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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

‘Horror Night’ in Canada

What normally is the best night of the week for native Canadians, the US Men’s Hockey team simply shocked the world by going into the lion’s den in the great white north and came out with a 5-3 victory. What made it so amazing wasn’t just the fact that it was the first US victory over Canada in 50 years but pure magnitude of the moment as 60 million fans watched the game north of the border (making it the most watched hockey game in the hockey nation’s history), the onslaught of shots, 45 in all, by a Canadian club that is composed of some the most talented players ever assembled, and the pressure of beating a team that literally had a country in its corner. Everyone’s looking at what’s wrong with the Canadian side and it’s no secret that Marty has not played his best games between the poles, and they may be a club that’s designed to much for offense, but those didn’t change the fact that the US came out and punched them in the mouth from the first minute on and never trailed in the game and although they never stopped cheering, the crowd at Canada Hockey Place was not at the deafening level until late in the 3rd period when it became more out of desperation than anything else. The US answered every Canadian score with one (or more) of their own and very quickly, so the Canadians could never build any momentum. What might even be more important than everything previously stated, the loser has a nothing short of a gauntlet to get to the gold medal game including games against the Russians and Swedes, where regardless of your seeding, they’re both in the top 4, while the winner must deal with a very beatable team from Finland (sound like shades of 1980?). In a tournament like this it’s all about getting a hot at the right time, a hot goalie, (much like Jim Craig in 80’), Ryan Miller stopped 42 of 45 shots, and getting non-stars to step up (Brian Rafalsky has 4 goals are year for the Red Wings and 4 goals in his 3 Olympic games, and lastly, not being afraid to do great things. The US has done that so far and their reward should be a gold medal match against one of the top 3 teams in the world. One would think the youngest team in the tournament will begin to feel the pressure, but then again, most of us are still rinsing out the taste of our shoes by now. How far can the US go? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

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24 comments:

hockeyfan said...

Ryan Miller was the ONLY reason Canada loss last night. Brodeur's performance didn't help Canada but without Miller in the USA net Canada would have won. Canada out-shot, out-played out-hit the U.S., and as a team were by far the better team. Team USA better not dare think that as a team they can take any credit for winning that game last night. It was ALL Miller. Canada has to put Luongo in net and then they'll be O.K. Brodeur won gold for Canada in 2002. That was EIGHT YEARS ago. We need better goaltending now and with Luongo playing net for Canada in his NHL home rink it will help Canada's quest for GOLD.

gram61 said...

if you know ANYTHING at all about our game at all,you will,first of all,stop sounding like snivellers and whiners.Just focus on the reality of the game this Sunday past.What REALLY happened was that Ryan Miller was outstanding in goal and Martin Brodeur played like a bum...pure and simple.the truth of the matter was that our guys out-played, out-hit,out-shot,and carried the majority of the play 80%-85& of the time.If it weren't for the outstanding goal tending of Miller,Team Canada would have killed those other guys.Face it,people,Miller won it for them,and Brodeur lost for our guys and team USA ought to be bright enough to know it.If Team USA is smart,they will be taking Ryan Miller's immediate and extended family to a fancy restaurant for the next week,simply because he saved them last Sunday.

seanoarirborne said...

All this talk on here about how Miller was a better goaltender,the Canadians were the better team,the Yanks were just lucky and that Canada is the only team worthy of a gold medal in this tournament, is all a bunch of codwallop!You got beat plain and simple.And it wasn't just the goaltender that done it!In case you don't get it,the Americans are pro players too (AND A TEAM) not just a rugged group of individuals.This was a team win, not a goaltenders.So,stop it with the BS!Furthermore,we never played this game to get beaten.We played to win and we did!Y'all act as if this is all a one man show!How stupid can you be?This was a team effort...and a successful one at that...get over it!As an American I get along quite well with most Canadians I meet, but to talk about the US Team as if they were a bunch of amateurs...not ready for prime time is beyond the pale.What makes you think you're better?Canada has won one gold medal in 50 yrs in Hockey.A powerhouse, indeed!I'm smiling!!GO USA!!

hgilmore said...

I'm Canadian and obviously would love Team Canada to win but I have to agree with some of the American posters on here that we come off as incredibly arrogant to the rest of the hockey world. Between Grapes and Pierre McGuire (who is ironically American) you'd think the Gold medal was a foregone conclusion. What Canadians have to realize is that while we do have the talent to ice two equally competitive teams, our top talent is no better than the top talent of the USA, Russia or Sweden. The US deserved the win. Brian Burke was smart to include big game players like Drury and Langenbrunner over their current statistical superious like TJ Oshie and Scott Gomez. Miller Shmiller; he's a great goalie but Canada has the firepower to get it done and instead choked and fired 40 perimeter shots while giving up terrible defensive chances. Anybody see Joe Thornton last night? I didn't. Thanks to those Americans being gracious but some of us Canadians need to be taken down a peg or two.

shuddagontabed said...

The way this team has playing it will have trouble getting TO the round of 8 let alone OUT of it. Before the roster was announced I posted that Pronger, Niedermayer, and Iginla were having poor years and should not be selected. My fellow bloggers may have set a world record for hitting the "disagree" button that day. Today, would you not rather have Robidas, Green and Stamkos?

gregmiller said...

I was a good game. There will be other games. There will be better games. For the sake of sanity, stop going crazy over this one. It is not healthy to turn on this team so fast. Do you honestly believe they will commit so many penalties against the Germans? Just enjoy the game, unless you don't actually enjoy the game and your sole interest is to criticize players. In that case, stop posting your ideas, please!

khockey said...

I was actually surprised at how poorly the US played. If the US outworked the Canadians like most of the people commenting on the game seem to believe, then they should be worried about being outshot by a 2 to 1 ratio by an under-performing team (3 to 1 in the 1st and 3rd periods!) They weren't just a pile of shots from the perimeter, but a bunch of good scoring chances. I'm sure if you looked at puck possession time the ratio was probably 2 to 1 in favour of the Canadians. The US team won't get past the Swedes playing this way. Even Miller is going to wear down facing 45 shots a night.

rochester said...

Canucks, you've got to get a grip! This was just a game, and your friends are giving you some good-natured ribbing. I live in Wisconsin, and have a lot more in common with some Canadians than I do with many people from my own country, but I would always root for my home-country. I prefer collegiate hockey to NHL hockey, and have enjoyed watching many Canadian students who've played for the Badgers, both men and women... including Dany Heatley. We currently have six young men and 7 young women playing hockey at Wisconsin. Don't you think they are getting a little grief today? Don't you think they would be dishing it out if Canada had won? It was a great game... one of the best I've ever watched, and I would have thought so regardless of who won.

underachievers said...

Joe Thornton: When is the last time you saw him successfully made a pass? Martin Brodeur: n'ough said. Rich Nash: Besides meaningless hits, what else does he do well? He is SO SLOW. And who is THE anchor in the PP? None of our defencemen did a good job in 3 games. Where are the snipers when we need the most? The only goal scorers on this team are Crosby and Heatley. The begs the question of why Canada didn't pick another pure goal scorer or offensive defenceman in favour of a bunch of good, role players. In 2002, we have Lemieux, Sakic, Iginla (in his prime), Yzerman, Kariya, Lindros, Fleury -- all offensive minded players and can score goals. Even the 3rd liners are 50 players in Nieuwendyk etc.

articfoxxxx said...

YYYYYEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!! As a Michigan native, FOR YEARS I have endured listening to Canadiens crow about their superiority in every facet of the game compared to USA Hockey. Maybe now some of that self-aggrandizing SMUGNESS will fade along with the proclaimed entitlement to the gold I've been listening to for a year now. After the US wiped the floor with the Canadians in the world juniors, we all got sit and listen to Grapes say the only reason the US won is best Canada's best players in the age group didn't play in the tournament. Well, Grapes, they were there last night. During the previous game with Norway, Pierre Mcquire kept telling Eddie O. how if the US played against Canada how they were playing against Norway, they would be buried. Ha! I know I'm going to get ripped, but keep this in mind: The US played TIGHT the first period and a half. If they come out relaxed; the score is 7-3; not 5-3. BAM!

hockkkk said...

The Canadians played a great game. They dominated the play, but unfortunately were undone by some shaky goaltending and some bad bounces. They scored 3 well earned goals against the hottest goalie in hockey. The only time the US controlled the puck was in the first 30 seconds and when they were on the PP. The extra game against Germany may work in Canada's favour, giving them an extra game to gel. The big question will be who to start in net.

john3244 said...

The Canadian Team needs to stop treating the US Team like they are there best friends. If or when we play them again we need to get into Millers face, make it more uncomfortable for him. If these guys bomb again I won't support sending NHLers to the next Olympics

bg gaily said...

Wow! We are only three games into the tournament. The lines still have yet to be cemented and the doomsayers are out in full force. Some of the most reasonable comments seem to come from our pals south of the border. You win and lose with your goalie. I'm sure that every one of those commenting have had their team play a great game (Canada) against a very good team (U.S.A) and come out with a loss. It happens. I'm looking forward to the Canada/Russia game - great skaters on both sides with the best player in the game (the big O) up against the Canucks. You gotta love these games.

diac08 said...

I love our passion for the game but lets all RELAX. The negative comments from millions couch coaches are foolish. Some people just love to be miserable and say “I told you so!” Well enjoy your misery. Overall we have the best team at these Olympics on paper. What is on paper doesn’t always turn into wins. There are a number of other countries that produces some pretty good hockey players. We can’t win them all. I think most hockey fans would agree that we haven’t played to the best of our abilities and we ran into what could be argued is the best goalie in hockey last night. I hope the boys can bring it all together and maybe last night was what they needed to get going. In no way do I think anyone of those players is intentionally not giving everything they have got. Every team that Canada faces sees that game as their Olympic Gold medal game. They are playing the best hockey country in the best hockey countries home rink full of hockey frenzy fans. What an atmosphere. GO Canada GO!

tinkerbob said...

It's not the loss that counts, but the rebound. And that's the problem. Forget the goalie argument: we’re having trouble with our mindset and it shows in our (lack of) scoring. And mindsets are not easy to change overnight Each player seems to be thinking, 'I have to do this myself' syndrome, which unfortunately works in many NHL games. We've seen this several times in every game now, where the puck has been passed square across the crease on the ice, only for the (open) receiving player to fan on the shot. Why? Because he wasn't expecting the pass. He was expecting the puck carrier to shoot, and therefore wasn't mentally prepared to react to a pass. In coaching my soccer boys, I try to instill the 50-50 rule, shoot half of the time, pass the other half. That way you keep the defending player in some doubt as to your intentions. Out players leave the defender in *no* doubt as to what's going to happen next. Time to think 'team.'

slantshot said...

the better team does not always win. Canada DOMINTED most of the play but ran into a very hot goalie and their own goalie was not in top form. IMHO they should go back to Luongo and attack, attack, attack as they did last night and they will be fine ! The USA had NOTHING to lose and simply played that way, cant hate then for that.

justwhatithink said...

There is no doubting Brodeur's resume but right now, he is not producing. Canada should have won this game. This goes back to 2002. Cujo had one bad game and he got replaced by Brodeur. Luongo is a great goaltender and he would be playing at his home rink. If they want to curb the sense of entitlement, then cut ice time if they have a bad game. Cory Perry gets beat to a loose pick from behind? Cut his ice time. This is a team full of really good players. There isn't much time in the Olympics to give players second chances. If they can't produce, regardless of history, they get replaced by someone else.

erotiuttt said...

The 1st round for Canada was terrible ! They opened with a LOSS to sweden, barely beat Germany and tied the czech's. Thats 1 win, 1 loss and 1 tie. In 2010 we have 1 win, 1 loss and an overtime shootout win(which may as well been a tie). SO FOR THOSE JUMPING OFF THE BANDWAGON ... REMEMBER 2002 !!!

pen pal said...

This is a good thing. I think it gives them a chance to solidify their lines. I doubt Canada would have beat the Russians had they won last night because the team looks so scattered but playing tomorrow should help them more than hurt them. If they lose, they lose but if they win it should be a big boost to their morale. I hope Babcock settles down because if he keeps juggling lines the team is probably going to question his leadership and that's not good.

chuckko said...

Being an American and enjoying the game last night. I wasn't surprised at all. The United States has a pretty decent team. I am a Pittsburgh Penguins fan and Sidney Crosby is awesome. Give us a little credit Canada you are not the mecca of hockey.

cascious said...

I keep hearing some fans saying 'Oh, but if it were a 7 games series, our team would be the best and blah-blah-blah'... BS! Pure BS. And worse, just blatant ARROGANCE. For 1: we knew the format of this tournament since Nagano, at least; for 2: we can't have a club's tournament format (tons of useless cash-grab games) in the World Cup or the Olympics. What our national team should do is follow what other nations in hockey, volleyball, soccer do: get our best players together every year, as soon as the season is over, invite a few European nations and the USA, and play a "4 (or 6) Nations" tournament . That's how you create a core team, with fewer pieces to adjust when the Olympics comes around. BUT please, let's stop the arrogance and ONLY call ourselves the best in the world when we have the GOLD medal in our hands to prove it. Cheers, c.

gregguru said...

We need a more focused approach. for every step forward last night, we took one back. maybe a little more leadership from the veterans (hello Iginla? where are you?), and for heaven sake stop trying to score "pretty" goals. We scored by driving the net and shooting. we missed great chances because we tried to set up a perfect goal. You don't get points for style guys. Brodeur tried to do too much. We have the talent and the know-how to win this thing - we just need to play some gritty, intelligent hockey for 60 minutes.

scepter said...

Team Canada pretty much owned last night's game. For the better part of three periods, the Americans couldn't even touch the puck when the play was five on five, that's how completely the Canadian team dominated. However... Brodeur had a very bad game. He made three serious miscues, all of which were pounced upon and converted for goals by the Americans. Take away those three goals and the Yanks aren't even in it.

cform said...

Dude - as an American we don't want you rooting for our men's hockey team if your purpose for rooting for them is to stick it to you fellow citizens. It is completely against everything we are. I also wouldn't panic if I was Canadian. Americans have ZERO expectations for the Men's Hockey team which I think helped them because if they lost they wouldn't hear about back home. The American public would have just chalked the loss as a loss to Canada in hockey. No big deal and no suprise. I hope for the Canadian fans that Team Canada comes out against Germany with a full out assult and total domination. That usually shuts up the critics.

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