OGDB Final: A nation watches and hopes for gold

Jason Gregor
February 28 2010 11:57AM

Ice Hockey - Men's Semifinal - CAN vs SVK

In case we needed some more incentive for tonight’s game, a win on the ice by Canada will set a new winter Olympic record for most Gold medals in one Olympics: fourteen I guess Own the Podium wasn’t far off after all.

You’ve been captivated the past 15 days by the likes of Alex Bilodeau, Maelle Ricker, Christine Nesbitt, Jon Montgomery, Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue, Ashleigh McIvor, Kaillie Humphries, Heather Moyse, Charles Hamelin (twice), Francois Hamelin, Olivier Jean, Francois-Louis Tremblay, women’s hockey, Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky, Denny Morrison, Jasey Jay Anderson, Kevin Martin, John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert.

Or maybe you shed a tear and felt a great sense of Canadian pride watching Joannie Rochette perform so admirably after her mother’s death en route to a bronze medal, so maybe it is fitting that we get to watch OUR game against the United States.

I don’t believe that hockey has dominated these games, because we’ve witnessed so many other great and inspirational efforts, but it is fitting that today Canada has a chance to win gold in the game we love the most, and finish off the 2010 Olympic Games in style.

Tickets for the game are going for more than a Super Bowl ticket right now. Scalpers, and on-line ticket sites are asking, and getting, four thousand dollars for a ticket.

The Americans can pump their chest all they want about football and baseball being their game, but neither of those sports are in the Olympics, and neither captivates an entire nation like hockey does for Canadians.

THERE IS A “G” an “O” and “D” in GOLD

Before we get any further I think it is fitting, being Sunday and all, that we say a few words. Read them out loud and with some feeling.

Our Father who art in Vancouver, hockey be thy name. Thy will be done, the Gold will be won, on the ice for the men as it was for the women. Give us this day, our hockey wives, and forgive us our penalties as we forgive those who cross check against us. Lead us not into elimination but deliver us to victory. For thine is the Getzlaf, the Toews and the holy Crosby, AMEN...

Reader/listener, Derrick, sent this to me and who knows maybe a little divine intervention can’t hurt.

BREAK DOWN GOLD MEDAL

Even though the States have yet to lose in the tournament I still think Canada is the favourite. Ryan Miller has been spectacular for the USA and he’ll need to do it again if they want to win.

Canada is averaging 40.5 SOG in the tourney, and they had 43 on Miller last Sunday, meanwhile the States have fired an average of 31 shots in their five wins. Miller will be busier than Roberto Luongo and he’ll have to be better to stop Canada from grabbing their record-setting 14th gold.

The PPs are a saw off. Canada has scored on 29.1% of their opportunities while the USA is close at 28.5%. But Canada has a big advantage on the PK, with a tournament best 88.4% efficiency compared to only 76.9% for the States.

The most surprising stat is that these are the two most disciplined teams in the tourney. The States have only been shorthanded 13 times in five games, while Canada has had to kill of 19 penalties in their six games. Both teams have been physical, but neither has run into penalty trouble, excluding the 3rd period last Sunday when Canada took three consecutive penalties.

MILLER OVERHYPED?

It would seem the big advantage the US has is in goal with Ryan Miller. Miller has given up five goals in five games, although his GAA is just below one, because he didn’t play the final eleven minutes v. Finland. And is SV% is a sparkling .952.

But outside of the Canada game has he really been tested.

He faced 15 shots v. the Swiss, 11 v. Norway, 43 v. Canada, then 19 in the quarterfinals against the Swiss, before stopping 18 in the semi-final. He has played well, there is no doubt, but when you consider the bad games we’ve seen from Martin Brodeur, Henrik Lundqvist (Slovakia), Evgeni Nabokov (Canada) and Mikka Kiprusoff in the semis you wonder if it’s Miller’s time to lay an egg?

I hope he plays great and Canada still wins, because then there will be no excuses from south of the border.

HEROS ARE MADE

A big goal in today’s game will make a player famous for years to come. Paul Henderson wasn’t the best player in 1972, but he scored the two most important goals in that series, and he’s famous because of it.

Who will be a star today?

My money is on Ryan Getzlaf. Some questioned if his ankle would allow him to contribute, but those worries have been erased by a clutch performance from Getzlaf. He, along with Corey Perry and Brendan Morrow, has been Canada’s best line the past two games and I expect that to continue today.

Sidney Crosby has been rather quiet the past few games, so you can never count out the Kid, but I have a feeling Getzlaf’s line will be key in Canada’s win.

I haven’t been this excited for a game in years. Even though it was only eight years ago that these two teams met for gold in Salt Lake, this game just seems more hyped and more important. There’s a lot on the line, and I expect the Red and White to come through.

Canada wins 5-3, we set an Olympic record for most gold medals and we show the world this is still OUR game. GO CANADA.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Wanyes bastard child
February 28 2010, 03:55PM
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I just came in my pants

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#2 baggedmilk
February 28 2010, 02:51PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

LET'S GO NOW BOYS!!!!!!!

*crawls back into his bed and prays for death. Thanks for nothing Jack Daniel's!*

Get onto our website and get in this chat. I'm drinking beer at 5 in the morning alone watching this.

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#3 Petr's Jofa
February 28 2010, 12:28PM
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With Canada finishing with 13 or 14 gold medals I can't wait for TLP's next blog. As Ricky Bobby said "If you ain't first you're last"

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#4 jeanshorts
February 28 2010, 12:31PM
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LET'S GO NOW BOYS!!!!!!!

*crawls back into his bed and prays for death. Thanks for nothing Jack Daniel's!*

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#5 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 12:48PM
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Wearing my Don Cherry signed Team Canada jersey. This kind of situation is the only time it ever gets worn.

GO CANADA!!!!!!!!!

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#6 Rigger
February 28 2010, 03:30PM
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MOTHERF*#K!!!!!!!!!!!

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#7 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 03:53PM
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SID F*CKING CROSBY!!!!!!!!!!!

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#8 Crash
February 28 2010, 04:04PM
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And now it's 14 gold medals...the most ever by any country at a winter olympic games...

I'd say own the podium is a resounding success

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#9 Wanyes bastard child
February 28 2010, 04:08PM
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I'll say it, mad props to the American team!

They played good, made for an exciting game, made for an awesome ending and I for one am happy it went to OT for such an exciting win!

Props America, props!

Oh and... Suck it TLP :P

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#10 jake
February 28 2010, 04:21PM
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The Americans played outstanding. Had an outstanding tournament. Hats off to them.

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#11 Ender
February 28 2010, 04:28PM
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TLP wrote:

I will first be seeking apologies from the following Oilers/Flames Nation commenters, who foolishly predicted a Canadian win.
1.Ender the Dragon, who said, "If (when) Canada beats the Americans in hockey..." WRONG
2.Phil, who noted, "And besides, all that really matters is the USA will get embarrassed in a few days by the absolutely dominant Canadian squad in mens hockey. Fools are gonna get crushed." RAFALSKI'D
3.GSC, who blabbed, "I just can't stand to see this kind of ethnocentric behavior. There's no reason for it, especially when it looks like USA Hockey will be an afterthought once more in Vancouver." INCORRECT
4.GSC (again), who chattered, "...and the strong possibility that Hockey Canada brings home another gold." DISAPPOINTED
5.Fellow Flames Nation contributor RossCreek, who blathered, "Sorry pal, but the USA battling for a bronze in men's hockey will be as good as it gets for you. Meanwhile, we up here in igloo-land will cherish our GOLD forever." DISCREDITED

What was that you were saying, TLP? Wrong? Incorrect? Discredited? Yes, yes you were. Karma's a bi+ch, ain't it?

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#12 Travis Dakin
February 28 2010, 04:31PM
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BBBBBOOOOONNNNNNEEEEEERRRRRR!!!!!!!!

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#13 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 04:40PM
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Visnovsky reprimanded for anti-doping violations. Seems like it isnt as bad as it sounds, but man, can Oilers players please stop screwing up.

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#14 Pajamah
February 28 2010, 04:44PM
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Crash wrote:

No time for this now...we're in the middle of a celebration here

Unless Visnovsky is from Mundare,AB, not our concern

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#15 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 04:47PM
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Pajamah wrote:

Unless Visnovsky is from Mundare,AB, not our concern

LOL. You don't know how funny I think Mundare references are. Pure gold, IMO.

Like when all the new CSI's came out, my Dad said "what's next, CSI: Mundare?"

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#16 Moop
February 28 2010, 04:50PM
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Someone needs to find TLP quickly. I want to taste his delicious, delicious tears.

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#17 Harlie
February 28 2010, 05:14PM
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@Pajamah

or Josephburg

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#18 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 28 2010, 05:15PM
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Pajamah wrote:

Lamont, about 8 years ago, used to do cable installation, had the greatest pizza of my life.

And thats everything good about Lamont.

You wanna talk about nothingtown,AB, I submit Bruderheim,AB for your consideration

i will see your bruderheim and raise you a Millet, AB and a Smokey Lake, AB

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#19 Clangger
February 28 2010, 05:49PM
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Ron Wilson's exact quote: "Sometimes, the best team in the tournament doesn't win a gold medal."

Just another arrogant Yankee

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#20 Chaz
February 28 2010, 05:55PM
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How does that Crow taste TLP? My guess is he'll be too chicken to show his ugly Yank mug around the Oil Nation to admit how terribly wrong he was....that's okay we know where to find him although visiting Flames Nation makes my skin crawl...

Hope Kipper's melt down in the Semi-Finals doesn't lead to a post-Olympic Salo-esque career meltdown!!

~That would be terrible!~

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#21 Ryan Lambert
February 28 2010, 06:05PM
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Oh hey guys just checkin in since I've gotten bothered on Twitter and email.

Honestly, I'm really glad you guys got the Cinderella finish you deserved. Your scrappy team of journeymen won out over a heavily-favored American side, even if they did need overtime. Congrats on sticking with this team of knockaround guys through thick and thin.

David really can beat Goliath!

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#22 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 08:38PM
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Alanis... shoulda figured.

Lookin quite hot, I might add. Is Ryan Reynolds still tappin'?

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#23 Heavyd
February 28 2010, 08:40PM
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What about the Hip.

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#24 David S
February 28 2010, 08:47PM
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We kicked ass at these Olys and put on a great show in Vancouver. But I can't help wonder how showcasing a bunch of second-rate performers at the tail end of the show is upping our street cred around the world.

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#25 Harlie
February 28 2010, 08:54PM
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our french Bjork is hotter than Iceland's weird Bjork.

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#26 Nate Full of Hate
February 28 2010, 12:02PM
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Dany Heatley will score twice.

Canada wins 4-3

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#27 Ryan
February 28 2010, 12:20PM
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Canada wins 7-3, someone unexpected with a hat rick, maybe Thornton.

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#28 Milli
February 28 2010, 12:20PM
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Oh Man, I can't wait!!!! 40 more minutes!!! This has to be the most anticipated game ever!!!! Vancouver is gonna go off tonight!!! I wish I hadda gone....Go CANADA!!! I'm with you gregor, 5- 3 CANADA!!!!!!

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#29 jake
February 28 2010, 12:51PM
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Re: Miller - he did give up 3 against Canada, most vs. any team, and this is before Canada's forwards started to gel.

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#30 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 01:08PM
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Let's update that medal count. Should be; 13, 7, 5

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#31 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 01:17PM
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SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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#32 Shawn Cronin
February 28 2010, 01:37PM
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First 10 mins, Canada struggling to move pucks, poor passing and good checking from US.

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#33 Lofty
February 28 2010, 01:40PM
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Luongo looks wrose with the puck than Brodeur did.

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#34 Lofty
February 28 2010, 01:41PM
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GOAL!!!!!!!!!

It still bothers me that his name isnt spelt: Taves

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#35 Milli
February 28 2010, 02:05PM
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Anyone catch grapes on NBC? was curious what he had to say, but to lazy to change the channel!

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#36 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 02:18PM
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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

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#37 jake
February 28 2010, 02:31PM
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Canada's stretch pass attempts are getting annoying.

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#38 Crash
February 28 2010, 02:42PM
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Lofty wrote:

GOAL!!!!!!!!!

It still bothers me that his name isnt spelt: Taves

That would be Tays....there's no "v" sound in it

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#39 Milli
February 28 2010, 02:43PM
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WOW!!! what a period! 20 minutes to go boys!!!!

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#40 Wanyes bastard child
February 28 2010, 02:50PM
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"the US with good push back..."

I lol'd at that :P

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#41 bingofuel
February 28 2010, 02:51PM
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@Archaeologuy

Yeah, it should be. But I'm in kananaskis with no internet. I'll change it up as soon as I have teh internetz

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#42 baggedmilk
February 28 2010, 03:12PM
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I'm watching this game with an English announcer. It's like a soccer game, but with ice.

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#43 baggedmilk
February 28 2010, 03:15PM
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Can't help but notice that Pouliot isn't playing in this game but Parise is... Weird.

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#44 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 03:32PM
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This is killing me

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#45 jake
February 28 2010, 03:32PM
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You could just feel that comming. I only have 2 fingernails left.

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#46 Milli
February 28 2010, 03:32PM
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I'm with you rigger, that foring sucked. I'm picking Getzlaf with the ot winner.

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#47 Rigger
February 28 2010, 03:34PM
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I could feel it coming too Jake. Frick, couldn't hold on for the last few seconds eh? OT will be a nailbiter.

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#48 DonDon
February 28 2010, 03:35PM
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Ouch! The Canadian team looked like the Oilers in the last minute, allowing the tieing goal. What's wrong with Crosby? Looks like Kane is eating his breakfast, lunch and supper. And Ingla? Looks old, slow and out of his league at this level. In the last half of the third period USA was swarming around the Canadian's zone.

Doesn't look good, our boys look tired and playing on their heels.

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#49 Dan the Man
February 28 2010, 03:36PM
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I think I'm gonna throw up.

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#50 jake
February 28 2010, 03:37PM
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How does Canada recover from that??? I need some beta blockers.

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