Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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USA-Finland quotes

Posted by: Michael Russo under Olympic hockey Updated: February 26, 2010 - 6:37 PM

This is raw, with typos, but here you go: 

Selanne
 
Its obviously very disappointing, very tough. When a game is over after 12 minutes, I don’t know what to say.
 
It’s frustrating and it’s tough. I’m very disappointed.
 
Yes. Stunned. This has never happened in my career on the national level. I don’t know what happened. You know?
 
First six minutes, it’s 5-0. You know it’s over and it’s going to be a long night after that.
 
It’s very disappointing. But you know, we didn’t deserve to be in the final if we played like that. We didn’t deserve anything.
 
Hagman
 
We didn’t a single one-on-one battle on the ice. They really came flying out of the gates.
 
Mikko Koivu
 
On Selanne, Saku last game tomorrow: It’s going to be tough. The things they gave to finnish hockey, to us younger guys, it’s up to us to give back to them what they deserve, and that’s going to be our effort. We’re going to give everything we have.
 
6-0 first period, so nothing to explain. You need to be ready in big games like this. We did everything right before the game and it just happens. It’s tough to find a reason why it happened.
 
Kiprusoff
 
It was a bad pass by me and they came pretty hard overall. When you give four goals like that in the first period, it’s tough to come back against good teams like that.
 
First goal? I thought they had first forechecker by me and I thought I can fake him and I tried to give easy pass for our guy, but he opened up and he was getting ready to get past there. I didn’t see he moved sideways, and real bad pass. You always have to take a second and look before you make passes like that, and I give tape-to-tape for U.S.A player and he used it.
 
Says he wants to start bronze
 
Miller
 
I think it was one of the best games in the tournament because I got to watch most of it.
 
I think we even took our foot off the gas trying to be conservative. But if we keep making plays and pushing like we did in the first period, we’re a tough team to hang with.
 
If Canada? Readjustment for both teams. It’ll be a little bit different game. We’ve seen each other once. That’s usually how it happens. You shake it up and see how things go. It definitely helped us in this tournament and maybe it helped them and woke them up a little bit. Who knows? Maybe that game was the biggest game for both of us.
 
Erik Johnson
 
We’ve got a lot of young energy and youthful enthusiasm.
 
It was a great goal. why would they pull him?
 
I don’t think anybody really gave us a huge chance coming in. I think we kind of relished the underdog role. We didn’t have any pressure of playing in our home country, having all the fans put expectations on us. But we all had expectations for ourselves and our team to do well. We’ve lived up to what we thought we could do.
 
It would be a dream come true. Along with winning a Stanley cup, an Olympic gold medal, they’re even with each other. It’s something ive dreamed about since I was a little kid, especially being from Minnesota, watching the documentaries and the movie, ‘Miracle,’ and Herb Brooks, and just the magic that brings to the State of Hockey and every little kid who watched it. It did to me. When that movie came out, I never thought it’d be a possibility that I could be there and do something like that. Now on Sunday I’ll have a chance to do that and your team can live on forever with that gold medal.
 
Parise
 
We’re excited for the opportunity. We’re not done. We still have a big challenge ahead of us.
 
We have some pretty proud individuals in our room and guys that have won on different levels and different stages. From a player perspective, you play games and expect to win. We don’t see ourselves as underdogs.
 
It’s really an opportunity of a lifetime right now. it doesn’t get much bigger than this.
 
Wilson
 
I want to help these kids realize their dream. Since they were born, they’ve all dreamed of 1) winning a Stanley cup and 2) winning a gold medal in the Olympics. If I can help these 23 young men accomplish that, that’ll be a great feeling for all us.
 
I didn’t know when it was going to end.
 
Scored first every game, haven’t trailed in any game
 
Start cautiously, so wanted surprise speed.
 
I hope we haven’t peaked two days too early. I haven’t seen them blink yet.
 
 
Patrick kane
 
On breaking out with two goals: "Like anything, I think it takes time to develop chemistry with certain linemates. I feel even at the start of the game, we were up 3-0 and I thought our line was playing really well and generating chances, and it was only a matter of time. I felt pretty good throughout the whole game. It would have been nice to put a couple of more (in), but it was definitely a starting point."
 
On the start: "It was a crazy 12 minutes to be a part of. I've never been a part of something like that. It seemed like we were scoring every shift, which is pretty amazing. Obviously a great start to the game. After that, we pretty much had to play defense and keep it safe."
 
On the game: "I feel we've yet to play our best game. Obviously that was a great 15 minutes for us, but it would have been nice to play a full 60. We've still got more in the tank I think. It was a greats start, an awesome win, an awesome feeling right now going to the gold-medal game . . . we're definitely coming away with a medal . . . but this team, all along, we knew we could win the gold medal and that's what our goal is still."
 
On facing Canada-Slovakia: "We did our job getting into the gold-medal game. To say we care who we play, I'd be lying to you. We just want to win the gold medal, it doesn't matter who it's against. From a fan's standpoint, you definitely want to see a USA-Canada game. Obviously we beat them once and proved ourselves, but at the same time, we don't care who we're facing."
 
On facing Canada/Luongo: "If we do, I've had my luck against him personally, so it's a goalie I wouldn't mind going up against. But at the same time, he's one of the best in the world, he's in net for Canada for a reason . . . he's playing great right now."
 
Jamie Langenbrunner
 
On the run to the gold-medal game: "It's been very special. It's been a great two weeks. We had a great vibe coming into this. We have a group of guys that really play for each other and it's been a lot of fun being a part of it."
 
On the confidence level of the team: "Our confidence level is fun. It has been since the opening of the tournament. We believed in our group. We had a focus of coming here to win the gold medal. I believe we can win a gold medal and now we've got that opportunity. We put a lot of work into these last two weeks, a lot of sacrifice by guys, and it's fun to have opportunity now."
 
Brian Rafalski
 
On leading the tournament in scoring: "I'm not forcing anything. It's just happening right now. I've been able to take advantage of some opportunities, playing with some great players. Everyone is moving the puck. No one is selfish. If there's a play to be made, guys are making plays."
 
On whether it's surprising to be in gold-medal game: "I don't know if it's a surprise, but obviously with the North American rink, guys are very used to that. It would be a different situation possibly on an Olympic-sized sheet, but who knows. It's the situation everybody is in and I think that's helped us."
 
NIKLAS BACKSTROM
 
ON COMING INTO A BLOWOUT
 
It's not what you want to happen or where you want to be but it's part of the game. You have to be ready to try and help your team. It's tough. We've been dreamining about the final and the gold for a long time. Then you basically get ten minutes and it's gone. It was a tough period for the whole team.
 
CAN US BEAT CANADA AGAIN?
 
I think so, for sure. It's a very good team. If they play like today, there's a good chance for that. I think their first period, they were really great. We didn't play that good. In the first period after the first couple minutes, everything went the wrong way for us.
 
ON TEEMU'S LAST GAME?
 
These players if it's their last game, they deserve a better finish than the game we had tonight. That's probably for the whole team something we need to step up and make it good game for them.

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