Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Giant has Awoke But We Can Still Believe in Miracles

Well I said the best the US would do is bronze and Canada would win gold. I still might be right, as much as I like to see the US win their third gold medal (1960 & 1980) in Olympic Hockey history they couldn't have had an easier path cleared to the medal round.

Two wins against a feisty but less talented Switzerland squad, a snoozer over Norway and in a game against Canada that they were desperately outplayed but won 5-3, they could have named Martin Brodeur their number one star. Face it, as much as I loved rubbing my Canadian hockey goofball friends noses in the perverbial doggie doo doo of a loss, I doo doo realize they were dominated by Team Canada and Alex Auld probably would have been able to hang on to a 3-2 victory for the home squad.

But now they will get tested but not too badly. Finland has been solid, and play a sound defensive game by not making a lot of mistakes in their own zone. They also have thrived at transitioning on turnovers forced at their defensive line. Out of the big six or seven teams in the tournament the United States victory over Canada has given them an opportunity to go for gold.

Thats because of the swiss cheese effort by the greatest goalie of all time, thus leaving the US clear of Sweden, Russia, and Canada up until the finals. The problem with the undeserved win in one of the most exhausting and exciting hockey games that I have in my memory, is that Canada knew they dominated the youngsters from the south and now have awaken with more anger and fury than Nancy Grace on a hangover.

The 5-3 victory may have done something for moral in the states but it has fired up the Canadians so, that they have routed Germany and medal favorite Russia by a combined 15-5. The most impressive component of the Canadians at this point is there work ethic, like when Rick Nash blew by the Russian forwards to join the rush and push the home squad ahead 3-0 before anyone blinked. Even captain Scott Niedermeyer played better after a slow start to the Olympics helping shutdown the Russians top line.

When your facing a team as forward stacked as the Russians, headed by their Rasputin like line (You know, the line that won't go away) of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Alexandre Semin you better have some guys that are ready to work all night and that's just what the Canadians got. Jonathan Toews, Rick Nash, and Mike Richards shutdown the big line and did it efficiently and early by capitalizing on turnovers and forcing the Big Red Machines into bad areas on the ice. It was a resounding win for Team Canada announcing they were back in gold medal contention.

It is now the US and Finland, and Canada and the upstart Slovaks to now contend for the medals, which one will claim gold? Well, I am pretty sure the overwhelming favorite would be the hometown favorite and when they claim it on Sunday in Vancouver, the chants of U-S-A, U-S-A, may have just been loud enough to have awaken the sleeping giant.

I may have had Canada for gold and the US for Bronze but I also had Latvia in the quarterfinals and Russia the silver medalist, so I'll just continue to believe in miracles and cheer for Ryan Miller, too bad it has to end! U-S-A, U-S-A!


Peter said...

US will lose to Finland today...

G said...

nice prediction

Thunderpuck said...

I'll give you this much Peter, at least you took a position and stood by it. LOLZ. It's fun when your predictions turn out right, LIKE THIS GUY that told us Olympic hockey is even better than NHL hockey (I meant to specify NHL "regular season" hockey, my bad). Sadly, your prediction died quickly, about 6 minutes into the Finland game.

Having watched the US dismiss all comers to this point, and seeing the Canadians saved by the final buzzer against the Slovaks, I will not be at all surprised if our boys come home with gold around their necks. However, I'm not naive enough to believe that this USA squad is superior to Team Canada. On paper, we have no chance. But then, that was also true a week ago, and we know what happened last Sunday. I'll be in front of my TV at 2:00 today on NBC (which means everyone gets to watch in HD). This is gonna' be fun.

Michael said...

I don't think you and I watched the same games. I would really like to see you tell Erik Johnson or Chris Drury or any other US player that the win over Canada was "udeserved". Canada might have been awaken from their daydream by losing to the US, but Russia's effort against Canada was soporific (at least until Semin decided he wanted a piece of Boyle). I vote that if you make another post about hockey you should be banished to the blogging equivalent of 105.3. Also, if you insist on subjecting Bob's readers to your content, will you please proofread before you hit "publish"? "Moral" and "morale" are different words, and the last sentence in the second to last paragraph could have been caught by a 7th grader.

The funny thing is that I liked your rundown of the best super bowls.