Olympic Fantasy Hockey Three Stars – 2/19

olympic hockey
olympic hockey
Feb 19 2014 Sochi RUSSIA Latvia goalie Kristers Gudlevskis 50 makes a save against Canada in the mens ice hockey quarterfinals during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Bolshoy Ice Dome Robert Hanashiro USA TODAY Sports

The knockout phase in men’s Olympic hockey continued with the quarterfinal games to gain a spot in the semifinals on Friday. Needless to say Wednesday’s games featured a little of everything including a mild upset and a near miracle of epic proportions. It just seems like every round keeps getting better and better with only two days of hockey to go.

It was pretty difficult to pick the best of the quarterfinals action. Hopefully we get these or a majority of these right. After all, getting two out of three right is not (ain’t) bad. Personally I want to thank the many writers on Twitter that make this a much easier job. Now it is time for the three stars.

Olympic Fantasy Hockey Three Stars

Gold — Kristers Gudlevskis (Latvia)

It is fairly safe to say that Gudlevskis is going to be a household name for awhile as he rises through the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. The feeling was that the only way Latvia could even remote stay in today’s contest with Canada was a superhuman effort from the goaltender. Sure enough, that is just what Latvia coach Ted Nolan got and much more. Kristers Gudlevskis made 55 saves in all, including 21 in the third period alone. Despite the 2-1 loss, he really had nothing to hang his head for. Gudlevskis really did anything and everything to keep the puck out of the net. The fact it took a Shea Weber laser to finally win speaks volumes to what an incredible game the Latvian played. Again it is rare to give the top award in a loss but this was truly exceptional, especially among the fantasy hockey community. It was all the rage on this day.

Silver — Ryan Suter — USA

Ryan Suter got off to a slow start offensively in the Olympics — almost as bad as Zach Parise. On Wednesday, both got on the scoreboard but Suter was a major catalyst in how the Americans played. He played a game high 22:10 and in all situations. Then to top that off, the Minnesota defenseman had three assists in the 5-2 win over the Czechs. People should take notes that Suter has gradually warmed to the task as the tournament has gone on. The U.S. will need this type of game from their number one defenseman and more against the likes of Canada. It will be one very big test.

Bronze — Carl Hagelin (Sweden)

There was a bit of a debate if we should include David Backes of the USA team but Hagelin made more impact in less time. Even some considered Henrik Lundqvist and his 19 save shutout worthy but honestly Hagelin was a little less expected so it seems a good idea to roll with him. Hagelin hit the net twice and both times it got past the goalie. That is efficiency. Also consider he only played 12:28 and that makes the two goals look a bit more impressive. His speed could be a  key asset in Friday’s clash with Finland where speed will be needed to break Finland’s defense. Expect a tick up in time on ice for the speedy Swede which means good news for fantasy hockey fans.

author avatar
Chris Wassel
Chris Wassel writes for XN Sports, The Hockey Writers, Dobberhockey, and many others. He is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has never turned a question away in 10+ years of writing so ask away @ChrisWasselTHW.