The National Hockey League has descended upon Sochi to join in the Winter Olympics fun.
After the final games were held on Saturday, the NHL shut down operations for the next two weeks to allow players to represent their countries in Sochi for the Games. Players and other staff met in Newark and traveled together halfway across the world to Sochi on a couple of charter flights.
On Monday morning, the NHLers were getting their first looks at the Olympics. Coaches first.
Coaches Bylsma, Laviolette and Granato were the first to arrive this morning in Sochi. pic.twitter.com/0ssTTIOB00— USA Hockey (@usahockey) February 10, 2014
The players weren't far behind.
Patrice Bergeron among the first arrivals for Team Canada, welcome to Sochi boys! pic.twitter.com/n14vCc1Czs— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) February 10, 2014
Good news is their luggage didn't get lost like they were the Jamacian bobsled team. Their gear made it to Sochi, too.
Baggage claim! After arrival at airport all player equipment bags will be taken over to the Bolshoy Arena. pic.twitter.com/C16pZSm0eG— Michael Gilbert (@MGibbyGilbert) February 10, 2014
Now let the fun begin. The men's hockey tournament will open on Wednesday with Sweden facing the Czech Republic and Lativa against Switzerland. The United States will play its first game on Thursday against Slovakia at 7:30 a.m. ET, the same time as Russia playing Slovenia. Canada will open against Norway at Noon ET.