March 1, 2010

Gold Medal Game -- USA vs. Canada


Usually after a crushing loss I'll say three words and go straight to the bullet points. This time though, I gots to say a little something:

NHL -- please, please, please participate in the 2014 games.

The past two weeks might have been the most enjoyable stretch of hockey in my spectating career. That has to sound sacrilege to Wings fans who, like me, have watched their team win four Stanley Cups in their lifetimes (Unless your name is Hockeytown Todd, in which case you have not only seen all 11 Cup victories, but also the Detroit Chimney Sweeps post-Civil War championship run from 1871 to 1878 in the Midwestern Broomball League.) But consider that the Olympic tournament includes a shorter time for emotional investment, a higher concentration of talent, national pride, Jagr's mullet -- which now comes with a stellar, graying beard -- and you have a fantastic recipe for making the greatest sport on the planet even more fun to watch. Hell, I was watching Belarus v. Germany like a 14 year old stumbling across some unscrambled porn. The whole thing is exciting to an infinite degree, regardless of who's playing. I just can't watch enough of it.

And that might be the last of us getting to witness the Best vs. the Best. I'd still watch an amateur hockey tournament intently and get behind any U.S. squad, but it wouldn't come within sniffing distance of what we just got to see. For someone like me who doesn't have your fancy-pants Center Ice TV package, getting to watch the likes of Zach Parise and Ryan Kesler and Dustin Brown and the Johnsons and Miller and Jonathan Quick awkwardly wearing a dress shirt and tie under a hockey sweater was phenomenal. I went from being somewhat of a closet-because-he-plays-in-New Jersey fan of Parise to a raging-out-of-the-closet-homoZachtual fan who can't keep his pants on when #9 for the U.S. hops over the boards. If I'm starting a team right now, I don't think there are more than five guys who I'd rather take first than Parise. Wings included. Hell, maybe three guys, even.

His equalizer with 25 seconds left in the game: instantly one of my favorite sports memories ever. Holy lord that whole sequence was nuts. This tournament didn't need Overtime in the Gold Medal Game to make it outstanding and it happened anyway. I'm still a little shady on what ensued after it was 2-2 because I lit myself on fire and ran through a screen door .... I'm trying to work on how to properly celebrate a big goal and I can assure you that this is not the way to go. Your suggestions are welcome.

Thoughts on the game/tournament:

  • When you look back at Ryan Miller getting the MVP of the tournament, it's funny how obvious this was. He was on the losing team and it was still obvious that he was the MVP of the Olympics. I can't remember ever seeing this in any other sport. I mean if they tried to give it to CrosHAHAHAHAHA ..... *ahem*, sorry .... CrosbyHAHAHAHAHAH oh hell I can't even finish this sentence.
  • The list of U.S. players that I came away very impressed with is long. Actually I'm trying to think of guys that I wasn't blown away by and it's sort of taxing. Phil Kessel, I guess. Sort of. Pat Kane, but only in a couple of instances. Tim Thomas? Okay, Tim Thomas.
  • Ryan Suter is one smooth defender. Something about his pairing with Brian Rafalski turned Raf into a 25 year-old point machine and made him look better than he's looked in two years. Let's kidnap him from Nashville and keep the chemistry rolling. (It's so much easier to say stupid shit when you remove logic and the salary cap from your reasoning. Go ahead, try it out on your spouses and co-workers. Go tell Nancy at the fax machine that the Wings should get Suter in exchange for Brett Lebda, a first rounder, a Hot-n-Ready pizza and a million unicorn puppy dollars.)
  • For once it was nice to see a Babcockian team give up that mindfuckingly depressing late goal. That must suck, to want your team to win so badly and to have victory seconds away, only to have it snatched from you in the cruelest fashion imaginable. Whatever that feels like.
  • I try to avoid certain trends, like excessive Crosby bashing. Don't get me wrong, I think he's a douche like 98% of you, but I just don't hate him. He hasn't harmed my family like I'm convinced he's done to some of you people out there. And yet ..... how fucking horrible that that little shitdick got to be the hero. Man alive. The dude is an absolute ghost for three whole games, and then he scores THE goal. Think of the non-hockey people that tune in only to the biggest of big games -- like, SCF Game 7's and Gold Medal games. They probably think Crosby is Michael Jordan Christ and can turn water into gold with his balls. Think of the children, dammit. WHAT ABOUT OUR CHILDREN.
  • Another trend is "Luongo isn't elite because he isn't clutch" talk. If it isn't trendy enough to say that Crosby is downright bad at hockey, it's like uber trendy to pick on Boberto for his big game gaffes now. I used to poo-poo these thoughts with a dismissive hand wave, and I'd even say the words "poo-poo" out loud because I'm 6 and that sort of thing makes me blush, but there's a bit of evidence here now. He looked WAY shaky at times and if an insanely talented team wasn't playing in front of him we might of seen more of it.
  • How in the shit is Mike Babcock supposed to coach a completely different hockey team the very next night, in a completely different setting, with players he hasn't seen or talked to in two weeks? I ask you, has anything in your life been more inexplicable than this one situation?
  • I am more scared of Rick Nash than prison rape. Every time he makes that ferocious move where he cuts to the net with the puck, I think that somebody is literally going to die. That's not a joke.
  • Players who I didn't know were as good as they were before the Olympics (not that I hadn't seen them before, but rather, their performance bumped them up a notch) -- Ryan Suter, Drew Doughty, Ryan Kesler, Old Jaromir Jagr, David Krejci, Erik Johnson, Jaroslav Halak, Uwe Krupp's ageless face and everybody that wasn't Russian.
  • Players who performed exactly as I expected -- Evgeni Nabokov.


(For the whole tournament)

#3 ~ Brian Rafalski .... Am I correct in assuming that he finished the tournament with the most points? Thought I heard that somewhere long the way. I'm too afraid to open up a new tab without having Crosby shoved down my ass.

#2 ~ Zach Parise .... Darren Helm's energy mixed with superb offensive instincts. I'm going to guess that he's the U.S. captain of the 2014 team.

#1 ~ Ryan Miller .... that's pure Michigan.

This wraps up our spotty Olympic coverage. Join us later this week as our spotty Red Wing coverage resumes, pending victories I guess.

***** U-S-A *****

Congratulations on a great two week run, U.S. players who won't ever see this.


cmk said...

I called the end of this game correctly days ago. The Husband poo-pooed what I said, but had to admit I DO know what I'm talking about most of the time. There was no other way it could have turned out any other way--for some reason, the gods have smiled on that little piece of shit and I have to accept it.

But I do know one thing: God (capital 'G') really does exist and He loves us all. How do I know? He gave us deep-fried cheesecake. That takes away all the pain in one's life. And after the end of that game, I need a lot of deep-fried cheesecake. {sigh}

Triple Deke Staff said...

There was no other way it could have turned out any other way--for some reason, the gods have smiled on that little piece of shit and I have to accept it.

I left out the part where I actually said the words "I swear, if he scores we are never going to hear the e-" and then he scored the goal.

- Tyler

creasemonkey said...

There are two main reasons I don't care for Rosby.

1) Since he was drafted, as a hockey fan I have been told to think of him as the next coming of Gretzky, the best player in decades, Hockey Jesus, etc. I have had his image, his story, the expected opinion of him rammed down my throat (figuratively, Little Gary does it literally). The best way for me to think the opposite of what you want is to tell me what you want me to think. I was not told Datsyuk and Ovechkin are interesting to watch; I discovered that for myself.

2) Rosby does not appear to be humble and gracious for what he has. While I can attribute some of this to (probably) hearing all his life how great he was, he is an adult and needs to learn how to win graciously (or show it in interviews). Saying you knew your team was way better and were the only team going to win is pretentious when you came this----><----close to losing. Not giving any credit to your opposition shows where the center of your universe is.

So we can look forward to watching this season's remaining games on mute (to avoid the verbal fellatio) and to also mute Penguins games for the next 20 years.

creasemonkey said...

For a better example, this is what Toews said about joking with 20cent about getting the silver: "We were this close to coming out on the losing end too, and it wouldn't have been a good feeling."

If Toews had scored in OT, I doubt as many fans would have cringed.

Baroque said...

I may just break the volume on my television to avoid accidentally taking it off mute.

That little ungrateful pissant.

I won't even be able to watch hockey for at least a week until I come down from this - and stop being so depressed. This is more painful than most of the playoff losses - at least with the playoffs there is another chance next year, this won't come for another four years.

I already came to terms with probably missing the playoffs this year (just realistic - teams don't climb over other teams into a playoff spot with a points system designed to keep everyone close, but not let them overtake others, so it isn't likely) so this was my source of hockey happiness and now it sucks.

I always adored Parise, Kesler, and Bobby Ryan (although it might be a matter of time until the natural Duck doucheness contaminates him) and now I like them even more.

But **** Canada for their sense of hockey entitlement, **** Canada for Don Cherry, *** Canada for Crosby, and I hope Vancouver enjoys paying off their billion dollar debt after the games.

(Yes, I am still feeling bitter, why do you ask?)

Baroque said...

I know I wouldn't have - Toews is a good player and recognizes that giving credit to an opponent doesn't diminish his own efforts any less. Sometimes when the other team wins, it isn't a lucky bounce that went against you - they were better that time.

He's been told since he was on skates that his farts smell like roses, though - the Canadian equivalent of the high-school football or basketball star in the US, and just as annoying in his snooty attitude of entitlement. Ugh. said...

There is so much to say about the gold medal men’s ice hockey game at the 2010 Winter Olympics. First, as an American, I am disappointed with the outcome. However, I was impressed that the USA was able to force overtime. The game-tying goal was exciting to see, and I honestly didn’t expect the USA to score it. Luongo played very well in goal for Canada, but I am shocked Miller got the Olympic MVP Award. Giving the award to a player who lost the gold medal game is unusual, but he did keep the USA in the game and had a stellar tournament overall.

I hope NHL players participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, hasn’t said whether the league will shut down for the Olympics in 2014, but I hope it does. It was really great to see players representing their countries. The most interesting part about this tournament to me was that it pitted NHL teammates against each other in some games.

Congratulations to Canada and I am at least glad the men did not celebrate in the same fashion that the Canadian women did when they won the gold medal. I am also happy that this game did not go to a shootout. That would have been an awful way to decide this game and the gold medal winner.

J.J. from Kansas said...

What a tourney. Sucks losing like that no matter who scored the goal.

I've got a lot more love for a lot of guys I previously hated now. I still hate Kane, but I'd take anybody else from the U.S. squad in a heartbeat.

Now I have to wean myself off olympic hockey. What am I going to do at 11 pm now that there are no games on that late?

Dena said...

My pride as a Spartan has never shone so brightly as to when Ryan Miller was coronated as Olympic MVP. Sigh.

On the other hand, I am one of the 98% or so of Cindy haters. My hatred burns the temperature of a thousand suns and it is even worse now. how I wanted one of those postgame fireworks to land on him and sent him on fire.

Does it really suprise anybody that he was so ungracious in his post game interview? Really?

LaurenH said...

I think I came away from the past two weeks a bigger fan of everyone that has 'Ryan' somewhere in their name on the US team.

...I also can't believe I said after Canada's first goal "I guess I'll still be happy as long as Crosby continues to be a non-factor" and then this!! It's like he heard me... grrr.....

hockeychic said...

I was ok (well in a very heartbroken sort of way) with the OT goal at first because I thought Iginla had scored it and I could handle that, not the best outcome but I like Jarome, so o.k. Then the BF broke the news to me....that it was HIM.

We will never hear the end of it. Ugh. I have argued up and down with people regarding Sid vs. Ovie and it got worse last night. I have not forgiven "thesecondcomingHockeyJesus" for his behavior during last year's ECF (who complains about hats being thrown on the ice for goodness sake?), his cheapshots, diving, whining and crying, etc. Ugh and now he gets golden glory.

I'm off to the game tonight which after the Olympic hockey tournament is sure to be a letdown. But I'm excited to see the Wings play live.

Guilherme Calciolari said...

Darren Helm's energy

You're dead to me now.

mrfluffy said...

When/where did Crosby say that?

Triple Deke Staff said...

Fluffy, not sure which Crosby quote you were referring to, but during his post game interview he said he "didn't expect (the game) to be that close." Surely even Brooks Orpik has to think that was a douche thing to say.

Herm I am sorry. I definitely should have went with "Hulk Hogan's energy."

- Tyler

mrfluffy said...

Thanks, Tyler...I watched the postgame once...but apparently I need to watch it again.