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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?
OF COURSE BOURNE’S BLOGGERS DO, WE’RE ALL PRO-CANADA, REMEMBER!?
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!
Player I’d like to see more of:
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.
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.
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.