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Men’s Ice Hockey Group Stage Recap - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

No NHL players opens the door further for Team USA at the Olympics

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 9 Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

It’s been a big downer that NHL players weren’t able to participate in the Olympics. But without the superstars, the tournament has still made for some exciting hockey and been a lot more wide-open across the board.

Through qualifying, the USA is the number one seed! And Canada will not be among the top four nations and will need to play in the qualifying round as we go.

Denmark has also written a wonderful story in their first time competing in hockey at this level, going 2-1 in group play and being the Cinderella’s of the tournament so far.

Here’s what is next:

Qualifying Round Games

How to Watch

Games are available for viewing at Peacock, NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports app. If you are someone who likes to bet on the action, check out DraftKings Sportsbook for all the (responsible) fun to be had there.

Game Schedule

Monday, February 14, 2022

Slovakia vs. Germany - 11:10 p.m. ET

Denmark vs. Latvia - 11:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Czechia vs. Switzerland - 3:40 a.m. ET

Canada vs. China - 8:10 a.m. ET

There are a few players with perhaps random Pittsburgh ties to the Olympics. The biggest is probably Scott Young, the Pens’ Director of Player Development who is serving as an assistant coach for Team USA.

Team USA also boasts a couple of familiar names to the Penguin organization with David Warsofsky and Kenny Agostino. Warsofsky was with the Pens from 2015-17 and again in 2019-20 where he served as Wilkes-Barre’s captain. He played 17 total games with the NHL Pens over the years.

Agostino was a fifth round draft pick of Pittsburgh in 2010, but is perhaps best well-known in his Penguin ties as being a player involved in the 2013 trade that sent Jarome Iginla to the Pens.

The Pens have a few connections to Team Canada as well. Daniel Winnik is playing for them, he spent time in Pittsburgh in the 2014-15 season. For deep cuts, there’s Ben Street, who the Pens signed as an undrafted free agent and was with Wheeling and Wilkes-Barre from 2010-12. Another really random name is Alex Grant, a former Pittsburgh fourth round pick way back in 2007, who spent time in the minor league system from 2009-13 before playing in the KHL and excelling in the last few years.

It’s a fun mix of old and new players in the tournament, Team USA’s Matty Berniers has been impressive (the 2nd overall pick by Seattle in last year’s draft) and then you might see players like Eric Staal and Justin Abdelkader out there.

Olympic action is a fun mix of seeing these names and watching national pride come out. The tournament has unfolded way differently than it might have with the NHL players, but will still be hitting it’s crescendo this week just the same as players vie for the important and legendary status of bringing home a medal to their respective home countries.