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Men's Ice Hockey


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#51 mabrowndog


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Posted 19 February 2010 - 07:44 PM

Interesting blog entry from Caps' owner Ted Leonsis, who's out in Vancouver.

QUOTE
We will attend three games today highlighted by the US team, the Canadian team and the team from Russia. All day. All hockey.

The merchandising sales are through the roof here. I bought some USA hats at $35 each. Wow! And replica jerseys were selling for more than $300. We bought some USA jerseys for our kids and some from Sweden, too.

The NHL has provided more than $2 BILLION of committed contracts in terms of players to the Olympics. The Capitals have provided in our six players more than $200 million worth of talent as well, I believe. And in payment back we received two free tickets to each game per team :-). Seems like a fair exchange, huh?

And we aren’t allowed to do any press work on site or media streaming in any way or use the Olympic logos or see our players or park at the arena and on and on. I bet I am violating some rules in blogging about the Olympics as I am not paying a penny to do so. I didn’t ask for permission or credentials either.

I love the Olympics but we don’t have a fair exchange of value that is for sure. :-)

As far as I can tell the Olympic Committee is more important than governments, leagues, police forces, individual teams, athletes and even religions. They rule! They are in total control. The floggings will continue until morale improves around here!


#52 SumnerH


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Posted 20 February 2010 - 02:30 AM

QUOTE (mabrowndog @ Feb 19 2010, 07:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Interesting blog entry from Caps' owner Ted Leonsis, who's out in Vancouver.


It's totally stupid. In addition to those 2 tickets, they also got all the pre-k through high school training for most of those players, the college training for many of them, and the entire cultural structure that makes enough people interested in the sport to make top athletic talents rise to the top.

The NHL teams definitely give a lot, and at this point they're committing millions of dollars to players with little immediate return, but they do themselves no favors when they pretend that the only benefit they get from those countries--or even from the Olympics themselves--is just a couple of tickets. That doesn't even pass the smell test for people who have no real involvement in the sport.

#53 reggiecleveland


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Posted 21 February 2010 - 03:06 PM

It is clear in this tournament that upsets can happen. A hot goalie and a few bad vounces anything can happen. It is clear to me that international hockey is place where a lot can happen in one game.



#54 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 21 February 2010 - 03:27 PM

QUOTE (goyangfc @ Feb 16 2010, 07:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think this thread should be used as a general Ice Hockey (both Men's and Women's) thread and have the game threads over on RMPS.

Also, only ice hockey is Women's. Every other event is Ladies'. Very strange.

Except ski jump and nordic combined. They just don't call them anything...

On the same note - Ted Leonsis is bang on when he says;
QUOTE
As far as I can tell the Olympic Committee is more important than governments, leagues, police forces, individual teams, athletes and even religions. They rule! They are in total control. The floggings will continue until morale improves around here!

Canadian courts essentially found that the exclusion of female athletes in ski jump/nordic combined violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and various other pieces of gender equity legislation -- and basically ruled there was nothing they could actually DO about it because, well the IOC is the IOC. I'm not a raging feminist, but the issue interests me because of the funky IOC politics involved. It is very interesting that a totally non-govenrmental body exists in the world that can basically do what they want, when they want with impunity because they are who they are. It's the closest thing there might be to the legenday illuminati style all-powerful secret societies that conspiracy theorists love to write about.

#55 Chemistry Schmemistry


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Posted 21 February 2010 - 10:01 PM

Regardless of the result, that Canada/USA game was a treat to watch. Best skilled players in the world, and every single one of them wanted that win. The only thing that would be better is if they were playing on the bigger rinks. But tremendous hockey out there. I'm loving this tournament, and glad NBC found a way to show entire games. Finland/Sweden later, top seed for the quarters on the line.

#56 The Big Red Kahuna

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 10:29 PM

Cut/pasted from gamethread:

Not to get too ahead of ourselves here... but if Sweden wins (by less than 6 goals), then if my understanding is correct:

U.S. would be on one side of bracket (with Finland and Czech)
While Canada/Russia/Sweden would all be on the other side.

Wow

#57 Chemistry Schmemistry


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Posted 21 February 2010 - 11:13 PM

From my understanding...


If Finland beats Sweden by more than one goal, or by one goal with the score 5-4 or higher:

Switzerland/Belarus vs Finland

Sweden/Latvia vs Czech Republic

Canada/Germany vs Russia

Slovakia/Norway vs United States


If Finland beats Sweden by one goal in regulation, with the score 4-3 or lower:

Switzerland/Belarus vs Finland

Czech Republic/Latvia vs Sweden

Canada/Germany vs Russia

Slovakia/Norway vs United States


If Finland beats Sweden in overtime:

Switzerland/Belarus vs United States

Czech Republic/Latvia vs Sweden

Canada/Germany vs Russia

Slovakia/Norway vs Finland


If Sweden beats Finland by less than five goals, or by five by a score of 7-2 or lower:

Switzerland/Belarus vs United States

Czech Republic/Latvia vs Finland

Canada/Germany vs Russia

Slovakia/Norway vs Sweden


If Sweden beats Finland by six goals, or by five by a score of 8-3 or higher:

Switzerland/Belarus vs Sweden

Czech Republic/Latvia vs Finland

Canada/Germany vs Russia

Slovakia/Norway vs United States


If Sweden beats Finland by seven or more goals:

Switzerland/Belarus vs Sweden

Finland/Latvia vs Czech Republic

Canada/Germany vs Russia

Slovakia/Norway vs United States



Not sure there will be the intensity tonight that we've seen in earlier games. It may be in Finland's best interest to lose a close game.

#58 reggiecleveland


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Posted 22 February 2010 - 12:35 AM

QUOTE (Fred not Lynn @ Feb 21 2010, 02:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is very interesting that a totally non-govenrmental body exists in the world that can basically do what they want, when they want with impunity because they are who they are. It's the closest thing there might be to the legenday illuminati style all-powerful secret societies that conspiracy theorists love to write about.


Gender Equity does not exist in Canada Fred. It is just "discrimination against women". You can not lodge a human rights complaint in Canada around gender equity if it is a male being discriminated against. One year in gifted ed class 15 of the 16 boys were told to leave the program. One parent went to human rights, got a lawyer (the kid had the third highest marks in the class) but they were turned away every legal course they took.

Back to Hockey, like I said a hot goalie wins it. The way the old guys from Canada are playing didn't help either. The Yankeefanesque way the Canadian media and fans act around hockey make it fairly easy for me to accept them losing. "This is our game!" Really? Why? Because we have one of the three medals since NHL guys went into the Olympics? Sure they won 5 world juniors in a row but the USA won this year.

#59 86spike


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Posted 22 February 2010 - 08:59 AM

QUOTE (Chemistry Schmemistry @ Feb 21 2010, 11:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If Sweden beats Finland by less than five goals, or by five by a score of 7-2 or lower:

Switzerland/Belarus vs United States

Czech Republic/Latvia vs Finland

Canada/Germany vs Russia

Slovakia/Norway vs Sweden


So is this what we've got?

The US now has the easiest route (on paper - no jinx, no jinx, no jinx) to the gold medal game.

#60 Curtis Pride

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 09:27 AM

QUOTE (86spike @ Feb 22 2010, 08:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So is this what we've got?

The US now has the easiest route (on paper - no jinx, no jinx, no jinx) to the gold medal game.

Yes, but the way the bracket is structured, if they don't win the semifinal, they'll face one of Canada, Russia, or Sweden for a bronze or no medal at all. So that semifinal is going to be BIG.

#61 JimD

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 09:50 AM

This seems to be the Canadian hockey version of the 2004 Red Sox – they’re staring at an ignominious defeat if they fail to make the title game, but if they rally and beat Russia, Sweden and Finland/US to come all the way back and win the gold, it will be remembered forever.

#62 Sille Skrub

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 10:26 AM

QUOTE (JimD @ Feb 22 2010, 09:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
if they rally and beat Russia, Sweden and Finland/US to come all the way back and win the gold, it will be remembered forever.

Now, that would be something to see.

#63 berniecarbo1

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 12:08 PM

The question is, can they actually do it? This is not a tournament of teams that have been through the wars together. It is essentially a nationalall-star team that has been together for about 10 days. This is the first time as a group, they have been down in a hole like this together. Who is the leader of that group? Can the coach rally them? Those are big unknowns. It is a touigh task since unlike baseball whgere you are playing the same team four straight times and maybe you get in their head and/or finally figure ou the other guys weaknwess, here you play 4 different teams in 5 nights in a tournamenmt the entire country is expecting you to win. Different dynamaics, but if they do it, it would be a bigger comeback in my eyes than the the 2004 Sox and that was of course the standard by which all sports comebacks are measured.

#64 ColoradoJack

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 12:26 PM

QUOTE (berniecarbo1 @ Feb 22 2010, 10:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Different dynamaics, but if they do it, it would be a bigger comeback in my eyes than the the 2004 Sox and that was of course the standard by which all sports comebacks are measured.

"Only one team in the history of Major League Baseball." has ever come back to win a 7 game series after falling behind 0-3."

I mean, come on .

#65 berniecarbo1

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 12:57 PM

I said it is the standard by which all comebacks are measured. I am not downplaying the Sox at all. If Canada comes back they will have to beat on succesive nights , in all likelihood, the Germans, Russians, Swedes, and US/Finland. Can they do it? Sure. Will they do it...who knows? But let's put this dynamic in this, they are playing IN CANADA, the sport that is most defined as Canadian, in a sports society that has a real self esteem problem. Their olympic committee was focusing on these olympics as a breakout for the Canadian Olympic movement and while they have won 4 gold medals, they are really falling short. The hockey team is a national symbal for the country. We as Americans don't really understand that since we are so dominant in our sports and are a world leader in most of them. Hockey is really the only sport Canada can match up with the rest of the world.

The Sox didn't have that sort of pressure on them. That is what I am trying to say. If Canada comes back, you have to tip your cap to them, that's all. I personally will put it up there with the Sox. Some won't. That's what sports arguments are all about. c070.gif






#66 reggiecleveland


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Posted 22 February 2010 - 01:19 PM

The tough road the Canadians have ahead of them reminds me of the 72 series. For Canada to win three in a row in Moscow in 72 with all the reffing scandals, defections from the team, and everything is bigger accomplishment than anything else. I know 1980 has religious meaning in the USA but we have seen since then, a gameplan an overconfident opponent and some bounces can lead to a one game upset. Also since then we have seen the USA is not a hockey weakling.

1980 to me is the ultimate upset example, and at time the "miracle" aspect of it does no give credit to Herb Brooks.

It also does not give the guy that put sedatives in the Russians' water nearly enough credit.

It was clear last night, again (in my mind) that Canada's arrogance (as a group of fans and journalists more than players) helps mold the USA into a team more than it helps Canada.


#67 Titoschew

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 01:29 PM

QUOTE (reggiecleveland @ Feb 22 2010, 12:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Back to Hockey, like I said a hot goalie wins it. The way the old guys from Canada are playing didn't help either. The Yankeefanesque way the Canadian media and fans act around hockey make it fairly easy for me to accept them losing. "This is our game!" Really? Why? Because we have one of the three medals since NHL guys went into the Olympics? Sure they won 5 world juniors in a row but the USA won this year.


To take it even further, Canada has only claimed TWO golds since 1950. The sense of entitlement is not backed by any other evidence other than "our country is cold, we invented this game, and we play it all the time...essentially it's all we have, so give it to us". It's nice to see hard work rewarded, as it was last night by Team USA.




#68 SoxFanInCali


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Posted 22 February 2010 - 02:03 PM

Well, to be fair, from 1956 until the fal of communism (except for the US wins on home soil in 1960 and 1980) the Soviets won all the gold medals. The Canadians had great players during that period, but they were playing professional hockey. It was tough for any country that sent true amateur teams to compete with the Eastern Block squads at that point. I don't really hold it against Canada for not winning golds during that time.

That said, watching the crowd reaction during the game was great, and reading the stories of how quiet it was in Vancouver last night was hilarious.

#69 DeltaForce

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 02:17 PM

QUOTE (reggiecleveland @ Feb 22 2010, 01:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The tough road the Canadians have ahead of them reminds me of the 72 series. For Canada to win three in a row in Moscow in 72 with all the reffing scandals, defections from the team, and everything is bigger accomplishment than anything else. I know 1980 has religious meaning in the USA but we have seen since then, a gameplan an overconfident opponent and some bounces can lead to a one game upset. Also since then we have seen the USA is not a hockey weakling.

Are you suggesting that the 1972 series victory is a greater accomplishment than the 1980 gold medal? I can't see an argument for that at all --- the 1972 Canadian team was supposed to absolutely destroy the Soviets, not edge them in the final moments of the series' eighth game. If anything, the lesson of 1972 was that the Soviet Union was essentially the hockey equal (or at least near-equal) of Canada. Or are you saying merely that the road ahead of Canada's team in this Olympics is similar to the road faced by Canada's team midway through the '72 series? If so, I can see that; Canada came in as heavy favorites, dug themselves a big hole, and will now need to run the table to get out of it.

Of course, "dug themselves a hole" is a little unfair. It's not like they're not playing well. The effort they displayed last night would have won the game on most nights. They're still the favorites to win it all, IMO.

It's certainly true, as someone said above, that (as with the '72 team) Canadians will never forget this team if they are able to run the table. No one could argue that they didn't earn it.

#70 JimD

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 03:17 PM

QUOTE (DeltaForce @ Feb 22 2010, 02:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Of course, "dug themselves a hole" is a little unfair. It's not like they're not playing well. The effort they displayed last night would have won the game on most nights. They're still the favorites to win it all, IMO.


Can they still be considered the favorites now that they've ended up in the 'Group of Death' with Russia and Sweden, as well as having to play an extra game because they missed out on landing a top seed?

#71 DeltaForce

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 03:34 PM

QUOTE (JimD @ Feb 22 2010, 03:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can they still be considered the favorites now that they've ended up in the 'Group of Death' with Russia and Sweden, as well as having to play an extra game because they missed out on landing a top seed?

I'd say yes, for one simple reason: they will be favored to win every game they play. No one else can say that. But it's definitely true that they're now forced to face an extra game and more stumbling blocks than anticipated.

#72 TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 03:37 PM

QUOTE (JimD @ Feb 22 2010, 03:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can they still be considered the favorites now that they've ended up in the 'Group of Death' with Russia and Sweden, as well as having to play an extra game because they missed out on landing a top seed?


Yes, the talent on that roster is that good. At worst, I'd put them as co-favorites with the Russian team.

#73 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 22 February 2010 - 03:46 PM

QUOTE (TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle @ Feb 22 2010, 04:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, the talent on that roster is that good. At worst, I'd put them as co-favorites with the Russian team.



If the best team (co-favorite "A") is playing the second best team (co-favorite "B") in the QUARTERFINALS, they can't really in fact both be the co-favorites, can they?

I would tend to agree that they're the 2 best teams, but mathematically/logically, I can't see how, at this point, they're the co-favorites.

Because of this exact thing occurring, I would think the better format would have been 2 groups of six, with either 4, 6 (top team in each group gets bye to semis), or 8 going into this medal round. Almost like Russia got penalized for 1) beating the Czechs and 2) having Canada go to OT against the Swiss. If they knew that the US would have beaten Canada, would they have played the same way?


(Apologies if this was mentioned somewhere above)

#74 BucketOBalls


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Posted 22 February 2010 - 04:18 PM

QUOTE (Hendu's Gait @ Feb 22 2010, 03:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because of this exact thing occurring, I would think the better format would have been 2 groups of six, with either 4, 6 (top team in each group gets bye to semis), or 8 going into this medal round. Almost like Russia got penalized for 1) beating the Czechs and 2) having Canada go to OT against the Swiss. If they knew that the US would have beaten Canada, would they have played the same way?


There is no way to fix this though. There arn't enough games to have all-vs-all at each level, so you need some sort of bracket. And you can always construct a case where a team might play differently based on future results.



#75 reggiecleveland


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Posted 22 February 2010 - 04:36 PM

Sorry fellas, but the eternal underdog persona adopted by American hockey fans is as silly as the sense of entitlement of Canadian fans.

USA is far more favored than Canada now because of who they play, and also the, you know, beating Canada thing. You have the best player at the most important position and the easiest draw to the gold medal game. USA is the favorite. They earned that status last night.

I was going to respond to the dismissive manner Deltaforce wrote about 1972, but instead I will ask that he refain from comparing 1972 to 1980 so we can both avoid shitting on another nation's sacred cow.

#76 DeltaForce

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 04:38 PM

QUOTE (reggiecleveland @ Feb 22 2010, 04:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was going to respond to the dismissive manner Deltaforce wrote about 1972, but instead I will ask that he refain from comparing 1972 to 1980 so we can both avoid shitting on another nation's sacred cow.

Fair enough. laugh.gif

(Incidentally, I'm married to a Canadian, and it's a debate I've had far too many times anyway....).

#77 TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 05:12 PM

QUOTE (Hendu's Gait @ Feb 22 2010, 03:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If the best team (co-favorite "A") is playing the second best team (co-favorite "B") in the QUARTERFINALS, they can't really in fact both be the co-favorites, can they?

I would tend to agree that they're the 2 best teams, but mathematically/logically, I can't see how, at this point, they're the co-favorites.

Because of this exact thing occurring, I would think the better format would have been 2 groups of six, with either 4, 6 (top team in each group gets bye to semis), or 8 going into this medal round. Almost like Russia got penalized for 1) beating the Czechs and 2) having Canada go to OT against the Swiss. If they knew that the US would have beaten Canada, would they have played the same way?


(Apologies if this was mentioned somewhere above)


I define "favorite" as the team most likely to win the whole tournament. Regardless of when they meet, whoever wins that matchup is the most likely to win the gold. Therefore, they are co-favorites as that matchup hasn't happened yet.

It's the same as saying that, because the AL is so much stronger than the NL, the winner of the ALCS is favored to win the World Series and then asserting that the ALCS is a toss-up. Ipso facto, both ALCS teams must be co-favorites to win the World Series.

#78 Miskatonic PhD


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Posted 22 February 2010 - 06:06 PM

Last night, you had a Canadian goalie shitting his pants, the US goalie playing utterly out of his mind, and it still came down to the whistle.

All props to the US team for grit, hustle, and a brilliant goalie, but if Miller is even one hair mortal, it's over. So yes, I can see Canada still being the favorites. But favorites don't always take it.

Against Germany Tuesday, you just hope for no unlucky injuries. Russia will be epic and, I suspect, like 1980 (in this respect only) if they win it, people won't much remember that there were other game(s) following it that year.

#79 johnmd20


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Posted 22 February 2010 - 08:00 PM

QUOTE (Miskatonic PhD @ Feb 22 2010, 06:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Last night, you had a Canadian goalie shitting his pants, the US goalie playing utterly out of his mind, and it still came down to the whistle.

All props to the US team for grit, hustle, and a brilliant goalie, but if Miller is even one hair mortal, it's over. So yes, I can see Canada still being the favorites. But favorites don't always take it.

Garbage. At present, Canada wouldn't be favored to win the gold over the US. Canada has a game tomorrow, the US does not. Statistically, Canada's shot could be over tomorrow. Right there, it would give significant odds boost to all the teams who have the bye. As well, this isn't even getting into the draw Canada has versus the US, which also favors the US. Teams with a bye will always have a better chance unless the team with the bye is very sub par to the team without. And that isn't the case.

Canada might have the better team. But, at this point, the US is a bigger favorite than Canada to win the gold.

#80 Chemistry Schmemistry


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Posted 22 February 2010 - 08:35 PM

QUOTE (johnmd20 @ Feb 22 2010, 08:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Garbage. At present, Canada wouldn't be favored to win the gold over the US. Canada has a game tomorrow, the US does not. Statistically, Canada's shot could be over tomorrow. Right there, it would give significant odds boost to all the teams who have the bye. As well, this isn't even getting into the draw Canada has versus the US, which also favors the US. Teams with a bye will always have a better chance unless the team with the bye is very sub par to the team without. And that isn't the case.

Canada might have the better team. But, at this point, the US is a bigger favorite than Canada to win the gold.


Germany isn't terribly competitive, though, and there is a full day of rest between the quarters and the semis, then another full day off before the gold-medal game. Canada's very much in this, and I would install the winner of Russia/Canada as a favorite to win it all.

#81 JimD

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 09:24 AM

If the reach the gold medal game, I could see Team Canada riding a wave of adrenaline and emotion to victory, as they would be on a winning streak against top-level competition.

The big risk is the Russia game – Canada will be playing in their third game in four days against a more rested squad. That has to go a long way towards evening the talent gap, doesn’t it?


#82 lexrageorge

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 10:45 AM

QUOTE (Miskatonic PhD @ Feb 22 2010, 06:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Last night, you had a Canadian goalie shitting his pants, the US goalie playing utterly out of his mind, and it still came down to the whistle.

All props to the US team for grit, hustle, and a brilliant goalie, but if Miller is even one hair mortal, it's over. So yes, I can see Canada still being the favorites. But favorites don't always take it.

Against Germany Tuesday, you just hope for no unlucky injuries. Russia will be epic and, I suspect, like 1980 (in this respect only) if they win it, people won't much remember that there were other game(s) following it that year.



That is not an accurate assessment of the USA team. Yes, Miller's outstanding game helped tremendously against Canada. But Team USA has played very well all 3 games; Canada struggled against Switzerland. Team USA is not a goalie plus a bunch of scrubs. It's a very talented team stocked with NHL players, some of whom are not as well known as the Crosby's and the Ovechkin's, but are still very good.

Against Canada, Team USA did a good job of creating a lot of havoc in front of Brodeur, and held the Canadians without a shot on net for a long stretch late in the 2nd period, and controlled the play the early part of the 3rd period. The disparity in shots on goal did not tell the whole story.

One of the Russian players summed up this Olympic tournament quite well: it's not just Canada and Russia. There are a lot of really good teams. It used to be that there were about 5 or 6 teams that could be beat by 8-0 scores by the Russians, Canadians, etc. Not so much any more. Between the Canadians, Russians, Americans, Finns, Swedes, Slovaks, Czechs, and to an extent the Swiss, the teams are close enough that a good or bad game by a goalie along with a couple of freak bounces could make the difference in this 1-and-done tournament. There are no "heavy favorites" to win the gold any more, despite what a couple of posters on this thread have stated. If Canada wins the gold, it will be quite an accomplishment. But it will be for Russia (beating Canada and possibly the USA in Canada) or Team USA or any of the other contenders.

Some other thoughts on past tournaments:

The 1972 Summit Series was just when I started following Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, et al. The result was a stirring victory for Team Canada, and quite satisifying given the effort required to win 3 straight in enemy territory. It should rank right up there with Miracle on Ice, Adam Vinatieri's Field Goal, Bloody Sock, etc.

Miracle on Ice was and is still the biggest upset in sports of all time.

Suprised to see noone mention the 1987 Canada Cup series. Gretzky and Lemieux and Grant Fuhr against the famed KLM line in 3 very entertaining and hard fought games. Gretzky has his typically ridiculous 18 assists in 9 games, while Lemieux scored 11 goals. Watching The Great One and Mario skate on the same line was a treat that will be hard to repeat.

Edited by lexrageorge, 23 February 2010 - 10:47 AM.


#83 TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:23 PM

They played well enough to win in all three games. They spent at least one period of the first two floating around the ice like 19 pseudo-Kessels (and 1 actual Kessel) and most of the 3rd in their own end.

You are right in that it is certainly possible that the winner will not be Russia or Canada. There are several other teams good enough to beat them. To paraphrase another poster, one can visualize a ring of talent emanating from each team. Any team within that ring has a chance to beat them with that chance being defined by how close they are to the center of that ring.

As of this moment, Russia and Canada still should be favorites (even with the extra game Canada has to play) in matchups against anyone but each other. Just not as big as everyone, including myself, thought they would be going in.

#84 SumnerH


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Posted 23 February 2010 - 03:20 PM

QUOTE (lexrageorge @ Feb 23 2010, 10:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Miracle on Ice was and is still the biggest upset in sports of all time.


Rulon Gardner defeating Alexander Karelin in the gold medal match in Sydney was a bigger upset, IMO. Karelin hadn't lost a match in 13 years, and hadn't even given up a point in 6 years.

#85 johnmd20


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Posted 23 February 2010 - 04:15 PM

QUOTE (Chemistry Schmemistry @ Feb 22 2010, 08:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Germany isn't terribly competitive, though, and there is a full day of rest between the quarters and the semis, then another full day off before the gold-medal game. Canada's very much in this, and I would install the winner of Russia/Canada as a favorite to win it all.

I'm just saying that because of the bye, yesterday the US had a better chance of winning the gold than Canada did. This doesn't mean Canada can't win the gold.

#86 bowiac


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Posted 23 February 2010 - 05:12 PM

QUOTE (lexrageorge @ Feb 23 2010, 10:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Miracle on Ice was and is still the biggest upset in sports of all time.



This is crazy. Hockey just has too much variance for this to be the case.

#87 BigMike


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Posted 23 February 2010 - 05:52 PM

QUOTE (bowiac @ Feb 23 2010, 10:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is crazy. Hockey just has too much variance for this to be the case.


Hockey does have incredible varience. That said, a professional team that hs many of the same players playing together for a decade playing against a College team does not really have the same varience.

That game was a complete and utter mismatch in every way possible.



#88 kenneycb


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Posted 23 February 2010 - 06:33 PM

QUOTE (SumnerH @ Feb 23 2010, 03:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Rulon Gardner defeating Alexander Karelin in the gold medal match in Sydney was a bigger upset, IMO. Karelin hadn't lost a match in 13 years, and hadn't even given up a point in 6 years.

Sorry. Biggest upset in a sport that a significant amount of people care about more than once every four years.

And I still think Canada is a favorite against the USA if they are to meet in the gold medal game. The US got outplayed and, while they did have solid defense, they'd need another incredible performance from Miller combined with another average performance likely by Luongo, who is fully capable of not showing up in big moments (see: 2009 series against Chicago). Frankly, the US was lucky to score two of those goals that came off non-skill deflections. Not entirely lucky because there's something to be said about getting to the net, getting position, and getting the puck to the net but it's not something I'd want the US to be counting on. Regardless, they have Miller which basically means that they will be in every single game they play. IMO he'd need to steal the game if the US were to win again. I feel this pretty much applies to Russia as well and, to a slightly lesser degree, Sweden.

#89 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 23 February 2010 - 07:17 PM

QUOTE (BigMike @ Feb 23 2010, 10:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hockey does have incredible varience. That said, a professional team that hs many of the same players playing together for a decade playing against a College team does not really have the same varience.

That game was a complete and utter mismatch in every way possible.

This is all true, but it's still a stretch to say it's a bigger upset than the USA beating England in the 1950 world cup. At least the USA were a well-drilled team with a capable coach. The US soccer team was a complete rag-tag bunch that even by the standards of the time had spent barely any time together.

The USA also had some history of success in Olympic hockey that the soccer guys didn't have. They were only 20 years off the gold medal in Squaw Valley and only eight years off the silver medal in Sapporo.
QUOTE (kenneycb @ Feb 23 2010, 11:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry. Biggest upset in a sport that a significant amount of people care about more than once every four years.

Wait, we are talking about hockey, right?

Ba-dum-tish!

Edited by Spacemans Bong, 23 February 2010 - 07:18 PM.


#90 BigMike


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Posted 23 February 2010 - 10:11 PM

QUOTE (kenneycb @ Feb 23 2010, 11:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry. Biggest upset in a sport that a significant amount of people care about more than once every four years.

And I still think Canada is a favorite against the USA if they are to meet in the gold medal game. The US got outplayed and, while they did have solid defense, they'd need another incredible performance from Miller combined with another average performance likely by Luongo, who is fully capable of not showing up in big moments (see: 2009 series against Chicago). Frankly, the US was lucky to score two of those goals that came off non-skill deflections. Not entirely lucky because there's something to be said about getting to the net, getting position, and getting the puck to the net but it's not something I'd want the US to be counting on. Regardless, they have Miller which basically means that they will be in every single game they play. IMO he'd need to steal the game if the US were to win again. I feel this pretty much applies to Russia as well and, to a slightly lesser degree, Sweden.


Yes Canada is the favorite against the US if the 2 teams play again, but Canada is going to have to play 2 teams that on paper at least are better than the USA just to get a chance at the rematch, and the Swedes ahve been outstanding so far in this tourney

#91 reggiecleveland


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Posted 24 February 2010 - 12:44 AM

QUOTE (lexrageorge @ Feb 23 2010, 09:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The 1972 Summit Series was just when I started following Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, et al. The result was a stirring victory for Team Canada, and quite satisifying given the effort required to win 3 straight in enemy territory. It should rank right up there with Miracle on Ice, Adam Vinatieri's Field Goal, Bloody Sock, etc.


You have to put 1972 into some context and winning in Russia.

1972 a Soviet (white guy) won the 100m in Munuch
1972 Soviets beat the USA in Basketball.

They were huge fucking cheaters. To beat them three in row at home was as improbable as anything.

1980 was huge in that in terms of what the media thought it was most unlikely in terms of expectations. But there are a lot of logical non-miracle reasons they won. I'll give just one. American college hockey was much better than anyone in the NHL or the media realized. At that time almost all the drafted players were from Jr. teams. It took baseball a while to figure out collegiate players were a good place to find talent as well.

Retrospect usually helps you see an upset was more to do with the misconceptions before the match. Buster Douglas beating Tyson was huge. But unlike the Soviets who could change personal and tactics, Mike Tyson stayed the same flawed fighter exploited by jabbers and a personal train-wreck of a life.

I am watching the 1972 series DVDs and in game two Canada won and Serge Savard was dominant, but he didn't play the next few games. Now this was the young Savard, it easy for me to remember him and Lapointe (and later Robinson) dominating the next decade and think Sinden was an idiot, but I have the advantage of retrospect.

Christian, Ramsay, Morrow, Broten, seemed a bunch a college kids but they were fucking studs. 1980 didn't make them winners they made that team winners. Plus Brooks was a fucking brilliant coach. It was a perfect storm, Canadian management in the NHL had ignored American talent, They had a great coach, a grumbling cocky opponent. But all this I know after years. The Russians as it turned out were not so great as individual talents. Most of the guys that came to the NHL in the first wave were disappointments. They usually played with the deck stacked in their favor playing all star teams without team chemistry, ambushing pro teams that played them in the middle of a season with at most a day or two to prepare. They were always the closer knit team. But they walked into a trap at Lake Placid. They were bitching about the money they would be making in the NHL, fighting with the coach, thinking they really were an NHL all star team and they ran into an actual team with NHL level talent playing at home with a hot goalie. Plus Grady Little was behind the Soviet bench.

Anyway fuck them, the commie pricks.

I also think Villanova beating Georgetown is the upset least likely to be repeated if it was a video game and you reloaded the save game. They hit fucking everything, There is no way the cocaine mixes perfectly with all the blood a second time to allow that game to happen twice.

#92 The Four Peters


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Posted 24 February 2010 - 08:37 AM

QUOTE (reggiecleveland @ Feb 24 2010, 12:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Christian, Ramsay, Morrow, Broten, seemed a bunch a college kids but they were fucking studs. 1980 didn't make them winners they made that team winners. Plus Brooks was a fucking brilliant coach. It was a perfect storm, Canadian management in the NHL had ignored American talent, They had a great coach, a grumbling cocky opponent. But all this I know after years. The Russians as it turned out were not so great as individual talents. Most of the guys that came to the NHL in the first wave were disappointments.

Wrong. Fetisov and Larionov are Hall of Famers who joined the NHL at 30 and 31. Makarov won rookie of the year and still put up points into his 30's, and Kasatanov played 7 or 8 productive years in the NHL, also starting at age 30. All of these players came over right at the tail of their primes, and showed they were above average to elite players. They were absolutely that good. Except Krutov. He didn't do a thing.

As far as the players on the USA team? Eh. They were all 20/21/22. While some went on to middling NHL careers, with Broten, Ramsay, and Christian (wow?) making All-Star teams, as a whole they really weren't great. Even the ones that did turn out to have some talent, they were 5-6 years away from realizing it to its fullest, whereas the Russian teams were at the absolute prime of their game.

Overall I agree with your point (and nice post, btw) that it's the biggest upset in terms of media expectations and not necessarily talent gap, but when you add in the social relevance, global stage, lack of respect for college hockey, and the 10-1 beating the Russians put on them a week before the Olympics, then sure I can see it.

It's certainly the 1 sporting event of all time I would choose to see in person, no question.

#93 underhandtofirst


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Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:22 AM

Didnt know exactly where to put this, but this seemed as good a place as any. Bill Hanson, the hockey coach at CM (best HS hockey program in Mass) called in to the Felger and Mazz program just before 6pm and talked to them for about 10 mins about the state of hockey development in the US, specifically Massachusetts. They were talking about how there was only one player on Team USA from Mass. Hanson stress that kids play too many games these days and dont practice enough. Some kids are playing 60-70 games and this slows down their development. He said kids need to work on skill development and play other sports to help make them good athletes. He said his team this year (#1 in the state) wouldnt have a chance against his teams from 10-20 years ago because those teams had better athletes. He cited how many kids playing hockey were all top talents in other sports.

This mirrored what I heard when I went to a USA Hockey's coaching clinic for youth hockey back in the fall. There is a push to get more practice time and less game time because in a game the average player is only handling the puck for a minute or two tops. This puck handling time is virtually unchanged from Mites all the way to the pros.

#94 reggiecleveland


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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:12 AM

No doubt they were good, but again we have hindsight, but based on media and "expert" expectations they were disappointing. Fetisov was guaranteed by some writers to win the Norris for the next four years, Makorov was supposed to be 70 goal scorer. Again not their fault, but they did not live up to the hype. The expectations were unreasonable for players late in their careers coming to a new culture, but those were the expectations at the time. Again retrospective gives us a more reasonable view. And we see in the second generation of in their prime Russians (Bure, Federov) were as good as anyone.

My point is the myth of the Soviets was overblown. Part of that comes from 72. Watching those DVDs it is clear the Canadians were simply out of shape and unprepared. They were juggling the lineup to keep egos in check. In Moscow, (once in better but not great shape) they were much better than the Soviets (without Orr, Hull) but Soviet gamesmanship and outright cheating made the games close. But ‘We beat an incredible team’ is a much better storyline than ‘We were a fat bunch of blowhards.’

Edited by reggiecleveland, 24 February 2010 - 01:10 PM.


#95 The Four Peters


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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:18 AM

QUOTE (reggiecleveland @ Feb 24 2010, 11:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But 'We beat an incredible team' is a much better storyline than 'We were a fat bunch of blowhards.'

I understand what you're trying to say, Reggie, but the former is infinitely closer to reality than the latter (if you're referring to the 1980 USSR team).

#96 lexrageorge

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:24 AM

QUOTE (bowiac @ Feb 23 2010, 05:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is crazy. Hockey just has too much variance for this to be the case.



It's not crazy. The 1980 Soviet hockey was stacked with professional players, several of whom went on to have successful NHL careers once the CCCP was no more. Occasionally, Soviet teams would come and do exhibitions against NHL teams and nearly always won (I saw one live against the Bruins in the Garden; it was not pretty). Team USA was a bunch of college kids; a talented bunch of college kids, sure, but nowhere near the talent of the 1980 Soviet team.

The expectation going in was that everyone was playing for the silver. The 1980 Soviet team was in many ways like the 1992 Dream Team in terms of expectations.

Yes, the Soviet team ran into the perfect storm of events: a highly talented and motivated USA team playing on their home ice, a hot goalie, and a stretch of uninspired play from their own players. So, yes, in retrospect, the result was not completely out of left field. But in terms of expectations, it remains one of the biggest upsets in major sports in all time. I don't consider boxing a sport; I don't have a good perspective of the 1950 soccer team (it was way, way before my time); and my apologies to Rulon Gardner. But I can tell you it was a far bigger upset than any of the Super Bowl upsets, the 1972 USA Basketball loss*, or the 2004 Nightmare Team in Athens.

#97 behindthepen


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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:33 AM

QUOTE (underhandtofirst @ Feb 24 2010, 10:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Didnt know exactly where to put this, but this seemed as good a place as any. Bill Hanson, the hockey coach at CM (best HS hockey program in Mass) called in to the Felger and Mazz program just before 6pm and talked to them for about 10 mins about the state of hockey development in the US, specifically Massachusetts. They were talking about how there was only one player on Team USA from Mass. Hanson stress that kids play too many games these days and dont practice enough. Some kids are playing 60-70 games and this slows down their development. He said kids need to work on skill development and play other sports to help make them good athletes. He said his team this year (#1 in the state) wouldnt have a chance against his teams from 10-20 years ago because those teams had better athletes. He cited how many kids playing hockey were all top talents in other sports.

This mirrored what I heard when I went to a USA Hockey's coaching clinic for youth hockey back in the fall. There is a push to get more practice time and less game time because in a game the average player is only handling the puck for a minute or two tops. This puck handling time is virtually unchanged from Mites all the way to the pros.

meh. So far USA Hockey has been pushing for better balance, but Mass Hockey has been very, very resistant.

Youth hockey in this state caters to the select leagues in every way imaginable. I've been coaching Mites-Peewees for the last 5 years, and the way I describe it is that Mass Hockey's goal is to produce the best 12 year teams they possibly can. You do that by introducing winning at age 7-8 and you can get great 12 year olds. Unfortunately, great 12 year olds who have been focusing on winning can only be very good High Schoolers and they get to watch College and Pros.

On top of that, you have many of the select players playing on both their town team and a select team, which means 3-4 practices a week and 3 games a week. So complete and total overload, especailly for 8-12 year olds. It's not fun watching a town team of a bunch of players who play on different select teams. It's like a bad All Star team.

This Fall, the ADM is being introduced to Mass via 4 teams, one of which includes Scott Fusco's East Coast Wizards. Scott's head has been in the right place on this topic for a long time, and I expect they will adhere tightly to the ADM. The issue is that the rest of the select hockey infrastructure isn't going away, so the great majority of kids will still have a terrible development platform.

#98 sass a thon

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 12:12 PM

QUOTE (lexrageorge @ Feb 24 2010, 10:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's not crazy. The 1980 Soviet hockey was stacked with professional players, several of whom went on to have successful NHL careers once the CCCP was no more. Occasionally, Soviet teams would come and do exhibitions against NHL teams and nearly always won (I saw one live against the Bruins in the Garden; it was not pretty). Team USA was a bunch of college kids; a talented bunch of college kids, sure, but nowhere near the talent of the 1980 Soviet team.


From wikipedia:
QUOTE
In total, the Red Army Club played 36 games against NHL teams from 1975 to 1991 and finished with a record of 26 wins, 8 losses, and 2 ties.


This includes the Super Series '76:
Red Army
December 28, 1975: Red Army 7 New York Rangers 3
December 31, 1975: Red Army 3 Montreal Canadiens 3
January 8, 1976: Red Army 5 Boston Bruins 2
January 11, 1976: Red Army 1 Philadelphia Flyers 4

Soviet Wings
December 29, 1975: Soviet Wings 7 Pittsburgh Penguins 4
January 4, 1976: Soviet Wings 6 Buffalo Sabres 12
January 7, 1976: Soviet Wings 4 Chicago Black Hawks 2
January 10, 1976: Soviet Wings 2 New York Islanders 1

Totally biased, yes, but it seems like few people remember that legendary Flyers/Red Army game in '76. The Russians retreated to the locker room in protest after an unpenalized hit on Kharlamov, the Red Army's best player. It took the President of the NHL telling the players that they wouldn't be paid to get them to finish the game. My parents were at that game and, because of their seats behind a famous sign, can be seen dozens of times on the broadcast. I own a DVD of the game and watch it yearly; I love the way hockey looked back then.

Anyway, the thing to remember is that because they weren't involved in the NHL at the time, the Russians were essentially a professional team. They had been playing together for so long, whereas the US team was a bunch of college kids thrown together with minimal practice time. This isn't something that can ever be replicated given the current NHL involvement in the Olympics and also given how global the NHL has become.

#99 The Four Peters


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Posted 24 February 2010 - 12:14 PM

QUOTE (sass a thon @ Feb 24 2010, 12:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anyway, the thing to remember is that because they weren't involved in the NHL at the time, the Russians were essentially a professional team. They had been playing together for so long, whereas the US team was a bunch of college kids thrown together with minimal practice time.

They actually practiced together for months leading up to the Olympics. But your greater point stands.

#100 sass a thon

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 12:22 PM

QUOTE (The Four Peters @ Feb 24 2010, 11:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They actually practiced together for months leading up to the Olympics. But your greater point stands.


Correct, I should have been more specific. However, I still view 4-6 months of practice time as being much less than a team that trains, plays, and practices together for years.