The Semis, Zuccarello, NYR practice Thursday, more

Returned from a sunny soiree in the tropics late Sunday and have been bedeviled by laptop issues since, hence my absence from this little corner of the internet. Our IT team is on the case, unsure when it will be resolved or how long my little-used and ancient personal computer will proceed without giving up the ghost but...we soldier on.

Some things to report:

I watched some of the preliminary round via NBC live stream on my phone last week, and the experience was disappointing. Too many commericals for one, and the signal kept breaking up.  And the games themselves? Except for U.S. Russia, which ended in a shootout, and shocker, I have some issues with that format (not the greatest game ever by any means with that finish) most of what else I caught was not competitive. Now the tourney starts with the semis and I'll be far more attentive via TV.

Still sticking with my projections from my Sunday Insider from before the puck dropped: Sweden (although far tougher without Zetterberg), Canada, US and Russia as a wild card. You might also remember my heads-up about an upcoming World Cup revival from that column and it looks like that's going to happen in 2015.

On to Zuke, the NYR's aleading scorer. Team spokesman says he knows nothing more than what's been reported, a hand/arm injury that kep him out of Norway's final game. Maybe we'll know more tomorrow. Or when the Rangers gather for the first practice of a post-Sochi mini-camp in Westchester on noon Thursday.





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