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O Canada

584-canada-team-celeb[1]

It was like rooting for the Penguins last year.  They couldn’t make it easy.  They stumbled out of the qualifying round, barely beating the Swiss and losing to the US, putting them into a potential run against Russia, Sweden and the US again.

After a somewhat surprisingly easy victory against the Russians, they ended up with a lucky break when Slovakia knocked off Sweden.  And then they nearly blew a three goal lead, winning only with a late second save in the final seconds.

Up by one against the US going into the third period, the hockey gods appeared to favor the Americans.  Two posts hit, multiple chances denied, and then with victory in sight, Canada’s continually shaky goaltending looked fatal, as the US tied the game with less than 30 seconds left.

A friend of mine texted me before the OT started “Sidney Crosby better show up in OT.”  Right before the end, the Canadians gave up a turnover in their end and as the Americans’ poised to shoot, I thought “That’s it.”  So glad to be wrong.  And then, whether it was luck or skill, Crosby showed up.  Big time.

Whether this has any impact on the rest of the NHL season is questionable, but if it does a couple of things seem evident.

The Blackhawks are good.  Real good.  Jonathan Toews was named the top forward in the tournament.  Seabrook was okay, but Duncan Keith was rock solid.  And Patrick Kane was a monster on both ends, with a couple of standout back-checking efforts, including stopping Crosby on a breakaway in the 3rd period of the final that would have put the game away.  The best thing for the rest of the league is that they still don’t have proven goaltending.

Roberto Luongo didn’t lose the gold, but it looked like he might, appearing shaky in every important game.  But he made the ones that counted.  It’s hard to say that a Gold medal winning goaltender is still unproven, but I think he is.

For the Penguins, it’s hard to say what will come out of it.  Malkin played well, except against Canada.  Gonchar was solid, but he’s still 57 years old (roughly).  Will they come back with extra fire to make up for the disappointment or suffer a hangover?  Fleury didn’t even play.  Orpik did drill a couple of people nicely, as is his wont.

And then there’s Ovechkin.  Just as in last year’s Game 7 against the Pens, he failed to perform in the biggest game.  My texting buddy and I have a continual ‘debate’ over who is better, Ovechkin or Crosby.  Ovechkin is more exciting, more dynamic.  He’s a powerhouse.  The Caps lead the Eastern Conference largely because of him.  When he’s at his best, there isn’t a player in the world that can match him.

But Crosby wins.  Crosby didn’t dominate, didn’t carry the team.  But when it mattered, Crosby performed, and Canada won.  I’m glad he’s on my team.  He’s 22, and he now has a Stanley Cup championship and a Gold medal clinching goal.  If he wasn’t on my team, I’d probably hate the f*(ker. 

Back to the regular season of the NHL, and then the playoffs.

Go Pens.

posted on Sunday, February 28, 2010 8:38 PM Print
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# re: O Canada
Ryan
3/1/2010 9:04 AM
oot aboot oot oot aboot Barry Melrose oot aboot Celine Dion oot aboot aboot oot Round Bacon oot aboot Poutine

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