Hiller the talk of Vancouver.

Jonas Hiller did not have to be the winning goaltender on Thursday to become the talk of Vancouver.

In what he told reporters was the “one of the best games I’ve ever seen for the Swiss national team,” Switzerland pushed Canada to a shootout before losing, 3-2. Hiller stopped 45 of 47 in regulation and allowed the only goal in the shootout, to Sidney Crosby, after stopping Crosby, Jonathan Toews and teammate Ryan Getzlaf in the first three rounds.

San Jose Sharks teammates Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau scored for Canada in regulation.

Some good morning reads on Hiller:

From the Montreal Gazette
From the Vancouver Sun
From NHL.com

Cue your DVRs, Duck fans.

During the NHL Olympic Break, FSN Prime Ticket will re-air several Ducks games from the first half of the 2009-10 NHL season.

The four-game classic series begins Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. with Anaheim’s 6-1 victory at Boston from Oct. 8. In addition to the classic games, Freeway Face-off: Midseason Report will debut Monday, Feb. 22 on Prime Ticket beginning at 10:30 p.m.

Freeway Face-off: Bound for B.C. will also re-air three additional nights on Prime Ticket, beginning Friday, Feb. 19 (4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.). Below is a complete list of Ducks coverage on PRIME TICKET through the remainder of the Olympic Break.

DUCKS CLASSICS
Fri., Feb. 19 8 p.m. at Boston (from Oct. 8) W, 6-1
Sun., Feb. 21 8 p.m. vs. Calgary (from Jan. 17) W, 5-4
Tues., Feb. 23 8 p.m. at St. Louis (from Jan. 23) W, 4-3 SO
Fri., Feb. 26 8:30 p.m. vs. Los Angeles (from Feb. 8) W, 4-2

FREEWAY FACE-OFF: MIDSEASON REPORT
Debuts:
Mon., Feb. 22 (10:30 p.m.)
Re-airs:
Tues., Feb. 23 (7:30 p.m.)
Wed., Feb. 24 (2 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.)
Thurs., Feb. 25 (7 p.m.)
Fri., Feb. 26 (10:30 p.m.)
Sat., Feb. 27 (11:30 a.m.)

FREEWAY FACE-OFF: BOUND FOR B.C.
Re-airs:
Fri., Feb. 19 (4:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.)
Sat., Feb. 20 (11:30 a.m. & 10:30 p.m.)
Sun., Feb. 21 (2 p.m.)

U.S. beats Norway, 6-1; quiet day for locals.

Brian Rafalski scored twice, and Chris Drury, Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel and Ryan Malone scored once in a 6-1 win for Team USA over Norway at the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament.

The Ducks’ Ryan Whitney and Bobby Ryan were kept off the scoreboard. Only an assist by the Kings’ Jack Johnson (when Malone buried the rebound of his slap shot) gave Southern California a share of the victory.

Jonas Hiller and Team Switzerland take to the ice against Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Team Canada at 4:30 p.m. (CNBC)

Selanne makes his point.

Three minutes, 24 seconds.

That’s how long it took Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu to produce a goal for Finland for the first time in these Olympics, when the Ducks teammates assisted on Olli Jokinen’s first-period goal against Belarus. Finland rolled to an easy 5-1 victory in its Vancouver debut.

For Selanne, the assist gave him a share of the Olympic record for most career points, according to NHL.com.

Selanne has 20 goals and 36 points in five Olympic appearances. Citing the IIHF record book, NHL.com reports that Selanne is now tied with Czechoslovakia’s Vlastimil Bubnik, Russia’s Valeri Kharlamov and Canada’s Harry Watson. With five more goals in the tournament, Selanne will tie the Olympic record for most career goals in the modern era, which begins with the 1956 Olympics. Sweden’s Sven “Tumba” Johansson holds the record with 25.

With the assist, Koivu also moved two assists closer to tying the Olympic record of 22, held by Russia’s Kharlamov.

Getzlaf, Perry shine in Canada’s win.

Scoreless after one period with Norway, Team Canada suddenly realized it was Canada and finished off an 8-0 victory in its Olympic opener on Tuesday in Vancouver.

Ducks teammates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry each had a goal for the host squad. Scott Niedermayer had an assist, as did former Duck Chris Pronger.

Getzlaf and Perry played on the same line, usually at left and right wing, respectively, centered by the Carolina Hurricanes’ Eric Staal. Getzlaf and Perry also enjoyed some power-play time on either side of center Sidney Crosby.

Pronger and Niedermayer were split up for the most part, defying prognosticators, as head coach Mike Babcock used the game against an easy opponent to mix-and-match. But at one point during a second-period power play, Staal was at center with Getzlaf, Perry, Niedermayer and Pronger.

Canada plays Switzerland in its next game

USA 3, Switzerland 1.

Bobby Ryan got the better of Jonas Hiller in their first game as opponents, scoring a goal as Team USA opened the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament with a 3-1 win over Switzerland.

Ryan opened the scoring in the first period, grabbing a loose puck in the high slot and firing past the glove of his Anaheim Ducks teammate. Hiller stopped 21 of 24 shots.

David Backes and Ryan Malone also scored goals, and Ryan Miller made 14 saves for Team USA.

Hiller, Ryan, Whitney on their big meeting.

Before they left for Vancouver, Jonas Hiller, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney took a pop quiz. One question. If they didn’t study, they should have.

What’s the first men’s hockey game in the Olympics?

Hiller and Ryan knew; Whitney, who was only added the Team USA roster last week, did not.

Hiller, in fact, has had it circled for a while. “Ever since they announced the schedule,” he schedule.

Here’s what else the trio had to say about today’s game between USA and Switzerland at noon:
Continue reading

Pogge is AHL player of the week.

Justin Pogge wasted no time getting to work in the American Hockey League last week.

Returned to the San Antonio Rampage after goaltender Vesa Toskala arrived in Anaheim, Pogge made three consecutive starts over the weekend and won them all, stopping 97 of 100 shots. On Monday, he was named AHL player of the week for the week ending Sunday.

Pogge began the week with a 27-save performance in San Antonio’s 3-1 win at Peoria on Friday night. In a rematch with the Rivermen on Saturday, Pogge made 43 saves on 44 shots to lead the Rampage to a 2-1 victory. And on Sunday, Pogge turned aside 27 shots as San Antonio edged Milwaukee 2-1.

Getzlaf will play in Olympics.

One day after his two-goal, two-assist performance for the Ducks, Ryan Getzlaf received permission today to play for Team Canada.

Getzlaf’s status was in question after he sprained his ankle in the Ducks’ win over the Kings last Monday. He missed two games before returning Sunday in Edmonton, where he played a full 19:28 centering the Ducks’ top line.

Ducks 7, Oilers 3.

The Ducks bounced back nicely against a team that gave them trouble in Anaheim on Wednesday, and Ryan Getzlaf made a statement in his return from an ankle injury.

Getzlaf, whose status for Team Canada in the Olympics was in jeopardy after hurting his ankle against the Kings on Monday, scored two goals and assisted on two others for the Ducks.

Saku Koivu, Scott Niedermayer, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and George Parros also scored goals for the Ducks. Teemu Selanne had a pair of assists and Jonas Hiller made 23 saves in goal. He had a much easier night than counterpart Jeff Deslauriers, who faced 46 shots and could easily have given up more than seven goals.

The Ducks head to the Olympic break with a 30-25-7 record with 19 games left in the regular season. They’re two points back of Calgary for eighth place in the Western Conference standings.