Archive

Posts Tagged ‘gold medal’

Gold or Bust for Men’s Hockey

The 2010 Vancouver Olympics Men’s Hockey Tournament is in full swing.  After 2 days of competition, all 12 countries have gotten their feet wet.  As expected Canada and the USA had little problem dispatching Norway and Switzerland respectively.  Germany surprised Sweden by battling them to a very competitive 2-0 result which saw the Germans hit several goal posts behind Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist.  The Czech Republic ousted the rival Slovakia 3-1, and the Russians handled Latvia 8-2.

Canada started Roberto Luongo between the pipes against Norway and he subsequently posted a shutout on what was, expectedly, a quiet night for him in which he only faced a handful of dangerous shots.  Martin Brodeur, who is expected to be the Team Canada starter for the run of the tournament will start today, in what should be another tune-up type game, against the Swiss.  Although, your humble blogger is loathe to point out that the Swiss stunned Canada in Torino2006, and should not be taken lightly this time around.

Canada’s first game against Norway, which they won 8-0, saw the top line of Crosby, Nash, and Iginla light up Norway with Iginla notching a hat-trick.  This line looks deadly, with Crosby having 2 snipers to choose from in Nash and Iginla.  But then again, it was Norway.   The Swiss, no doubt, will put up a much bigger fight, but anything short of a convincing victory will leave fans wondering.  The 7th place finish in Torino still leaves a bitter taste in the collective mouth of Canadian hockey fans.

Team Canada coach Mike Babcock has been trying out different line combinations.  Initially, he had put Patrice Bergeron, who your humble blogger thinks shouldn’t even be on this team, on the top unit with Crosby and Nash.  Bizarre.  After the futile production that this line produced in the 1st period, Babcock promptly, and wisely, yanked Bergeron off the 1st line replacing him with Jerome Iginla who went on to score a hat-trick taking beautiful feeds from Sidney Crosby while looking dangerous on almost every shift.

Tonight’s game should provide a better idea of what Team Canada will look like moving forward.  The team has had a game to get to know each other a little bit, work out some special teams systems, figure out some line combinations, and will have their number one goalie, Martin Brodeur between the pipes.   Due to the short nature of this tournament, there is not a lot of time for teams to ‘gel’ or master checking systems.  This team needs to come together fast, and come together now.  We will see what they look like tonight against the Swiss.

Follow Sporting Vancouver’s live Twitter Feeds throughout the 2010 Olympics

Advertisements

Sporting Vancouver’s Early Take on Olympics

February 15, 2010 1 comment

In the past 3 days, your humble blogger has watched the opening ceremonies, lamented the loss of young Georgian Olympian Nodar Kumaritashvili,  tweeted about protesters and vandals, been to a rainy Cypress Mountain, and today watched Alexandre Bilodeau become the first Canadian to win Gold on home soil.

Let me start by saying that Sporting Vancouver extends sympathies and condolences to the family, friends, teammates, and countrymen of Georgian Luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.  May his courage be long remembered whenever and wherever future Olympics are held.

******************************************************

Now onto the opening ceremonies, which, quite frankly, blew me away.  To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting too much.  I figured it would be ok.  You know, ok in the sense that we didn’t totally embarass ourselves in front of the world and we didn’t just have a bunch of lumberjacks chasing beavers in canoes while Quebecers traded maple syrup for pelts with First Nations Peoples in igloos…you know…the stereotypical stuff…maybe with a Celine Dion and/or Corey Hart performance sprinkled in.

No, it was certainly much more than ok.  Right from the video presentation of the snowboarder descending the mountain then appearing at the top of the BC Place Stadium and jumping through the Olympic rings to welcome the World to Vancouver, I knew this was not going to be a typical, outdated, safe, Canadian-style production.  No, this was new, cutting-edge, enthralling and fast-paced.  Just the perfect recipe for today’s attention-span-challenged young viewers.

K.D. Lang’s performance of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah was breath-taking.  She made the song her own.

Shane Koyczan’s performance of his poem “We Are More” wowed many people, including yours truly, as his twitter account instantly got 100s of followers.  If you haven’t heard or read it yet, do yourself a favour and follow the link above.

After watching Jen Heil take Silver in Ladies’ Moguls and Kristina Groves take Bronze at the long track speed skating oval, Canada was treated to a Gold Medal performance in Men’s Moguls tonight at Cypress Mountain.  Alexandre Bolideau, buoyed by his inspirational and determined brother Frederic, became the first Canadian ever to win a Gold Medal on home soil.  The reaction from coast to coast was huge.  Nowhere was this more evident than on the internet and through social media.  The terms “Alexandre Bolideau” and “Canada wins Gold” were trending for hours afterward and at the writing of this blog.

Yes we are only a few days into the 21st Olympiad here in Vancouver and already so much has happened–and hockey hasn’t even started yet!

It appears as though we are in store for a great show.

Follow  Sporting Vancouver’s Tweets