canada, 83.67
- Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, France, 81.93
- Zachary Donohue and Madison Hubbell, United States, 77.75
- Alex and Maia Shibutani, United States, 77.73
- Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, Italy, 76.57
- Dmitri Soloviev and Ekaterina Bobrova, OA Russia, 75.47
- Evan Bates and Madison Chock, United States, 75.45
- Andrew Poje and Kaitlyn Weaver, Canada, 74.33
- Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, Canada, 69.60
- Nicholas Buckland and Penny Coomes, Britain, 68.36
This and that
American Maddie Bowman tries to defend her Olympic title in the women’s ski halfpipe, which will be on during NBC’s primetime block (8-11:30 p.m. Eastern). The men’s version will be on after midnight. American David Wise will try to repeat as gold medalist. … Canada outlasted Russia in a women’s hockey semifinal to set up a gold-medal rematch with the United States on Wednesday night (11 p.m. Eastern, NBCSN). Canada has won the last four Olympic gold medals, beating the U.S. three times including a stunning win in 2014 in Sochi. … Mikaela Shiffrin will skip Tuesday’s women’s downhill, which means no head-to-head watch with Lindsey Vonn — for now. The International Skiing Federation, citing a forecast of dangerous wind later in the week, shifted the women’s combined race from Thursday to Wednesday. Not wanting to race on consecutive days, Shiffrin — who won gold in the giant slalom — will instead focus on the combined.
U.S. Medalists (10)
Through 12 p.m. Eastern, Monday, Feb. 19
Mikaela Shiffrin (skiing/women’s giant slalom)
Shaun White (snowboarding/men’s halfpipe)
Chloe Kim (snowboarding/women’s halfpipe)
Jamie Anderson (snowboarding/women’s slopestyle)
Red Gerard (snowboarding/men’s slopestyle)
Chris Mazdzer (luge/men’s singles)
Nick Goepper (freestyle skiing/men’s slopestyle)
John-Henry Krueger (short-track skating/men’s 1000m)
Arielle Gold (snowboarding/women’s halfpipe)
U.S. Team (figure skating)
And finally …
Line of the day came from Adam Rippon who was asked by NBC Today Show anchor Hoda Kotb, “We’re trying to figure out … who’s had a better Olympics than you?”
After a few seconds, Rippon replied, “I don’t know … maybe somebody who actually won them.”
Rippon has become a sensation despite finishing 10th in individual competition and helping the U.S. to a bronze in the team event. He is part comedian, part trail blazer. Rippin previously said his decision to come out as the first openly gay athlete was meant to make things easier for those who “feel out of place.”
Rippon’s energy on the ice was palpable though he lacked in some of the technical aspects that would have led to higher scoring. He declined NBC’s invitation to become a correspondent for the remainder of the Olympics, revealing a human side behind his glitz and ebullient sense of humor. Working for the network would have meant leaving Team USA and his residence in the Olympic Village. Rippon is done skating, but Team USA is not.
“I came here as an athlete and I am representing my country,” Rippon said, “and — to do that to the best of my ability — I have to be there for my teammates.”
I love being on Team USA and representing our country. My teammates were there for me during my events, and now I NEED to be there for them. I look forward to being with them, and I’m very excited for the rest of the competition. Go Team USA!!!
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) February 19, 2018