Halak signs/US done as always: Thursday notes

So basically, in Game 3 of a conference final at MSG between the Rangers and Canadiens is going to overtime, a linesman is going to take a Ranger out, and the Habs are going to win. Got it.

Big day for the Big Club. They announced them in reverse order, but you’d think getting Jaroslav Halak signed made it a lot easier to send next year’s No. 1 pick to Buffalo to complete the (first) Thomas Vanek trade instead of this year’s fifth pick overall. So they’ve got their No. 1 goalie for four years but no No. 1 pick next summer.

In Minsk, we’re done. The United States still hasn’t won a non-Olympic World Championship since 1933. (There are a bunch of reasons. But still. By accident, you know?) The Czech Republic opened up a lead and held the U.S. off late. Brock Nelson had a goal to open the scoring, but the U.S. didn’t score again until they’d pulled Tim Thomas for an extra attacker.

(Petra Kvitova, committed again to the Pilot Pen, er, New Haven Open along with Genie Bouchard and Sara Errani, was happy.)

Probably the bigger surprise is that the Czechs won’t face Canada: Finland came from behind, dropped the upset and will meet the Czechs in the semis on Saturday. Fifth year in a row without a medal for Canada — and again, a bunch of reasons — for the first time since 2002. (The streak before that, you’re involving teams from Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, so, again, a bunch of reasons.)

It’ll be Russia vs. Sweden (21 saves for Anders Nilsson in a 3-2 win over Belarus) in the other semifinal.

Game 1 of the AHL’s Western Conference Final will be on satellite radio, if you’re so equipped.

And speaking of Donovans in international competitions, Landon Donovan is left off the United States men’s national soccer team. I’m saddened by that, but I’m appalled at our lack of production in the back half of the alphabet. Did everybody stop reading at ‘J’?

Michael Fornabaio