By amuir29
February 18, 2014

Alex Ovechkin of Team Russia at 2014 Sochi Winter OlympicsAlex Ovechkin, Russia's centerpiece star, has only one goal and one assist through four games. (David E. Klutho/SI)

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

• The Russians advanced on Tuesday with a 4-0 win over Norway, but is the Olympic spotlight too bright for Alex Ovechkin? Expected to lead his team to glory, he's been struggling under the pressure.

• Because America cannot get enough of T.J. Oshie, here are 10 things you maybe didn't know about the Olympic hero.

• It appears that Jonathan Quick will have to make the save next time. The IIHF is changing the rule that bailed out the Americans in Saturday's thrilling 3-2 shootout victory over Team Russia.

• Meet Sidney Crosby and Shea Weber, ping pong hustlers.

• A little of the killer instinct that Crosby shows with a paddle would go a long way for Sid right about now.

• Team Canada coach Mike Babcock has named his starting goalie for the must-win quarterfinal match on Wednesday. And the netminder is well prepared for this responsibility.

• Team Canada ran some new lines in practice this morning. Will this be the magic formula that Babcock has been searching for?

• Ken Campbell throws up his hands at the news that Chris Kunitz is back on the top line for Canada. I understand the frustration, but it's clear that Crosby is having trouble gelling with his rotating cast of wingers. May as well use Kunitz in the role that got him selected for the team in the first place.

• Here are some charts and graphs to illustrate the lunacy of Babcock's decision to leave P.K. Subban on the bench.

• Team USA stars Phil and Amanda Kessel share more than just good hockey genes.

• A pair of Russian hockey legends took turns dissing the Stanley Cup right to its face. They were making a point about the value of NHL participation in the Olympics, but still, that was poor form, fellas.

• And that wasn't the only controversy caused by the Cup's visit to Sochi.

• Gary Bettman and IIHF president Rene Fasel got a little testy during a Stanley Cup-or-gold medal debate.

• Slovenia continued its magical run in Sochi by knocking off Austria in Tuesday's first qualifying round game. Not bad for a country in which only 148 men are registered to play the game.

• Evgeni Kuznetsov, the Capitals' top prospect, is giving every indication that he's coming to the NHL when his Russian season ends this spring. The news would be considerably more exciting for Washington's fans if the 2010 first rounder was a halfway capable defenseman instead of another high-scoring forward.

• Bruce McCurdy measures the top prospects for this summer's draft to see which would be the best fit for the Oilers.

• Mollyhall Seeley considers the retirement of Finland's superstar goaltender Noora Raty on Monday and what it says about the current state of women's hockey. Spoiler alert: It's kinda grim.

women's hockey will never be out of the Olympics.

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