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US International Hockey

The gold medal game of the World Junior Championship that featured Canada and the US was everything fans could hope for.

Watching the respectful applause that spread throughout the Canadian crowd after the overtime loss to the Americans, I could not possibly have been more proud.  Excessive nationalism is part of the reason so many countries resent the US, and is therefore something I need to be careful with, but I just can’t see that happening in very many other places.  Props, Saskatoon. 

Aw, they's just yittle guys...

But anyway…  eff me, was that a good game.

I’m generally not a huge fan of watching hockey with the word “junior” in it, but the quality of the WJC hockey is always pretty insane, and this was no different.  You can’t help but think that if hockey is headed in that direction, we’re in good hands.  Literally.

The Americans undoubtedly deserved to win (much like they did the game on New Years Eve).  That said, that was some of the grossest goaltending I’ve seen in a big game since Luongo projectile vomited on all the fans in Vancouver against the ‘Hawks last year.  The goal the American tender (Lee) got pulled on was such a nauseating unforced error you just got the feeling “you can’t survive giving those up in a big game”.  Apparently, you can.

I’ve had one major thought about “the good of the game” lately – and that’s that the Americans need more international success, if for no other reason that to create a taste of the mania that ensued in Canada in ’02, when we won the Olympics (men and women), World Juniors, Spengler Cup, and I think the Superbowl.

Ironically, the best thing for Canadian hockey fans that love the game would be for the US to win this years Olympics, so maybe they’ll up their coverage or do something more thorough with the sport.  Congrats to the American boys on the win, and congrats to the Canadian kids for silver – disappointing in our home country, but a medal to be proud of nonetheless.

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Less anger, more hockey, David.

I haven’t been very active in my comments section lately, but I thought I’d chime in on the US olympic team:

Choosing Backes over Okposo isn’t a bad call at all – I’d make the same one.  Opo is a bull, sure, but Backes is even bigger and stronger. Careers to date, Backes has put up a 30 goal season, been in the playoffs and works just as hard as Kyle.

What really boggled my mind is Roenick saying the US team should have Oshie over Chris Drury.  I love that he speaks his mind on stuff like that - that’s what an interview should be.  Someone wants to know his thoughts on the makeup of a team, and those are his thoughts.

Still, you don’t have to name players that shouldn’t be on the team.  You can name guys you’d like to see on the club and be vague about who should be off the squad in their favor.  As a general rule, you probably shouldn’t carve the exact guy people relate to your country’s international program.  I mean, he’s probably scored a big goal or two in his career, right?  Not sure though.

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This has been on my mind for awhile, so I’ve gotta ask:

Has anyone else noticed how many female readers/commentors I have?  Its certainly not a bad thing, it’s great — thanks for your support.  I was just thinking, what percentage of people reading about hockey on the internet are female?  Ten?  Twenty?

What percentage do you think my commentor base is, 35? 45?  And they aren’t “hey you’re cute” comments, they’re serious analyses of the sport.  So I wanna know – what is it about my site that has earned me such a solid female hockey base? (If you say cat pictures you’re banned, don’t be a cliche.)

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As I tweeted yesterday, Monday marked the first 1,000 visitor day for Bourne’s Blog.  We’re on the rise people.  We’re on the rise.

Also, I’m taking votes for a Deadspin-esque sign-off phrase (thanks for your continued support of Deadspin).  I like to have closure at the end of posts.  Y’know, “Stay classy, San Diego” or “And thats the bottom line” or Jon Stewarts “F**k that chicken”.  Okay, it’s not a sign-off, but it’s still a great catchphrase.

For now,  thanks for your continued classy support of our bottom line: F**k that chicken.

{Holy crap, googling for decent, recent pictures of USA international hockey reminds me of this:

WE DON’T PLAY INTERNATIONALLY!  UNTIL THIS YEARS WORLD JUNIORS!  WE JUST STARTED PLAYING!

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