I guess we all knew how this one was going to end even before it began with Canada winning the Gold Medal in Hockey. But damn, it was a great game! And once the US tied it up with 24 seconds left in regulation, I honestly thought we were going to steal it away. But Sidney Crosby made sure that wasnt going to happen not on his watch, anyway.
When the Men’s US Olympic Hockey team was announced following the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, I have to admit, I wasn’t too impressed. I would have liked to see a little more veteran presence – it’s a very young squad with little Olympic experience, but I should have known better than to doubt Team USA GM Brian Burke. Going a perfect 3-0 in their qualification games, this group of kids has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that they deserve to be counted. In one of the most highly anticipated games in Canadian hockey history, the USA vs. Canada game last Sunday further solidified this team’s chances at medal hopes while delivering a crushing blow to the Canadians who laugh at the idea of American hockey.
American goalie Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres) was spectacular in the game, making 42 saves, while his counterpart, Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils) stopped only 19 shots. I’m questioning Canada coach Mike Babcock’s decision to keep Brodeur in net considering he was mediocre at best when Canada required four rounds of a shootout to defeat Switzerland in their second game of qualification play. Brodeur may be the NHL’s all-time leader in regular-season wins, but backup goalie Roberto Luongo is not exactly, well…a backup goalie. I imagine there has to be some pressure on Babcock to get Luongo some play considering Canada didn’t exactly roll over any of their opponents, not to mention Luongo is the hometown hero, playing for the Vancouver Canucks during the regular season.
The women’s hockey tournament has been a little odd – I know that typically high scoring games are exciting to watch, but is scoring 18 goals in a game really necessary? Where’s the mercy rule? I can’t really get too excited about these games where it becomes obvious after the first five minutes who’s going to win. I watched the first two periods of the Canada vs. Sweden game last week and it wasn’t exciting at all…13-1? Really?
I’m going to venture a couple of predictions here…I’m going to call Russia vs. USA for the men’s gold medal match and I’m going to say the Canadian women will repeat. Just sayin…
What’s the deal with the Boston Bruins and Detroit red Wings? Last year these were two of the most polific scoring teams in the NHL… but this year, they’re both dead last in their respective conferences.
Goal Tending and Defense has been decent, so they both have a chance to get their acts together and make a run for the playoffs. Hope the Olympic break doesn’t mess up their continuity. Then again, the way they’ve been playing, that might not be such a bad thing!