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Canada/Germany, America Cares, Easton Z Shock Helmet

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Canada vs. Russia, the widely predicted gold medal game, has shown up wayyyy too early. 

But still, aren’t you kind of glad it’s happening?  If the Olympics are only every fourth year, you’d hate to go through the whole thing and not play the American and Russian squads, and sure enough, we’re getting that wish.  What’s that saying?  Watch what you wish for??  Seriously.

*****

Last nights rout versus Germany was just what the boys needed.  No mental stress, let everybody feel good about where their offensive game is at (Joe Thornton and Rick Nash scored!), and have Luongo get back into the swing of things (tough couple goals against, really).

Weee, I did good, right guys?

I’m sensing from blog reader reactions we’re all having fun scrutinizing each and every guy, especially the bubble ones, but it really wouldn’t be fair to say something like ”Niedermeyer really turned it around last night” when his brother could have played D in last nights game and been fine (but I will say that his breakaway goal was suspect, to say the least.  A no-move, on-the-ice five-hole shot.  Really, Greiss?  Those stopped going in around the late 80′s).

I have to think when Babcock was making the lines, he had Russia in mind, not Germany, and was giving the guys a day to gel.  Well, (I always wanna write “welp”, because that’s kinda how I say it, but I’m afraid people will think it’s a typo.  Lets try it again, no typo)….  Welp, it all comes down to this:  Lose and you’re out, and we’re playing a top three country in the world at the sport.

The bad news for them? 

WE’RE A TOP ONE COUNTRY, RUSKI’S, HERE WE COOOMMMMEEEE!

(Legitimate question:  Is “Ruski” derogatory?  I hope I didn’t just write some horrible slur.  If I did, my bad, it was ignorance not hate.)

*****

You know what the US win over Canada has done for all of us?  Made the rivalry better, for one simple reason:  the reaction to the win showed that American fans actually do care about hockey (or at least Canada vs. US hockey).

Two Americans who DEFINITELY care.

The common reaction to Canada’s 2002 gold in the US was “well, whatever, we win everything else and don’t care about hockey anyways”.

“We’re a football country” (or baseball, depending on who you ask). 

Whatever the response, it was usually some derivative of “meh”.  But the second the buzzer went that solidified the US win over their northern neighbors, the true colours came out.  Non-sports news shows, MTV, you name it, the Americans were right jazzed about that win.  It was great to see and hear, not only because Americans loving hockey is GREAT for the game, but you always want your opponent to care.

So now we know.  The next time a loss hurts the US, don’t turn to the other sports and not-caredom.  You clearly do.  So if your hearts get broken in the next week, just say so.  Say it hurt, and you’ll get ‘em next time.

You lost the tool of “meh”, and that’s fun for everyone.

*****

Easton has come out with their new “Z Shock” helmet that’s “lighter than a cup of coffee”, as the tag line goes.  They sent them out to a bunch of media people for reviews and a little publicity, and I happened to be included in that group.  I gave it a go at rec hockey last night (by the way, we’re one win away from league champ status, weeeee), so here’s a review:

First things first, it’s light.  Crazy light.  And I was thinking, well, I don’t get hit much in rec hockey, so I could definitely sacrifice a little protection for a lighter lid.  But as it turns out, the helmet has better protection statistics than every other current helmet out there.  So they got that goin’ for ‘em.

As for looks, it’s pretty sharp.  Nothing can compare to the low-pro look of the old Bauer 4000′s for my money, but style-wise, this one is as nice as the RBK’s most guys wear now.  I’m pretty sure Iginla is wearing it, actually.

The ear pieces snap out easy and quick, so you don’t have to look like Crosby for long, and like all new lids, is adjustable in size without needing a screwdriver.

Long story short, thanks to Easton for sending me the helmet.  I’m pretty sure it’s gonna take over the number one spot in my helmet rotation, based purely on being comfortable and really, really light.

They’re comparing it to being as revolutionary as when they came out with the Synergy sticks, which is hardly true, but they did make a good product here, as Easton always does.  If you happen to see one, at least pick it up and give it a look.  After all – it’s lighter than a cup of coffee.

Comments

29 Responses to “Canada/Germany, America Cares, Easton Z Shock Helmet”
  1. Christianson10 says:

    Nothing about the Czech Latvia game Justin…come on man that game was huge!!!

  2. jtbourne says:

    Didn’t get to see it man, had hockey and a late dinner with a friend in town. Just read up on it though, holy smokes!

  3. The Franchise says:

    Should be a banger of a game tonight. Loved the ‘We want Russia” chant going through Canadian Hockey Place (still a weird name to me, GM Place?). Overall team looked good, as expected. Why can’t Richards-Toews-Morrow get some more ice-time? Every time they are on the ice they are creating plays or getting the crowd going, they’ve been much more productive than Getzlaf-Perry line thus far.

    Nothing greater than seeing Jumbo Joe net the first one :D No one has taken as much blame as Joe so far. Here’s to hoping he breaks out with a 3 assist night against the Russians.

  4. ms.conduct says:

    I’ve been telling people “welp” should be a word for 15 years. Glad to have a comrade in the cause. I’d actually given up…

    If any goalie companies would like me to review their stuff, just give me a holler. I promise to love it publicly.

    Um, oh yeah, and USA! USA! USA! or whatever.

  5. Will77 says:

    Besides Canada vs Germany, those games were much closer then I think anyone expected. An OT and shootout win to get to the next round? Didn’t see that coming.

    As I was walking to lunch, I was thinking about Russia/Canada. I definitely wanted that as a medal game, kind of like watching two trains on the same track get closer and closer to colliding. But good point, better now then maybe never at all.

    Another plus about USA winning; imagine if these two meet in the gold medal game now? The crowd alone will make that worthwhile.

    Curious about the Easton Z. Have you ever tried the RBK? Thats what I’m wearing now and its insanely light, wondering if this one is even lighter?

  6. jtbourne says:

    Yeah, I had been wearing the RBK, which is great too, but it’s seriously like half as light as the RBK (12 ounces, or something).

  7. Bret says:

    are either you guys visor-wearers?

    i prefer “wheel” myself..

  8. Bret says:

    also, i’m going to be pretty annoyed tonight when (not if) they turn this into a “crosby vs. ovie: for the world” rivalry… different stage, same market strategy/record’s broken..

  9. AiH says:

    I enjoyed the comments leading up to the revoking of the “meh tool.” You’re exactly right and hopefully the United States fans respond appropriately to any and all future wins or losses.

    One other item, the pool play clearly didn’t turn out how Canada expected but if I were a Canadian I would be thrilled at the opportunity to blow through Russia, Sweden and the United States to win Gold on home ice. Tell me that wouldn’t be celebrated every decade going forward.

    “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”

  10. jtbourne says:

    I thought the same thing – you have to beat the best to be the best. The domino’s are set-up, Canucks, push ‘em down!

  11. MikeB says:

    New helmet eh? Is it better for concussions and stuff then that Messier Helmet? Also at 200$CAD it isn’t that bad of a deal for something that makes you life easier and safer.

  12. Madeleine says:

    I really should be studying for my midterm tonight, but watching us destroy the Russians seems like a worthy alternative.

  13. MikeB says:

    I don’t know if you are watching the US-Suisse game… but you should be.

  14. Josh Ciocco says:

    I just want to throw out a comment in regards to “meh”… I do think americans care to an extent, but nowhere near like Canada. And if we happen to lose in the gold medal game to Canada (we are only winning 1-0 in the 3rd vs the swiss, so heres to hoping) than the tournament WILL be a success for the americans. If the americans medal, everyone will be happy. Canada on the other hand? They have by FAR the best team talent wise, and if they do not win it is very disappointing.

    And I know Russia has alot of talent, their top 6 may be the best…but lets not forget they have 6 non nhl forwards on their team and not one of their dmen would make team Canada. Talent wise, everyone know the US is young, there is a handful of guys I think would compete for a spot on team Canada, but really the only person that would be guaranteed a spot is Miller. (Parise and Kane would both make good cases for themselves) Sweedon is top heavy, and also not in the same league as canada. My point being…Canada is the favorite and the only team that should be embarresed if they do not leave with Gold.

  15. jtbourne says:

    I agree Canada SHOULD win, but the impression Americans typically give after losing to Canada is “oh, there was a game on?” I think people may be paying closer attention than they let on…

  16. MikeB says:

    Ciocco – Volchenkov, Markov and Gonchar all would have a very real chance at making Team Canada. All 3 of them are top-flight d-men, and if they were Canadian at least one of them are on the team.

  17. jtbourne says:

    ….Volchenkov?

  18. MikeB says:

    Yeah. Wayyy better then everyone thinks he is. Best defensive defense-man in the game, blocks shots, hits, shut-down. In so many ways I would want him on my team ahead of Chris Pronger.

  19. jtbourne says:

    I’d take you on D right now instead of Pronger. Cool that Volchenkov’s legit, but he wouldn’t make Canada’s Spengler Cup team.

  20. Josh Ciocco says:

    LOL…Volchenkov, Markov, and Gonchar…. you are suggesting Stevey Y would have taken ANY of those 3 over Mike Green??? The answer to that question is NO, which means they would not have made Canada. While the loss to the US stung the canadians like no other, I think the media up there is loving the fact that they get to make Canada out to be an underdog now…My point is Im not buying it…They are by far the best team and anything but Gold is a huge letdown… I know the other teams are good, but not on the same level…Thats why Americans enjoyed the win so much…because we are not nearly as good and still won…everyone loves an upset…stop listening to the media and thinking the playing field is even…

  21. minnesotagirl71 says:

    Does anyone else wonder if Americans care that Team USA won against Canada mostly because Canadians care so deeply about their loss? Would this game have been such a big deal in the US if it hadn’t been so hyped by Olympic commentators? Maybe a big deal in the hockey towns, but to average joe football/baseball fan?

    While I was thrilled that our “young American upstarts” beat Team Canada for the first time in 50 years, I actually felt bad for the Canadian fans. To have a team kill your home ice atmosphere the way Team USA did – that would inspire some serious sports hate!

  22. MikeB says:

    Mike Green had a better shot at being the 13th forward for team Canada then ever making this team as a Dman.
    If Gonchar and Markov (who wasn’t healthy all year, but if he was) are Canadian, Seabrook and Doughty (who has been Canada’s best defenceman) do not make this team. They are that good. Volchenkov is a stretch but still one of the top Dmen in the NHL.

    Nobody “up here” is making Canada out to be an underdog. Canada should win this tournament. If it went to best of 5,7 in the medal round Canada wins more often, but as it is one bad or mediocre game knocks you out.

  23. Josh Ciocco says:

    Mike B, I can appreciate your argument about Markov and Gonchar, but your not being honest with yourself, your just supporting your argument. Gonchar is a good powerplay Dman, but I honestly do not think hes any better than Ed Jovonovski… In his prime maybe, but right now his numbers are super inflated from playing the PP with crosby and malkin…No chance I would take him over Doughty or Seabrook…And if you sat at a draft table and chose him over one of them Id question your hockey judgement. Put Doughty on Pittsburgh’s PP and hed be up for the Norris. Markov, not healthy this year, and presents a decent argument, but regardless I would take Green and Phaneuf over him any day of the week…. So, back to my original comment, maybe Russia has 1 Dman that could make Canada…your just proving my point as to how much better they are than Russia and they SHOULD win…

  24. Frank says:

    I will go out on a limb here with a 4 goal lead and only 2-1/2 minutes left to say Great job Team Canada!!!!! Here’s to hoping we see a USA/Canada rematch in the gold medal round…….

  25. Jim L. says:

    Hey Bourne, you think Doc understands when a hit is late or not? Pretty sure Boyle still had the puck when Semin hit him, not sure that constitutes a late hit…

  26. Justin says:

    Dan Boyle is a donkey.

  27. fish says:

    If Robyn Regehr was russian he’ld be in their top 4. (just sturring the pot here :p)

    Talking ’bout Latvia, I’m really impressed by Masaslskis ss s or something ( the goalie) I’ve seen 2 matches witht he Latvians and he played his soul out every game…

  28. Corkdork says:

    You’re right in saying we lost the ability to go “hockey? Meh.” last Sunday — but at the same time, if the US makes it to the medal round against Canada and loses, we still have the right to go “the majority of our athletic talent play other sports,” and mean it.

    Hockey, in the US, is still a minority sport. It’s a *good* minority sport, but it’s a minority sport nonetheless. Look at TV coverage of hockey versus football or basketball; there’s only a handful of network-broadcasted games every year, versus multiple games every week during the playing season. Look at participation in youth leagues — there’s more football and basketball played than hockey. The US does not, for the most part, cultivate a lot of hockey talent.

    So if we lose to Canada in the gold medal game, it’ll be “good game, guys. See you in London for basketball in 2012,” I suppose.

    And, of course, if we win it’ll be an upset of epic proportions — for the same reason that the win on Sunday got so much press.

  29. zyllyx says:

    I’m guessing the US will lose to Canada in the gold medal round as karmic compensation for the US winning the World Juniors, which, as everyone knows, is a crime against nature.

    At least, I hope Canada wins (even as a US fan), because with a roster that STACKED in All-Star talent, NHL team captains, and salary cap $$$, anything less will be a giant, crushing disappointment.

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