Group A (Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States)
-With Team USA general manager David Poile recovering from facial injuries, Ray Shero (above) was promoted from assistant general manager to acting general manager.
-"Me and [Ryan] Kesler fought maybe two weeks ago, and we're fine now. It's one of those things that's part of the NHL game. Again, a lot of us know each other. Even at the NHL level, it's the other way around where we're still trying to probably kill each other even though you know them off the ice." - Team USA forward Dustin Brown.
-"In a short tournament like this, you have to be ready to move, and it can't be two weeks late. Yes, we're looking at chemistry that we have during the year with teammates, but we also have contingency plans." - Dan Bylsma on his team's line combinations.
-Bylsma conducting practice:
-Brooks Orpik worked as an extra defenseman in practice Monday.
-Evgeni Malkin isn't big on that whole "being-the face-of-his-country's-sport" deal.
-Malkin worked out with teammate Alex Ovechkin:
-"It's good feeling, we come back and play home Olympics in front of your fans, it's unbelievable feeling. This is Olympics is much more pressure. Usually lots of pressure, but this is much more because play home in front of our fans and we need handle it and convert to energy, this pressure. That will be good help for us." - Russia captain/forward Pavel Datsyuk.
Group B (Austria, Canada, Finland, Norway)
-“Eight years ago in Turin, we won silver, and that’s probably one of my greatest experiences in hockey. In 2010, I didn’t make it, and that was one of the biggest disappointments of my career.” - Jussi Jokinen on his career as an Olympian for Finland.
-Teemu Selanne was named Finland's captain. Forward Leo Komarov and defenseman Kimmo Timonen will serve as alternate captains.
-“All I remember is Salt Lake City (in 2002) I said I’m done after this, there’s no way I’m going to be in Torino (in 2006). So I went to Torino, I went to Vancouver (in 2010). I would bet anything that after Salt Lake City that I wouldn’t play in Sochi." - Selanne on participating in his sixth and (presumed) final Olympic games.
-Finland forward Olli Jokinen was rocking a Miami Marlins had and a bicycle yesterday:
-“With the Russian team playing on bigger ice, they are [the favorites], but we beat them before on the bigger ice and we know how they play. We think we’re one of the favorites. It maybe sounds crazy.” - Olli Jokinen.
-"I think ultimately the team that plays the best is going to win. It’s not going to matter, the size of the ice. If your goalie stands on his head and steals you a game, the size of the ice doesn’t really matter." - Sidney Crosby on the size of the rink used in this tournament.
-Kings forward Jeff Carter worked out on a line with Crosby and Chris Kunitz yesterday.
-Kunitz (right) caught up with former Ducks teammate Corey Perry:
-Crosby was all business:
Group C (Czech Republic, Latvia, Sweden, Switzerland)
-With forward Henrik Sedin sidelined due to a rib injury, forward Gabriel Landeskog was named an alternate captain for Sweden.
-Happy 30th birthday to former Penguins forward Maxime Talbot (right). An eighth-round pick in 2003, Talbot spent parts of six seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2005-06, Talbot appeared in 48 games and scored eight points. He broke through as a full-time NHLer in 2006-07 by playing in 75 games and netting 24 points. During the 2007 postseason he saw action in five games and recorded one assist. In 2007-08, Talbot played in 63 games and set a career-high with 26 points. During that spring's postseason, he appeared in 17 games and scored nine points while helping the franchise advance to its third Stanley Cup final. He followed that up in 2008-09 by appearing in 75 games and scoring 22 points. During the 2009 playoffs, "Superstar" lived up to his nickname by playing in 24 games and scoring 13 points, including both of the team's goals in a Stanley Cup-clinching 2-1 win in Game 7 of the Cup final in Detroit (below). Injuries limited Talbot to 45 games and seven assists in 2009-10. In that season's playoffs, Talbot played in 13 games and scored six points. In 2010-11, Talbot appeared in all 82 games and scored 21 points. He played in seven postseason games during the spring of 2011 and contributed four points. In the summer of 2011, he joined the Flyers as a free agent. In 388 career regular season games with the Penguins, Talbot scored 108 points, 79th-most in franchise history. In 66 postseason games, he had 33 points, 15th-most in franchise history. He is currently a member of the Avalanche.
-Happy 59th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Paul Harrison. Acquired by the Penguins in the 1981 offseason in a trade for future considerations with the Maple Leafs, Harrison appeared in 13 games that season for the team going 3-7-0 with a 5.49 goals against average. He would be claimed off waivers by the Sabres in February of that season.
-Happy 60th birthday to former Penguins all-star goaltender Michel Dion (right). A free agent signing in the 1981 offseason, Dion spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. He paid immediate dividends for the Penguins in 1981-82 by playing in 62 games, going 25-24-12 with a 3.79 goals against average. In addition to that, he became first Penguins goaltender to be selected to an all-star game that season. In the 1983 postseason, Dion saw action in all five of the team's postseason games and went 2-3 with 4.34 goals against average. He followed that up in 1982-83 by playing in 49 games, going 12-30-4 with a 4.26 goals against average. In 1983-84, Dion was limited to 30 games and had a 2-19-4 record with a 5.33 goals against average. His final NHL season was 1984-85. He only played in 10 games, went 3-6-0 and had a goals against average of 4.67. He retired following the season. In 151 regular season games with the Penguins, Dion had a record of 42-79-20 and a 4.28 goals against average. Prior to Marc-Andre Fleury's selection in 2010-11, Dion was the only goaltender in franchise history to be selected to an all-star game.
-Happy 77th birthday to former Penguins forward Eddie Shack (right). An all-star with the Maple Leafs, Shack came to the Penguins late in 1971-72 season in a deal which sent Rene Robert to the Sabres, Shack spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. "The Entertainer" finished 1971-72 by playing in 18 games for the Penguins and scoring 14 points. In that spring's postseason, Shack played in four games and recorded one assist. His only full seasons in Pittsburgh was 1972-73. Skating on the eloquently-named Shack-Schock-Schinkel line (with Ron Schock and Ken Schinkel) he played in 74 games and scored 45 points In the 1973 offseason, Shack was trade to the Maple Leafs in exchange for cash. In 92 regular season games for the Penguins, he scored 59 points.
-Happy 50th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Ville Siren. Acquired early in the 1984-85 season in a deal which sent Pat Boutette to the Whalers, Siren spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1985-86, Siren played in 60 games and scored 12 points. He followed that up in 1986-87 by setting a career high in games (69) and points (22). In 1987-88, Siren saw action in 58 games and scored 21 points. After 12 games and one goal in 1988-89, Siren was traded to the Minnesota North Stars along with Steve Gotaas in exchange for Gord Dineen and Scott Bjugstad. In 199 games with the Penguins, Siren scored 56 points. He is currently a scout with the Blue Jackets.
-Happy 41st birthday to former Penguins defenseman Jamie Pushor. Acquired at the 2002 trade deadline in a deal which sent a draft pick to the Blue Jackets, Pushor spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 2001-02 by playing in 15 games and recorded two assists. His only full season in Pittsburgh was 2002-03. He saw action in 76 games and scored four points. He left the Penguins in the 2003 offseason when he re-joined the Blue Jackets as a free agent. In 91 games with the Penguins, he scored six points. He is currently a professional scout for the Lightning.
-Happy 66th birthday to former Penguins forward Lew Morrison (right). Acquired midway through the 1974-75 season in a deal which sent Ron Lalonde to the Capitals, Morrison spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1974-75 by playing in 52 games for the Penguins and scoring 12 points. In nine postseason games that spring, he failed to record a point. During 1975-76, Morrison matched a career-high with 78 games and scored nine points. He appeared in three postseason games that season and failed to net a point. In 1976-77, he saw action in 76 games and recorded three points. In one postseason game that spring, he did not record a point. Morrison's final NHL season was 1977-78. He was limited to eight games and two points. Midway through the season, he was loaned to Binghamton of the AHL. In 214 regular season games with the Penguins, he scored 26 points. In 13 postseason games, he failed to score a point.
-The Red Wings recalled former Penguins forward Mikael Samuelsson from Grand Rapids of the AHL and assigned forwards Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan to Grand Rapids.
-The Ducks assigned forward Emerson Etem to Norfolk of the AHL.
-Former Flyers/Oilers/Islanders/Stars/Canadiens defenseman Janne Niinimaa announced his retirement. In 741 career NHL games, Niinimmaa had 319 points.
(Photos: Shero/Poile and Olympics-Bruce Bennett/Getty Image, Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images; Talbot-Harry How/Getty Images; Dion, Shack and Morrison-Penguins Hockey Cards)