Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe did not get the opportunity to watch Martin Marincin’s final Olympic game live yesterday. He was busy on the other rink scouting the Latvia-Switzerland game, of which the winner would face Canada today in the quarterfinals.
However, Lowe watched all of the other Slovakia games and talked about how the young defenceman, who turned 22 yesterday, fared in his first Olympic experience.
“I am highly impressed by the way he performed,” Lowe said. “You never know how the young guys or players are going to take experiences like this. Typically, they take it in the right way and they use it and they build off of it. I think his confidence should be sky high. We’ve got to remember that he’s only been a pro for a year and a half, so there are going to be some rough spots I’m sure as we move along here this season and maybe next season.”
Marincin has played in 22 NHL games this season for the Oilers. He has two points (0-2-2) and is +4, which leads the team. At the Olympics, Marincin steadily gained more play time and finished his tournament strong, playing over 21 minutes and finishing +1 in Slovakia’s 5-3 loss to the Czech Republic.
“He’s demonstrated that he can play against the best players in the world and handle himself very well,” Lowe said. “He’s got a lot to be proud of and I think the Oilers have a lot to be excited about.”
Oilers Kevin Lowe poses with former Soviet Union goaltender Vladislav Tretiak, General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Detroit Redwings Ken Holland and Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli.
Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe is on the ground in Sochi, Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics as a member of Canada's Management Team.
He has provided exclusive photos of the experience in Sochi. Here are a couple of photos of Athlete's Village, including a shot of Team Canada's digs.
|Team Canada's home at Athlete's Village. Photo provided by Kevin Lowe.
|Athlete's Village on The Black Sea. Photo provided by Kevin Lowe.
Edmonton Oilers blueliner Anton Belov scored for Russia in his Olympic debut today, a 5-2 win over Slovenia. For the 27-year-old defenceman, it had to be a moment to remember. Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe was on hand for the goal.
“It must have been quite the feeling…,” Lowe said. “The score was 3-2 in the third period. Not unlike (Canada’s) game against Norway, I don’t think it appeared that the Russians were too nervous but once they scored a few goals, including Anton’s in the third, I think everyone breathed a little easier.”
Belov’s goal secured a three-goal lead for the Russians in the third period. The moment after he scored, Belov was noticeably excited.
“I didn’t talk to him afterwards, but it was a great shot,” Lowe said. “He was really excited, by his celebration. It’s probably a highlight for him, I’m sure, in his career to score a goal, on his home soil, in the Olympics. I’m sure it will be one of the great memories for him.”
For a player like Belov, in his first season of professional hockey in North America, it is important to build confidence in his game. The transition from KHL to the NHL has been something Belov has been working towards. Lowe talked about that transition and how an experience like the Olympics can help in a player’s development.
“I think overall, although Anton is not a young player, he’s certainly not an old player. But he is young for the NHL. It’s a completely different league than playing over in Europe, the KHL in his case. It’s a longer season, it’s more of a grind, a smaller rink and all of those things. I suspect that this experience for him will help him immensely when he comes back to Edmonton. I’m sure that scoring a goal, and if he continues to play well, will add to his confidence and that should only bode well for our hockey team and in terms of how he’s able to be productive for us when he does come back.”
Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe is in Sochi, Russia for the Olympics as a member of the Canadian Olympic Management Team. He was on hand for Canada’s 3-1 victory over Norway today and gave his thoughts on the game in a phone interview.
“I thought overall, it was a solid game,” Lowe said. “It looked like we were a little too methodical in the first period and I think that’s not a bad thing. I think the players were just trying to play the overall team game and system and there might have been some nerves in there so we weren’t firing on all cylinders. But I thought in the second, we played a more free, realized game. We outshot them by quite a bit.
“(We’re) satisfied by the game. We recorded that we thought Norway only had three even-strength scoring chances. In terms of playing a solid defensive game, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Drew Doughty and Patrice Bergeron each recorded two-point games for Canada in the win. Canada takes on Austria tomorrow at 10 a.m. Mountain Time. Austria is coming off of an 8-4 loss to Finland.
The overwhelming sentiment of Team Russia, following their 5-2 win over Slovenia in the Group A preliminary round, was that they can do better.
Olympic Update Day 1 | Olympic Update Day 2 | Lowe Canada | Marincin's Mentor
"We can all play better,” defenceman Anton Belov said. “Today is just the third day after we flew here."
Slovenia surprised the host country with their perseverance and push back but in the end, Valeri Nichushkin’s goal at 3:59 of the third period gave Russia the two-goal lead.
It was the Edmonton Oilers blueliner, Belov, who sealed the win for the Russians with his goal at 7:53 of the third period, putting his team up by three.
"Everybody saw how after two goals we sort of calmed down and lowered our tempo,” he said. “A serious team should not do such things."
According to reports from practices this week, Oilers defenceman Martin Marincin has been paired with Milan Jurcina with Slovakia.
Marincin and Slovakia take on Team USA tomorrow.
Oilers President of Hockey Operations is in Sochi, Russia as a member of Team Canada's Management Team.
He's been sending some photos of his trip to the Olympics. Here is one of the Olympic grounds showing just how beautiful the weather conditions have been.
Oilers defenceman Anton Belov is paired with Columbus Blue Jackets d-man Nikita Nikitin for Team Russia today at practice, according to TSN's Ryan Rishaug who is on the ground in Sochi, Russia for the Winter Olympics.
Russia's first game of the Olympics is Thursday February 13, against Slovenia.
For Oiler fans, Anton Belov skating with Nikita Nikitin at practice today.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) February 10, 2014