rulururu
Two dudes blogging and podcasting about the San Jose Sharks, straight from sunny California.

post Super Hockey Sunday Didn’t Disappoint

February 22nd, 2010, 10:15 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

Three great matchups, three great games.  Maybe the Sweden-Finland game was a shade under “great”, but I’d still say the day lived up to its billing.  And of course the story of the Olympics so far is the U.S. upset of Canada 5-3; it was yet another game where the Canadians vastly outshot their opponent and didn’t win in regulation.  They did the same against the Swiss, but Jonas Hiller had a great performance.  They must be frustrated that the same thing happened last night against Ryan Miller.  Gabe Desjardins had a great post that showed the out-and-out dominance the Canadians had over the Swiss, and here’s a bit of a taste of that about last night’s game.

What to say about last night?  It seems to be a triumph of will vs. skill.  Or maybe it was just superior goaltending giving the U.S. a chance to get some gritty goals and steal it.  Either way, it was incredibly exciting.  I’m still not sure if any of the American players would have made Team Canada if they were all magically transformed into Kraft-dinner eating, Celine Dion-loving Canucks, but somehow they won.  Even if you take out the “Miracle On Ice 2″ or whatever they are calling it, it was an extremely pivotal game for the Americans in terms of their medal chances.  Given they won all three games in regulation and have the best goal differential, they have the easiest path through the tournament by far.  Here’s the bracket:

olympic_bracket

As we can see, Belarus will be our likely opponent in the quarters, with either the Finns or the Czechs a potential semifinal matchup.  The U.S. will avoid the Canadians, Russians, and Swedes until the goal medal game.  That’s what I call a sweet bracket.  While I still can’t say we are the favorites to win gold, now I’d say that I’d be disappointed if the U.S. didn’t medal.  Actually, I’d say the silver is probably more likely than the bronze at this point.  I like our chances vs. the Czechs over any of the Big 3.

Despite the major media coverage, I wouldn’t say this game had any real “national significance”.  Unlikely 1980, there’s no political ideology at stake, and no real underdog status here.  One team made up of NHLers beat another team of NHLers.  And while I’m happy the game was close and exciting, I don’t hold much hope that casual watchers of the game last night will be converted into hockey fans.  We didn’t get an NHL ratings bump after Torino, and we won’t see it this year either.  Frankly, that’s fine by me, because if hockey got popular, that might mean more NBC coverage.  If I hear Ed Olczyk say “active stick” or “puck in the back of the net” one more type, I’m going to start wishing for more Mike Milbury, which will rip open the very fabric of space and time.

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    20 Comments to “Super Hockey Sunday Didn’t Disappoint”

    1. Tom says:

      Mike,

      I’m surprised you guys haven’t commented on the NBC failure in coverage… what a joke… I think this game would have gotten more buzz had they did the right thing and put in on the main NBC station and not dumped it down to the non-HD msnbc…

      • Mike says:

        Tom,

        I actually did watch it in HD on msnbc, u-verse carries it. And frankly, most of the Olympics coverage I’ve watched this time (curling and hockey) I watched on channels other than NBC. I’m glad I don’t have to wade through all the fluff and human interest crap. Although I did withstand the inevitable Mike Eruzione interview…

    2. Jerry says:

      The US vs Canada game was just like playoff hockey. It made me wonder if the Sharks have the physical and mental make-up to play at such a high level. It doesn’t help that Thornton’s been MIA.

    3. Andy C says:

      Active Stick? At least the commentators know what they are talking about. Imagine having to put up with British commentary… We’ve had “Patrice” Marleau, Joe “Pavolski”, Zidlisky, and some rather interesting pronounciations of Nabokov and Michaleck. The Dustin Brown move on Drew doughty passed by without any clue about the significance.

      With Canada a member of the Commonwealth, I’m ashamed to say I’ve been cheering them on, but I have to say well played to the States.

      Jerry’s thought was going through my mind the whole time watching the game, but if Canada win the gold from this position, they really will have shaken off the “chokers” tag.

    4. Doug says:

      I called Mike on Sunday morning beyond pissed about NBC’s decision to delay the Russia/Czech game so we could all enjoy Cross Country Skiing. Unreal. I will be rooting for Canada to do the impossible and get past both Russian and Sweden on their way to a rematch with the USA. It’s what’s best for not only the Olympics but also for us as Sharks fans.

      We have a great guest lined up for tomorrow night. Fingers crossed it all comes through.

    5. Tom says:

      Doug!

      Did you get Elton John for the pod cast!!? Ask him if he’ll sing tiny dancer ok??

      • Ruben says:

        Man, that’s too bad. HTML has been Canada’s most consistent line in the Oylmpics. I know Thornton only has 1 assist, but do they think he has been gliding in the zone while Heatley and Marleau do all the work? Particularly when Doughty was on the ice with them, that line pretty much dominated the US when they were out there.

        Most interesting part of the article: pointing out Joe only has one shot on goal. I hope he has only one shot considering he could be passing it to Heatley, Marleau, Boyle, Weber, Kieth, Doughty, etc when he is on the ice! Such is the life of the passer… you can do your job all the same but you need the scorers to bury it for you to get validation.

    6. Tom says:

      Really… I could care less what Montreal thinks about Joe Thornton.

      The one conclusion that I have come to in these Olympics is that Jumbo and Co. are going to get all the blame and none of the glory… Unless the HTML and Boyle get like 80% of the scoring they will be blamed for all failures and will get none of the credit… plain and simple.

      • Ruben says:

        Yeah, and more importantly, I hope our boys could care less (or more? that saying always confused me) about what the press says. How Crosby got off with no blame despite being on the ice for 3 US goals is amazing.

        Everyone has a reputation. This April will be another chance for Joe, Patty, and Nabby to do something about theirs, regardless of whether theirs is deserved or not.

        • Evilducks says:

          Like you said, they have the power to get rid of the names if they get it done.

          It may not be fair to heap the blame on them, but if they don’t win do you think Jumbo would feel any better if they blamed somebody else? I don’t think he honestly cares what the media says about him anymore. I wouldn’t.

          • Jerry says:

            Is it a coincidence that Jumbo scored Canada’s first goal tonight against Germany? Maybe he does care what the media and everyone else thinks about him after all. Hahahaha!

            Nobody’s saying Thornton’s trash. His passing skills are second to none. But with a man his size and skill, people would like to see Joe assert himself a little more in terms of scoring goals. And he apparently took the criticism to heart.

    7. Tom says:

      Dudes…

      I’m really interested to hear what your opinions/perspectives are on the possible effects an early exit for Canada could have one out boys? I could see it motivating them and getting them angry or also affecting them negatively too..

      • Jerry says:

        These guys are professionals, so you hope they’ll be unfazed by the Olympic outcome one way or the other. However, these guys are human too. If Canada falls short of expectations, I don’t see how that doesn’t have a carry over effect for the Sharks, especially considering their recent playoff flops.

    8. Tom says:

      Yes but would that carry over be negative or positive? Would it make them mad and motivate them to prove everyone wrong or would it just deflate their confidence?

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