February 23 2014 08:39AM
There was a lot of self-inflicted angst, and consternation in Canada after the men's hockey team *only* beat the likes of Austria and Norway by a combined 8 goals. After it took an overtime to beat Finland, and a late 3rd period goal to beat Latvia, some people were misguidedly viewing the perceived lack of offense as some sort of fatal flaw that would eventually catch up to the Canadians.
All of that seems more than silly in retrospect after they went out and thoroughly dominated both the Americans and Swedes en route to repeating as Gold Medalists at the Winter Olympics. Despite the overwhelming built-in expectations that they brought with them into this tournament, they somehow managed to surprise.
It was nothing short of pure, unmitigated excellence. "It was too easy", "It wasn't nearly as exciting as it was in 2010", It was.. Gold.
February 21 2014 03:04PM
Chris Kunitz's efforts weren't enough to get Team USA over the hump.
- An in-depth review of Canada's 1-0 win over the US
- A look at what went wrong for USA, and where they go from here
- A chat about small sample sizes, and narratives
- A preview of Canada/Sweden, with predictions
Click past the jump to stream the podcast!
February 21 2014 01:44PM
Smile, Stevie Y, Canada is off to the Gold Medal Game!
We'd been highly anticipating these 2-3 hours of action ever since Drew Doughty put home the overtime winner vs. Finland last Sunday, essentially providing a blueprint for the route to the medals. Canada/United States, in a rematch of the 2010 Gold Medal Game that won't ever be forgotten around these parts.
While the game itself may not have been as dramatic as that one four years ago, or even more recently, the one these two countries' women engaged in yesterday, for my money it completely delivered on its promise. It was fast-paced, it was highly skilled, and the best players in the world were all for the most part playing at their best.
Sure, there may've only been one goal scored in the 60 minutes of play, but that hardly tells the story of what was a fantastically played, and uber competitive hockey game. For those of you keeping score at home, it's now Canada 2, USA 0 in meaningful hockey games in Sochi.
February 19 2014 01:26PM
Good Kristers Gudlevskis action shot.
In a sort of tongue-in-cheek manner I tweeted prior to the game that there was a part of me hoping that Edgars Masalskis would stop 57 shots in a Latvian victory as Matt Duchene and PK Subban watched from the press box.
I was obviously kidding because, let's get real, there's no time for trying to prove a point when patriotism and potentially Olympic Gold are on the line, but the horrendous tactical decisions Mike Babcock and his staff continue to make are unquestionably beginning to take hold as one of the biggest storylines currently going. It's a shame that it's in a way overshadowing the actual hockey itself, which is fantastic.
It turns out that it was actually Kristers Gudlevskis who manned the net for Team Latvia, but otherwise, for a while there it looked like my wishes may actually come true. He (and the defenders in front of him) put on a show in stifling the Canadians for as long as they could, before Our Lord and Sheaviour finally came through.
Team Canada won by a 2-1 score on Wednesday morning to move on to the semi finals, but the story for at least a couple of hours will surely be about the difficulties they encountered in accomplishing that task.
February 19 2014 03:28AM
When the term "Miracle on Ice" gets mentioned, you've been conditioned to think of the US national team upsetting the powerhouse Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics. At least that was the case prior to Wednesday February 19th, 2014. Sometime around 1:30 AM PST the most unforeseen, unrealistic, and unimaginable of events took place as you slept.
Daniel Sedin scored a goal. I assure you that this isn't part of some elaborate and cruel dream state that you're still in. I have video evidence to prove it just past the jump.