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Olympic Hockey: Day One

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Ahhh, that Canadian hockey rap kills me.  I used to love that Tupac song.  So much so that I just YouTubed the actual song and realized how much I miss the “Westsiiieeede!” sign.  I lived in Kelowna’s Westside growing up, so I didn’t actually play for “Kelowna”, I played for “Wesst-siiddde!” – I was straight hood throwing up that gang sign.

On to the puck.

*****

Sssssssssssssssss-cores.

USA: 3 – Switzerland: 1

There just wasn’t a whole lot to be gleaned about the quality of the American team from watching this game.  Nothing changed in what I think of their team – they’re talented, young and fast, but probably not quiiite as top-tier-dangerous as Russia, Sweden or Canada.  Granted, this tournament boils down to one game eliminations, and they have the best goalie, so don’t rule ‘em out.

Switzerland played a pretty defensive style for the first half of the game (which, frankly, was not exactly a thrilling spectacle of hockey), but when they did fall behind, the game opened up and made it infinitely more watchable.

The one the thing (aside from Ryan Miller) the US does have going for them, is that Patrick Kane is officially one of the ten best players in the National Hockey League.  For the first time in his career, you start getting that “oh… oh… oh crap” feeling when he gets the puck in the neutral zone and starts winding it up, the same way you get it when Ovechkin has the puck against your team.  (They also have Bobby Ryan going for them.  I’m fantasy hockey stalking him for next year.)

*****

We're all sick, hey?

Canada: 8 – Bosnia & Herzegovina: 0

Why doesn’t Norway have a better hockey team?  I mean that seriously.

They’re one of three Scandanavian countries that are at the same degree of latitude as Alaska, and the other two (Sweden and Finland) rip shit up on frozen ponds.  To top it off, it’s not like Norway doesn’t rock the party that rocks the party at winter sports.  They cross-country ski the crap out of the Olympics every year.  And are you kidding me with the biathalon?  Those MF’ers can snipe a squirrel out of a tree in Oregon after skiing the Iditarod, but we can’t strap a set of Bauer 60′s on some of these guys and make them NHL’ers?  Baffling.

Canada got what we needed – the blowout that alleviates the media vultures (hey look, it’s me!) who are dying to Stamkos/Spezza/Green poor Yzerman to death the second the team under produces.

Canadians score in a totally different way than Russia.  Russia does talented fancy stuff until the net is crazy open, or wait to shoot until it’s almost a guarantee (generalization, of course).  Canada creates by throwing the puck at the net, shooting through screens and tracking down rebounds.  We’re far less prone to puck possession.  Get it deep, go get it.  Shoot it, find the rebound.  One way isn’t better than the other (unless you’re a coach, in which case you love Canada’s style – far less risky), I’m just pointing out the difference.

*****

Bourne’s Bloggers from Phoenix.  Lets watch Canada/USA Together.

The “Hoser Hut”, as Cactus Jacks was affectionately dubed by a BB reader (Elliot and 48th, off the 101, near Walgreens and Safeway), will be host to a number of both Canadian and American hockey fans (okay, largely American) on Sunday, and the bar has accomodated us.

The game starts at 5:40, I’m told, and they’re doing this for us from 2:00 til 8:00:

$1 pints of Canadian (love the concept, the beer is vile)
$1 pints of Coors Light (as a result of my complaining about the Molson – and actually, they’re listing it as pints of Canadian VERSUS pints of Coors Light, so maybe I have to drink the Canadian. Should I mix the two since I’m a duelly?)
25 cent wings
$1 Chicago Dogs

So bring a ten dollar bill (a $20 if you’re crazy), your TEAM CANADA apparel and let’s have some fun!

*****

Random Q: New Yorkers, when I visit, do I say I’m ”in” Long Island or “on” Long Island?

*****

Last and least, a link to the Latvian hockey roster, because I’m obsessed with their names.  It’s like they went with plural forms of muppet names, right?  Oskars Snufalufagus.  Gonzos Cookiemonsters.

 

Comments

33 Responses to “Olympic Hockey: Day One”
  1. Ron says:

    “on Long Island”

  2. MikeB says:

    I’m now a huge fan of Tore VIKINGSTAD who plays for Norway. Mostly because of his name. As O’Toole pointed out on Sportscentre this morning the Canadian equilivant is something along the lines of Hoser McToque.

    As for the US team it was odd watching them, there was a few players that looked dominated by the mediocre Swiss team. Paul Stastny, Pat Kane and Phil Kessel come to mind. They looked weak and easily knocked off the puck by an average/below average Swiss defence. But Bobby Ryan and David Backes did look really good.

    If a bar in Ottawa did 1$ pints for any hockey game ever it would be sold out of beer.

  3. Mike says:

    Unfortunately I missed team USA play. Work got in the way. Can’t forget the woman’s hockey. Granted they have been ridiculous blow outs. Since I started playing hockey as an adult, and never played checking hockey, I enjoy seeing the women play. Great example of how non checking hockey is played.

    I love the advertisement free dasher boards.

  4. greg says:

    I am strongly considering moving to PHX knowing there is a local bar where I can get $1 pints. The money I could save on my bar tab each year would more than cover any loss of wages generated by said move.

  5. Amy Jo says:

    Gonzos Cookiemonsters.

    I literally laughed out loud in my office.

    Alone.

    Now I feel stupid and kind of hate you. Thanks a lot Bourne.

  6. jtbourne says:

    I’m tellin’ ya man, if you pay more than $2 for a happy hours pint here, you’re doing it wrong. Any day of the week!

  7. jtbourne says:

    Wow, great point Mike – I hadn’t noticed the boards before, that’s so cool.

  8. Kitten Fister says:

    Does anyone know who the scratches for Canada yesterday? It appears to me everyone played, but that would be 22 skaters. Little confused as to what is crappenin.

  9. penaltykiller9 says:

    On Long Island!!!. Re Norway I think they’ve been cursed since poor Espen Knutsen had the misfortune of having that fatal shot deflected( I never understood why the player who deflected the shot was held blameless).

  10. jtbourne says:

    @Kitten Fister (haha, kitten fister, fuck, come on buddy) – apparently you can dress 108 players in international hockey. Like there’s one goalie in the stands alone, but everyone else who brought skates can play, like pond hockey.

  11. ann says:

    I’m lucky – the guy I work for is out of the country until next Monday, and has a TV in his office, so I took my work in there yesterday at 3. But as luck (?) would have it, our office needs those extra little TV converter boxes now, and we have NO CABLE until some time Friday. WTF?

    I was glad it was Russia/Latvia for the late game last night. I didn’t feel the need to stay awake. Oh, and thanks, after three years of watching Oskars Bartulis, thanks. Because I will NEVER call him that again. ;-)

    Ad free boards are awesome.

  12. Frank says:

    I asked one of my Norwegian friends/coworkers today why hockey is not as popular or prosperous there as it is in Sweden and Finland. His typical terse reply was “Lesser intelligent sports for lesser intelligent people….I’ll let you figure it out from there.”

    I totally disagree with his opinion (and prejudice against his Scandanavian neighbors), but I thought I’d pass that along…. :)

  13. Char says:

    I’m just waiting for Roenick and Milbury to start punching each other out. ;-)

    Seriously, Milbury, take a pill or something. If Marty Brodeur HAS to start against Norway, the Canadians are in huge trouble.

  14. St. Cloud Gopher says:

    Love to see a pic of the author at approx 8:01…

  15. Pete L says:

    Thought the same thing about Norway yesterday. It makes no sense!

    Re LI: You can be in Brooklyn or in NYC. But when you’re here, you’re ON Long Island!

  16. Cassie says:

    It’s “on the Island”. Never say “Long Island” – makes you sound like a tourist. Just sayin’.

    No love for the women’s hockey tournament? Really? What gives?

    Watch Canada play Sweden tonight. Women’s hockey. Seriously. Ought to be the best hockey game on TV today. And what guy wouldn’t want to watch a bunch of Swedish girls play hockey? C’mon now.

  17. jtbourne says:

    Yeah, you say “on the Island” to New Yorkers for sure, but if I said that to people where I live, that means “Vancouver Island”. Ja know?

    Women’s hockey. It’s made major strides over the years, I just…. can’t. I saw Canada play the US live over ten years ago and was 100% sure I would’ve been one of the best players on the ice. Some of these women are amazing. Jocelyn Lamerieux’s goal was amazing (did her brother play goal for No. Dak?) But some of them are just. so. bad. from lesser hockey countries (the girl Lamerieux was coming down on? Holy smokes). The physical capabilites of our genders seem to be highlighted more in hockey than other sports because it’s such a power, physical game. And the fact that the women can’t hit makes it feel….different. I just don’t enjoy it as much. I fully respect it, for sure, I just think it’s not for me.

    That said, I haven’t tried in years. I owe you at least one game. I’ll catch one game.

  18. PVeltkamp says:

    LOL’d at the Latvia names, comic genius…

    As far as womens hockey is concerned it just doesn’t have the excitement. Maybe when the finals roll around but if there is another event televised I am gonna have to watch that. I also respect them and the game but it really just doesn’ t have “IT”. No fancy toe drags, no hitting, really only two good teams(although Sweden is getting better). I think my next viewing will be medal round games, unless short track speedskating or skiier cross is on!!

  19. Aces Arbitrage says:

    Yes her brother JP Lamoureux did play for UND, got to see him a bunch last season as he played for the Aces. I believe JP has 2 sisters on the US team.

  20. Firestorm says:

    Excellent feature in SI on the Lamoureux clan: http://tinyurl.com/lamhockey

    Kind of like the US version of the Sutters: dad played at ND, all six kids played college hockey, two girls on the US women’s team, one son the ECHL ‘tender of the year in 08-09, et al.

  21. Cassie says:

    Yeah, I know all about the Vancouver Island thing. Grew up in Washington State and went to college in Bellingham at Western Washington University. Use to head up to Penticton, Kelowna, and Kamloops a lot during the summers. Got started with hockey watching the WHL. So I thought of that, too, when I typed “the Island”.

    I can take one game. Just make it a good one. Pick a game where the US, Canada, Sweden, or Finland are playing each other. They’re the best of the lot. Don’t let the body checking thing throw you. It’s still a physical game.

    (And just between us here, women who play hockey would rather have body checking in the game, too. They want to play “real” hockey like the men do. But this is what happens when old men make the rules for a women’s sport.)

  22. mikey says:

    like a hs team in minny beat the olympic team sorta badly …. its just not fun watchin cause theres usually like 1 good girl on each team n man the 2nd lines really suck

  23. Mike says:

    geez…I feel bad for starting off by saying I like to watch the women play. Yeah its different but I enjoy it. Its only during the Olympics I ever get to see the women play.

  24. crushasaurus says:

    As I said to you by email Justin, the UK commentary is absolutely beautiful. He’s really reluctant to give in to North American sports terminology, so you get “pass to the middle, hits it first time, and it’s a goal!”

    I’m used to that with football, but when I’m watching my hockey I wanna hear “Centring feed, one timer, STONED BY LUONGO”.

  25. Josh says:

    Justin, I glanced through your Maple Syrup Coated glasses posts and I had to chuckle.

    The reason why a lot of Americans (including myself) really tend to disrespect Canadian efforts at this Olympics is because they have made such an effort to one-up the US. It’s been simply obnoxious and it really has shown that Canada still has its anti-American inferiority complex.

    The days of the respectful, quiet Canadian are gone. Americans abroad are looked as jingoistic and generally obnoxious, Canadians can’t come south without the same attitude. As I’ve mentioned, I’m a UND graduate, and during my time at UND I worked in the mall in Grand Forks and at a nice liquor store there. If there is one thing that sticks out in my mind, it’s every Canadian wearing a Roots piece of clothing (with a Canadian flag attached, of course) and having a paternalistic attitude when they came south. I can’t count the number of times I heard a Canadian trash the US, all-the-while taking advantage of a good exchange rate at Wal-Mart, or buying booze that would cost a monthly payment for a Hyundai up north.

    Own-The-Podium? How’s that working out for you?

    Still love you, but c’mon. You have to admit it’s pretty embarrassing.

  26. jtbourne says:

    Josh – I just wrote a long response, but I really don’t feel like one of “these” conversations. Long story short, a quote from Dr. Evil: “We’re not so different, you and I…”

  27. Char says:

    //They want to play “real” hockey like the men do. But this is what happens when old men make the rules for a women’s sport//

    This. The older players in particular grew up playing with guys and have to adjust to playing the women’s game. Let ‘em hit. They won’t break.

    As for the quality of the competition, you have to start somewhere. The international women’s game is at the same stage as the men’s was back in the day. It will get better, but it’s going to take a while.

  28. KarenfromRochester says:

    “They want to play “real” hockey like the men do. But this is what happens when old men make the rules for a women’s sport”

    Girls lacrosse in the US is the same thing! No checking allowed and it’s a rather boring game. Plus, the girls have to wear SKIRTS! ridiculous. Most girls I know who play would rather put on the pads and helmet and be able to check like the guys do.

  29. Shawn says:

    I’m Canadian but detest the beer. Drink the Coors Light. Don’t waste your hard earned dollar.

  30. Justin says:

    Couple of points…

    Bourne- wait for the US/Canada game to watch. Then you’ll see some pretty good hockey. You’d still be the best player on the ice, but those two teams are sick.

    Aparently checking was leagl at the first Women’s World Championship, but the US and Canada were so much bigger and better than everyone else that they made it illegal. I hate the non-checking rule (I coach girls HS), but those two teams are still bigger and better than everyone else, I’m not sure hitting would help the other countries.

    Norwegian friends have claimed a 2 part answer to the Great Scandanavian Ice Hockey Mystery.
    1. Addiction to “Nordic” sports…they really love skis and shit.
    2. Sweden built a fuckload of rinks during the (apparently) international hockey craze of the 60s/70s, Norway didn’t.

  31. SDC says:

    WestsiiiiiiiiDE! Everyone get you aces over to Cactus Jacks! I might hop another $200 Westjet for that setup. Ok, I won’t, but i’d like to. Little nervous about the outcome vs. la Suisse, but we got ‘er figured. Good thing for Sid and that single player multi-shoot rule hey?

  32. dwgs says:

    I was stunned when TSN put up some stats during the Canada / Norway game, apparently there are only 6400 registered hockey players and only 17 indoor rinks. When you consider those numbers you gotta think those guys play pretty well.

  33. minnesotagirl71 says:

    Hello? Canada? Sor-ree but you’re getting beat at your own game….

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