Hockey!!!!!

My buddy Deuce is outside chopping wood for the fire, which apparently is an unbelievably cheap way to heat a home – $175 for a cord and it lasts the whole winter – while Pete, the beautiful four-year-old husky from the picture I posted, runs around in the trees.

Unfortunately Pete has to be tied to a 10-metre rope ever since he killed the neighbours rooster – with Bond-like precision I’m told – and so he can’t get quite as far out as he’d like. When the lady came to tell the Deuce of the tragic altercation he did what any good Canadian would do and offered to buy her a new rooster.

But she said, “No thanks, it was only five bucks.”

Anyhoo…

I’m just hanging out listening to some music and watching K-Mart take on Germany in curling and I’m reliving some of those gorgeous tallies from the hockey game earlier.

I know I said I wasn’t going to focus very much on the events themselves but tonight I just have to talk hockey.

In my quick pregame post I referred to the upcoming men’s hockey as the Tournament, which is what my friends and I have always said whenever we’re mentioning the ’02 gold. But I’m wondering if maybe we should be tweaking the name slightly and labeling this THE tournament instead.

Yesterday in the media centre an American freelancer asked me a great question. What would be worse? Canada doesn’t win another medal in anything else but still wins men’s hockey gold or we go on to win the whole bloody Olympics, owning the podium the entire way, but don’t win gold in hockey.

Now as an extremely patriotic Canadian and obsessive sports fan I started to say I’d rather win all the medals and not hockey as opposed to the other way around, but then I stopped. Without meaning any disrespect to any other sport, event or athlete, I’m not sure many of us Canucks can handle the thought of not winning this particular gold.

We don’t get to claim being the best at very many things but whether we win or lose, we all believe to our bones that hockey belongs to us. It’s not to slight other countries like Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic and the U.S., who would all probably have their own opinions on the matter but it’s just how we feel.

And there can’t be any worse thought for most of us than having someone else come into our country and beating us at our own game. I can say this because it’s actually happened quite a bit over the years – the latest being six whole weeks ago in Saskatoon – and we do not take it well at all.

Think about it. When any other Canadian medal threat in these Games has faltered, we have all been there to cheer them on and say, “Don’t worry, it was such a great try!”

Does anyone out there really believe that’s what we’ll say if we don’t win hockey gold?

Me neither. But the good news is our boys look unbelievable on the ice together. I know we just stomped on a team with less than 7,000 registered hockey players but, after 20 minutes of looking blindfolded, the guys seemed to click and show some beautiful chemistry. And then Norway didn’t get to touch the puck again for two periods.

You have to hand it to Steve Yzerman and company for choosing a group with so much familiarity. Almost everyone on the team has teammates or former teammates alongside them to ensure instant teamwork and it showed in this game tonight.

I’ve been saying leading up to the Games that Russia would likely have the best line in the tournament but after watching Crosby, Iginla and Nash play together – insert folk/rock band joke here – I’m thinking we might have a nomination as well. As good as Ovechkin is, I’m kind of thinking Jarome Iginla would score 75 goals a year playing with an elite playmaker, as opposed to Calgary’s excuses for centremen.

Of course as I’m writing this now, the Russian game has started and they look grossly good too. And something tells me these two teams will meet for a chance to win it all, whether it be the final or not, and that could turn out to be one of the greatest games of all time.

Unless, of course, we lose. Then, worst game ever.

Good night all! I’ll be back in Vancouver in the morning.

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4 Responses to “Hockey!!!!!”

  1. My youngest boy is trying to start a Russian chant while sitting beside a Latvian fan. Shit-disturber in the making! At this point I don’t care who wins… Only that I got to see it live 🙂

  2. theactivestick Says:

    Team Russia keeps me up at night.

    Great post! I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch if Canada and Russia meet… my poor 26-year-old heart couldn’t handle it.

  3. Good points, SS. I think a lot of folks in this country have the same feeling that a men’s hockey gold trumps everything else, good or bad.

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