Sharks in Sochi
Roundup of how the four Sharks players at the Olympics performed in Sochi 2014.
ANTTI NIEMI: He did not dress for Finland in its stunning 3-1 quarterfinal victory over Russia. Tuukka Rask got the start at goalie and played well, making 37 saves to eliminate the home team and sadden an entire nation. Kari Lehtonen was in uniform as Rask's backup. Niemi has seen no game action for Finland, although he did dress for two games. He has been a good sport about it while working hard in practice. One Finnish source says Niemi was told before accepting the invitation to Sochi that his playing time might be minimal, but he still wanted to be part of the team for the Olympic experience. Next: Finland plays Sweden in a semifinal game on Friday at 4 a.m. Pacific Time.
JOE PAVELSKI: The U.S. moved on to the semifinals with a routine 5-2 victory over the Czech Republic, and Pavelski continued his hot play with an assist on the USA's fourth goal, a power-play score by Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild. Pavelski also won nine of 13 faceoffs, as USA coach Dan Bylsma moved him around on multiple lines to create the matchups he wanted against the Czech size and speed. It all paid off and sets up a rematch of the Vancouver 2010 gold medal game in which Pavelski nearly scored in overtime to end it before Canada's Sidney Crosby managed to find the net.
Next: USA plays Canada in a semifinal game Friday at 9 a.m.
PATRICK MARLEAU: Team Canada had all sorts of problems scoring against Latvia in a quarterfinal game but managed to eke out a 2-1 victory. Marleau was among the frustrated Canadian players who couldn't get a puck past Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, who made a remarkable 55 saves. Marleau took five shots on goal, converted none. It remains to be seen if Canada coach Mike Babcock shakes up his lines again for the semifinal.
Next: Canada plays the USA in a semifinal Friday at 9 a.m.
MARC-EDOUARD VLASIC: Canada defensemen have scored seven of the team's 13 goals so far. Vlasic does not have one, but not for lack of trying. He put four shots on net in the squeaker over Latvia. Vlasic and his defensive partner, Drew Doughty, have easily been Canada's most effective pairing.