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Sorry, was that title a little testy?

Well, it looks like our Canadian boys feel like taking the road NOBODY TRAVELS BECAUSE IT’S COVERED IN POISON AND THORNS AND SHARKS WITH LEGS, but hey, who can blame ‘em? 

Oh, I can?  Sweet.  I love writing.

Right from the Rafalski nightmare 41 seconds in, the game shaped up the exact way an underdog upsets an, um, …overdog:

*Weather the early storm (or in this case, quell it entirely).
*Have your goalie come up big while you rope-a-dope the shot chart.
*Get a couple breaks (you all know Rafalski fanned on his second goal, right?  Badly?)
*Keep the crowd out by answering any momentum turning plays (the US responded masterfully to Canada’s goals)
*And lean, lean, lean on team defense and goaltending.
(*also, make a pact with Satan promising any and all future children to his service)

And just like that, the Americans got it done, and wowee are they positioned nicely.  Not only did they get a quarterfinal bye and the one-seed, but Russia’s round-robin loss to Slovakia ensured that the US side of the pool is clearly the shallow end.

After beating Germany (a foregone conclusion …isn’t it?  Guys?), Canada will once again have to play Russia in the quarterfinals, just like in Torino.  And we all know how well that went (“We’re number seven!  We’re number seven!”).  If they did get by Russia, they’d probably see Sweden.  And then hopefully the US again in the finals.  Baru – tal.

It’s like a video game, where you can see the health meter of your character, and each hit he takes brings it down a notch.  Think there’ll be enough notches to get us to a US – Canada rematch?


In all seriousness, congrats to the American team.  You can only chalk up so much to luck and our failure.  The US boys played a great game.

A few thoughts from the game:

*Great one-handed empty-netter by Kesler, a guy who, if he had Twitter, would’ve lost like 6,000 Canadian followers in the past two days.

*I dogged the Niedermeyer pick, but I gotta say, I’m pretty comfortable with him out there over a few other guys.

*Rick Nash, Rick Nash, Rick Nash.  The guy just looks unstoppable, man.  I love pairing him with Sid.  How many people have made the joke about them being unable to find their “Stills”?

*I watched the game at a bar with 17 TV’s, all on hockey, with dollar beers and only one other Canadian fan amongst the swarm of Americans - and we all had a blast.  Good, fun ribbing from the victorious Americans who played “Born in the USA” at the final buzzer.  Good times.

*Bri and I drove over the hills and through the woods around Phoenix to find a USA t-shirt for her. It didn’t even have to be hockey, but still nothing.  Not in the whole mall, Just Sports, Dicks Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, the Nike store, nothing.  Our last ditch effort to TARGET provided one.  What’s going on, US merchandisers?  THE OLYMPICS ARE ON!

A coupla mixed breeds on opposite sides of the fence. Chalk one up for the "nurture" category.


Player I’d like to see more of:


Shea Weber

Everyone bounces off this guy like a bouncy-ball hit with a tennis racquet.  He’s got a booming slapper, but when they put him out on the powerplay, he plays with Doughty, also a right shot, and they have Doughty on the one-timer side.  I don’t think he saw nearly enough minutes (or proper usage) for a guy who could well be in the top few in the NHL.

Honorable mention:

Duncan Keith

Even in one of the fastest games I’ve seen since the ’09 playoffs (okay, the fastest), he looks like he’s in fast forward.  And like Scott Niedermeyer, he made a lot of great first passes to help transition Canada from defense to offense.  Also: Rick Nash and Jonathan Toews.

Player I’d like to see less of:


Sigh…. Marty Brodeur

Everyone likes to say that Luongo has “never won anything”, but he certainly hasn’t been given a lot of chances to (bad Florida teams, bad Canuck teams, and just recently a couple good ones).  If we’re going on history, didn’t MA Fleury win the most recent Stanley Cup, while Brodeur single-handedly puked an entire series to Carolina over the span of one minute?  I’m a Brodeur fan, but I think it’s time we look to one of the other two guys.  He made some big saves, but we expect that from the best in our country.

Dishonorable mention:

Corey Perry, holy crap, Corey Perry.  I shouldn’t call it dishonorable mention for the following guys, really, but I’d like to see more from Brent Seabrook, Drew Doughty, and Patrice Bergeron (not that he’ll see many minutes).


What a great tournament.  Hope you guys enjoyed last night too, and for those of you who enjoy my writing, you can be thankful I chose to stay alive and see the tournament through.



  1. Pete says:

    great call on the merchandise issue, though you can bet nike has toddlers in china stitching white and blue swooshes faster than you can say mikerichardsisadouchebag.

    i still think you see canada in the gold medal game….

  2. zyllyx says:

    Corey Perry and Chris Pronger. Seriously, those guys are so full of douche that they could be heading up the relief efforts in Haiti and I’d still hate them.

    You realize that Canada lost because the fans did not follow their Pepsi corporate overlords and chant, “Eh! Oh! Canada Go!” right? See, because Pepsi bought the rights to karmic retribution a while ago and now employs it to strengthen their brand.

  3. Will77 says:

    That was one of the best games I’ve seen in a long, long time. Seeing the reaction to Keslers unreal empty netter was amazing, it was like 5 Ovechkins wearing USA jerseys the way that pile on went. That first goal 41 seconds is was exactly what they needed. I was pumped up all day long, and then just before the opening face off when I popped open the first beer, I couldn’t help but think “man I hope we don’t get blown out”. That goal had me chanting U-S-A and believing for the rest of the game.

    You’ve gotta think that Brodeur was just too happy not having that trapezoid and played the puck wayyy too much, no? He made some huge saves though, and that US breakaway-Canada breakaway-US breakaway segment in the second was heart stopping. Speaking of heartstopping, as a quick aside, has awesome was that Oveckin-Jagr hit earlier in the day? And was I the only one who forgot how freakin huge Jagr is?

    All in all, just an awesome day of hockey, made even better by a spectacular TEAM effort by Team USA to win the #1 seed. This Olympics, I don’t need to believe in Miracles… I believe in Miller. Damn that guy was unconscious last night.

  4. djimass says:

    As I told my friends after the game, Team USA had co-game MVPs: Miller and Brodeur. 4 goals on 21 shots? Really? I have been campaigning for Fleury since the team was named (along with Green to run our PP); he is the reigning Stanley Cup champ, isn’t he?

    What Brodeur did was let two lesser-talented teams (and I mean absolutely no disrespect to the Americans) to stay in games they shouldn’t have been/stayed in. But I will say this: Hiller and Miller were both out of this world against us and gave their team a chance. And that’s what Olympic hockey is all about; if you got a hot goalie, your team has a fighing chance (see Campbell in the world juniors and Halak against the Russians).

  5. djimass says:

    Oh, and Pronger is too slow for this kind of tournament. Man was he exposed last night…

  6. jtbourne says:

    @zyllyx – Did Pepsi seriously try to advise hockey fans IN VANCOUVER on chants? They sorta have that figured out by now, don’t they?

    @Will77 – Funny, I had the same pre-game thought “y’know, its very possible that Canada just blows them out here” – it was a realistic thought. As for the Ovy- Jagr hit, I loved it. I thought it was silly that Puck Daddy even asked the “was it legal” question. Even Jagr (who I remembered was huge) was like “my bad” after the game.

    @djimass – people look at you like you’re crazy when you suggest Fleury, like he got drafted last week or something. I’d be fine with him in net.

  7. KarenfromRochester says:

    how bout that three player collision involving Pronger and I-can’t-remember-the-other-two-guys? I have to admit, it was kinda funny.

  8. KarenfromRochester says:

    I thought the man love after Kesler’s empty netter was kind of cute!

  9. Mike says:

    What a game! At times it looked like the US was scrambling around in the D zone. I was pulling my hair out.

    I got upset during the pre-game. JR was asked a question about “does the US team know that Canada is a better team”? I don’t think anyone one in the locker room was thing they are so much better, we don’t have a chance.

  10. Pete L says:

    Wow, it looks like Canada should have brought one of those other great teams they could have thrown together, lol!

    At least Perry was out there forechecking, even if it was his own teammates! That guy had a rough night. Kesler showed some tremendous hustle on the empty netter.

    I’m sure Ryan Miller appeared in quite a few nightmares north of the border last night. He is the new Canadian Freddy Krueger.

  11. jtbourne says:

    Honestly, I didn’t notice Pronger either way… not a great sign I guess. Oh, he was in the three car pile-up, which I was happy about. And I love exuberance like the US boys showed after the empty-netter…. but it’s no fun being on the wrong side of it!

  12. MikeB says:

    Chris Pronger looks like Bryan McCabe in Turin…

    Corey Perry should have tried harder.

  13. minnesotagirl71 says:

    Crazy game! I really had no expectations for the US to win. Then the goal 41 seconds in and I thought it might be possible!

    “The hopes of an entire nation are riding on the blades of 23 guys who happened to be born here.” (I’m paraphrasing.) “There will be a national day of mourning if Canada loses to the US.” Do you think there was too much pressure put on the Canadian team by the media and fans?

    Does the US feel this strongly about the rivalry with Canada? To be honest – I haven’t noticed it.

    Couple of questions/comments re: off ice activities…. They played the YMCA? Seriously?? Then the fans were batting a beach ball around in the crowd? And during the Russia vs Czech game the fans were doing the wave…. Someone please tell me that this is not regular behavior for hockey fans in Canada.

  14. PVeltkamp says:

    I don’t mind Perry out there so much, it is another Duck I could do without. And that would Be Getzlaf, if I have to watch him do another no look behind the back pass to nobody I think I am going to claw my own eyes out!!! He did it a ton of times against the Swiss and still tried a few more times last night. STOP IT ALREADY!!!

  15. Sherry says:

    Grinding win by the US boys last night (recorded the game and watched the entire Rus/Czech game first, so it was night when we watched it) – sooooooo proud and pumped. My housemate and I immediately took off all our clothes (incl the undies) and US inspired jewelry and sequestered it away for future games. We even threw in the cork of the Sonoma (which is near Brooks’s birthplace) Zin we chose to drink during the game. So we’ve got all our mojo ready for the next match.

    Looooved the Keystone Kops pileup of Canadian players (made all the sweeter that Pronger was one of them), and loooooved Marty getting burned by his cocky clearing attempt. Hard to root against Sid (as it is hard to root against Geno and Gonchar), so I was happy Sid pulled that nice goal off. But for right now it’s all about the USA! USA! USA! Way to go boys!!

    Will be rooting for Canada against Russia (GOT to be a foregone conclusion, no?) of course.

  16. Pete L says:

    Hey JB, it wasn’t an elimination game. There’s still hope for the bad guys, I mean Team Canada.

    I know how it feels to be on the wrong side of it. I’m a Met fan. I’ve got the image of Carlos Beltran watching strike three fly by in the NLCS. At least Marty made contact and went down swinging–even if it was a stick and not a bat.

  17. paul says:

    I think USA built a team that Canada usually builds…Guys like Kesler, Brown, etc. working their tails off, sprinkle in some skilled offence and your team wins. Most of Canada’s guys looked like they played thinking they ‘deserved’ to win.

    JT, you missed one of the other biggest story from this game…How do San Jose Sharks fans feel about another 1st round exit in the playoffs? Joe Thornton proved he is not a money player again last night, couple that with Heatly and Marleau being about average and SJ is one and done again this year if that is a sign of things to come.

  18. Frank says:

    Justin, ironically the USA hockey jersey I have was given to me after a bought a bunch of hockey sticks at a place called The Sport Exchange in Vancouver this last fall (a great place to pick up good sticks for cheap) and had them shipped up to Alaska.

    Good luck finding something down there……

  19. Cassie says:

    I think the biggest difference was the mentality each team came out with. Canada started this game playing it like it was an NHL playoff game. The US came out playing like it was an Olympic game. Biiig difference! Canada played better, had more shots on goal, and was far more organized, but the US just wanted it more and got the bounces.

  20. Adam says:

    I have a question…why do some people think if Canada would have chosen Green or Stamkos it would have made ALL the difference. If they were on the team Canada would be 3-0 right now right? I just don’t get it. It’s not like 2 or 3 different guys would have made a difference. Hockey is a team game…if you don’t play well as a team, you don’t win…period… doesn’t matter who is in the lineup. Remember, you play for the logo on the front of your jersey, not the name on the back.

    USA won because these outplayed and outworked the arrogant Canadian team who thought they would just coast through this tournament.

  21. Matt says:

    I actually am terrified when Niedermayer is on the ice and found Doughty to be one of the most impressive players for Canada.

    But yes, Luongo has to be given the ball now. I think you will see him play incredible. He thibks he’s amazing and likes nothing more than getting to prove the fact. I say live or die with him from this point forward; Brodeur was given his shot.

  22. jtbourne says:

    @Adam – First, why do you think the Canadian hockey team is arrogant? I haven’t read a single quote implying that, let alone seen it in lack of hustle or anything.

    As for Green and Stamkos, I think it’s a natural reaction to say A) We didnt’ score enough B) We left goal scorers off the team C) We should have put those goal scorers on the team. That said, just because I understand it doesn’t mean I agree with it. Right or wrong picks, we have enough talent on the team to win, so looking at external issues isn’t gonna help anything, you know? There are no time machines, and the tournament isn’t over, so the roster shouldn’t be the conversation at this point. I actually didn’t think Canada looked bad, I really didn’t. Hey, the Islanders won 20-some games last year, and were horrible…. having a hot goalie in a one-game series answers a lot of “how did they lose?” questions (and Canada still got three with their “lack of offense” to the people citing Stamkos/Green as the cure).

  23. Alan says:

    Kudos to Team USA for its win last night-their boys just wanted it more than our EH boys-1. their willingness to sacrifice themselves repeatedly shot blocking(other than our boy Doughty); 2.mastery of the grunt work in the corners, where they pushed our guys off with impunity at times; and 3. their dominance in faceoffs(why didn’t Babcock insert Burgeron at critical points in an attempt to exploit his prowess?)
    Glad to see you’ve decided to hang in to witness the balance of this journey!

  24. Adam says:

    Maybe I made a mistake, confusing the Canadian fans on with the Canadian players being arrogant, my apologies. I just do not understand how the Canadian team does not blow out every single team in every single game. They are by far the best team (on paper) in the tournament, but I guess thats why they play the games.

    I did see a lack of hustle last night though, there were periods of time where the Canadians just thought their talent would carry them. My most notable example, the EN goal…Kesler is not a better skater than Perry. In fact, Perry is better than him in basically every category. Kesler just wanted it more just like the USA wanted it more than Canada.

    It happens all the time in the NHL and being Red Wings fan I get to see it a lot. Sometimes teams just want it more than the other team and outwork and outplay the other team….talent will only get you so far.

    Babcock needs to go with Luongo next game. He gave Brodeur a chance because of 2 reasons: 1) He is one of the best goalies, ever and 2) He believes that goalies do have an “on” switch see: Osgood, last year.

    I just don’t think it’s fair to chastise Yzerman and Babcock, they aren’t playing the game…they are coaching it. The Canadian team really need to get their stuff together, it would be embarrassing to not medal in a tournament that you host.

  25. airborne moose says:

    Must say it was a helluva game. Kids and the dogs were hiding in their rooms from me yelling and cheering in the living room.
    I think Fluery has to be given a chance. Marty is amazing but he just looked off last night. And coupled with the swiss game, i think pinning the canadians chances to his sweater might be dangerous.
    Sweden is looking solid too. Lundquist has 2 shutouts (granted, not too amazing due to the opponents) and they are playing pretty good. Whatcha think bourne? can sweden repeat?

  26. djimass says:

    @Adam: Hats off to the Americans for their win. But you can’t use the words “outplayed” and “outworked” when the shots were 45-23 for Team Canada. The Americans won, but it’s certainly not due to the lack of effort on Canada’s part. In my opinion, it was goaltending (on both sides) that decided the game.

  27. Matt says:

    Has anyone else been incredibly disappointed in Getzlaf? Maybe its because I just haven’t watch him play enough… but wow does he seem dis-interested. Soft little fancy passes, weak skating… I dunno.

    He just seems to be going through the motions.

  28. jtbourne says:

    Sweden can repeat, but oly if they design a new jersey to wear, ASAP. It looks like saltwater taffy. Gross generalization of the day: Swedes have HORRIBLE style.

  29. Char says:

    Pronger was also right in the middle of that Chinese fire drill that led directly to the third U.S. goal. But his best move of the tourney so far came in the game with the Swiss, when he skated into the far boards to cross-check somebody while the Swiss scored a goal. LOL.

  30. St. Cloud Gopher says:

    I pounded the floor, screamed like a pre-teen at a (insert boy band) concert and jumped around like, well, like a guy who just saw a teammate score a one-handed empty netter. And I was sober!
    One of the best games I’ve seen in a long time, and I was so sure going in that it would be a 6-2 Canada win. I was still waiting for the other skate to drop before the EN sealed it. Whew!
    I wore my 1980 replica on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You have to, right? Oh, and I wore it today too. And no, I will not wash it until…well, I won’t speak of it.
    USA! USA! USA!

  31. Pete L says:

    Come in off the ledge. Don’t jump! Canada just beat USA . . . in curling! Hope that takes some of the sting out of yesterday. Those of us south of the border will hang our heads in shame.

    Okay, maybe we won’t feel shame. But you gotta admit, today’s blog would not have been as much fun if Canada would have knocked off the U.S. as expected. We would not have the man bites dog thing we’ve got going now!

  32. Madeleine says:

    Once I got over my bitterness, I decided to ask my hockey Dad what the hell just happened. Besides the fact that the Americans played a killer game, and Miller was UNBELIEVABLE (what happened Brodeur?!) he thinks that it takes time for an “all-star” team like Canada to gel, and that these extra games will benefit us. God I hope so.

    I rather enjoyed the commentary on CTV that “Crosby’s the only thing we can get in the net”.

  33. UAA Seawolf Fan says:

    Great game to watch and as an old Rangers fan from the 6 team era, GO USA!! What was up with the announcers not once mentioning WCHA schools that had players on both teams. They seemed OK with constantly mentioning Mich St., etc.

  34. Josh says:

    Geez, tough loss, Bourne. My heart is breaking for Canadian hockey fans from St. John’s to Victoria. Hopefully Sidney Crosby’s tears will wash away the pain of that defeat for our vastly superior northern neighbors. Actually, I really hope the Russians beat the Canadians, assuming they can make it past Germany. There is no chance I want to see a re-match of Canada-US in the medal round, I think they’d make the Yanks pay royally for their defeat.

    As for the Vancouver Olympics as a whole for Team Canada. Things definitely aren’t working out as planned. There definitely needs to be an LOLcat with a maple leaf sweater on, with the caption: I can has podium?

  35. greg says:

    you are really disappointed with Doughty? I thought he played a great game…he was on the power play, penalty kill, and on the ice in the dying seconds…it show’s the coaches felt he deserved it as well.

    Anyway…a big thank you for fast-tracking USA to the gold medal game….(hopefully)

    I found this little diddy as well, it’s the new Canadian anthem:

    Woe, Canada
    Bow down to Uncle Sam
    We’ll take the gold
    You laid down like a lamb
    With frying pans you tended goal
    We scored on you at will
    From far and wide, Woe Canada
    We’re scoring on you still.
    God keep your nets
    Wide open and emp-ty
    Woe Canada
    We scored five goals on thee
    Woe Canada
    U.S. with gold you’ll see!

  36. Steve C. says:

    …what is today’s blog about?…not kittens again*!$#%@!!!

  37. Frank says:

    so does this blog set a new record for number of entries yet?

  38. JDP says:

    Just a few thoughts, because everyone else has pretty much hit the main points:

    Any Canadians read Brodeur’s postgame quotes (and I’m paraphrasing), about how he made some really big saves, and the first goal went off someone else’s stick, and “the guys took three penalties in a row”…and not think about Patrick Roy sitting somewhere, grinning at what a hypocrite Marty has become? One of the better kept secrets in the NHL is Brodeur’s “me me me” attitude. Don’t buy it? Ask the Devils around the end of April, when Marty got his 70 games in, 40-43 wins in, and breaks down like a ’76 Monarch in the first round of the playoffs. Again.

    Any other US fans happy (I mean, REALLY happy) for Chris Drury? You’d think Brian Burke had named Craig Janney or Tony Hrkac to the team when they announced Dru would be on the squad. Drury would never come out and say it, but the game he played last night was a colossal double-middle finger salute to all the “smart media” who shit all over Burkie’s decision to include him on the roster. Don’t be shocked when he scores another big goal (or two) before this is all over. I know Colorado and Buffalo fans won’t be.

    Emrick is loud, grating, nasally…and awesome. If I had to pick two play by play hockey guys to listen to for the rest of my life, Doc would be one, and Bob Cole would be the other. Gary Thorne is a close third.

    Good luck to my Canadian friends! Love to see a rematch for the gold.

  39. karlooch says:

    WTF with the no HD for that game? Shtoooopid. I could not breathe just watching the US stuck in their end a few times. Is there any worse feeling in hockey than burned legs…can’t breathe….stuck in own end? Miller is a complete stud and stole that one. USA! USA! USA!

  40. Meg Jarrell says:

    Dude, how can you even THINK about putting my baby boy Drew Doughty anywhere near the phrase “dishonorable mention?” What game were you watching???? He’s been tremendous, while Nieds looks like every one of his 38 freakin’ years. I do agree with you about Marty – he has GOT TO GO. Personally, I don’t think being that much of a puck handler is a good fit for Olympic play AT ALL.

    And I am not giving up. The boys are gonna have to climb Mt. Everest to do it, but I STILL BELIEVE! Go get that gold medal Drew!

  41. jtbourne says:

    For what its worth, he actually shouldn’t be in that group. My bad. Pronger, however, should be.

  42. SDC says:

    I wanted Perry cut after he decided he didn’t need to touch the puck on the Kesler one-handed empty net goal. Give Kesler credit for the work, but all Perry had to do was engage the puck and that doesn’t go in. One goal game with enough time for one more rush and that’s your effort?? For shame.

  43. djimass says:

    @JDP: Agreed on your play-by-play guys. Of course, being in Canada means we get to hear a different group of announcers every week. My faves:

    Bob Cole: Every big game I’ve watched since I was a kid involved Cole. him and Harry Neale are still the best tandem to me.

    Gord Miller: Every WJC involves him up here…

    Chris Cuthbert: I find him underrated. Loved him when he was doing the late game on CBC.

  44. My dream broadcast team would be Gary Green doing color with Kurt Haider calling the play … and Doug Woog in the little cubby between the benches on remote.

    And don’t we all tend to like the analyst’s best who see the same shit we see and says it pretty much exactly when you’re making the same point to whomever you’re watching the game with? I didn’t suggest Gary Green for that reason though … I suggested him because I miss the goofy stuff that came out of his mouth when I used to watch him on the old USA Network games (80s). He was always a riot.

    Kurt Haider (for those not in the know) is UAA’s radio guy. Does the play by play and color usually alone. He’s got one of the smoothest easy on the ears voices eVaH. And Woog (FSN color guy for Gopher hockey and their former coach) would be great for some squealing from down in the cubby. And after all … is that what that spot is made for? Squealers? Is that why they kept tossing Mcguire down there?

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