Sunday, February 28, 2010

Canada Wins Gold

Sidney CrosbySo where were you for The Goal?

Twenty years from now, you'll probably still remember. I was watching the game with three-year old Little Goes Brown (nicely recovered from the day's earlier unpleasantness). When Crosby scored, my natural instinct was to grab her and hold her over my head like the Stanley Cup. She thought that was hilarious, and told me she wanted to walk on the ceiling.

So that's what we did. While Team Canada piled onto the ice and the crowd went crazy, I helped my daughter do a victory lap around the basement ceiling. At that moment, I felt like I wanted to do one too.

It was a good day at DGB headquarters. It started with a voicemail from Wendel Clark ("I hear you have some sort of blog. Good luck with that"). And it ended with the most ridiculously cliched hockey game you could imagine. Really, hockey gods? Sidney Crosby? In overtime? You really think anyone's going to believe that?

Two weeks ago, nobody thought it would end this way. After all, if you were going to scrap these two teams and form a Team North America, which US players would make the squad? Parise and Miller for sure. Kane, probably. Maybe you could make a case for a few more to round out the checking line.

But the team would be dominated by Canadians, because we have the best players in the world, at every position, for any particular skill, for every situation. And yet the US gave us all we could handle.

Not many of us gave them a chance. I know I didn't (and more than a few US readers have reminded me of this post over the past week.) But down two goals, in front of a hostile crowd, outmatched by a mile on paper, they almost pulled off a miracle. Any American hockey fan should be proud of these guys.

And now it's back to the NHL grind. The trade deadline countdown starts now. Then the stretch drive. Then the playoffs, which I'm told is some sort of tournament thing. And of course, we'll get to hear all about how the NHL isn't sure about continuing to play in the Olympics, because if there's on thing this league is good at it's identifying something its fans love and screwing it up.

But that all starts tomorrow. Tonight, I'm going to do one more quick lap around the ceiling.

Update: I'll be on Rink Side Radio tonight at 9:00 EST to talk more about the gold medal game.




27 comments:

  1. That's the best recap I've read of the game yet.

    What a game (by both teams), and what a finish.

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  2. The best compliment you can give an opponent is that they scared the hell out of you. And the USA scared the hell out of me. I knew they'd be trouble going in, and when they made it 2-1, I was on the edge of my chair, rocking back and forth like an autistic kid for an hour and a half until Crosby won it.

    I wish my dad could give me a victory lap on the basement ceiling.

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  3. As an American, i am very proud of my boys... I just wish it was anyone except that baggy lipped, nancy boy Cindy Crysby... Great Game Canada

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  4. "The Goal" was obviously Parise's game-tying goal with 24 seconds left to play.

    I'd like to remind Canadian fans out there that this was no upset. The fact is, USA came into the Olympics ranked fifth, whilst Canada entered ranked second, in terms of roster quality (at least, according to the fools at the IIHF). That did not change just because Brodeur decided to not move his fat arse and do nothing whilst Miller stood on his head in the qualifying games. So please, attempt to get over your inferiority complexes. You're starting to remind me of folks from New Jersey.

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  5. I had confidence going into this game vs. Canada. I had confidence going into the first. Hell, I was one of the few people who said that the pure grit of the US team would surprise people, and the underrated team could grit out a bronze. Both Canada games gave me more excitement than I've ever seen from a non stanley cup clinching game and I was proud to see more Americans that I know watching hockey than ever before. A disappointing end for sure, and to Crosby of all people, but in the end, Canada earned that gold. Whoever won it would've earned it from the ferocity and intensity of both games.

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  6. I hope you're buying Little Goes Brown a new teddy bear after today, DGB. Preferably one with a Canadian hockey jersey.

    Since I was 0-3 against Team USA in recent months I was told to skip the game on threat of death - and it looks like they made the right call. I look forward to the 20,000 repeats on TSN, because it sounds like it was an awesome game.

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  7. Canada had to win the game, it would not have seemed right if they did not. But, the US had to score that goal to tie it. For a Winter Olympics that began on a such low note, with the death of an athlete. I cannot remember a games going out on a bigger high than Vancouver 2010 did.

    As much as it would drive a Leaf fan to drink, give credit to Brian Burke for putting together a young team that kind of forgot they were not supposed to be playing on Sunday in Vancouver.

    Here in the States, life goes on and few will care and the media is not going to beat up the players for losing. Some of our American arenas will be far from capacity including my beloved Prudential Center here in New Jersey in the NHL games to come.

    This was no miracle, because none was needed. The USA can play hockey with anyone in the world. They have been proving this since 1980. The fans here in the States are called cult followers, but we just understand that this is a game that is great to watch, fun to play, and can give you such an accelerated heart rate when the stakes are at its highest. Today was just another shining example of why this game matters so much to fans.

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  8. My son actually slept through the game from the first Int on. I know!
    Okay, so he's not quite 2 and it was really a nap, but seriously?!

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  9. Sheldon KannegiesserMarch 1, 2010 at 12:21 AM

    Spectacular. I've never seen so many smiley people on the streets after a game. Naturally, I can hardly wait for the regular NHL season to carry on with the magic tomorrow. Here in Vancouver, the next step is to see if Ryan Kesler and Pavol Demitra can play like that for the people who pay them.

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  10. DGB, I've long read your stuff but never commented. Couldn't help it on this post.

    With this post, I laughed, I cried, my heart was broken and warmed. /sappy movie

    But seriously, I am so damn proud to be an American hockey fan right now. And I am also happy for Canada to take gold in front of their home crowd, even though my Canadian friends will probably give me SHIT from here to eternity. And then again when I start wearing my customized Paul Stastny USA jersey. (Why the fuck do I have to wait until MAY for it to get here? Damn.)

    Anyway, great game, great tournament, great for the game of hockey!

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  11. You got a voice mail from Wendel Clark? ASPLAIN PLZ

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  12. Anonymous guy in 4th post:

    You're more bitter than my leftover morning coffee.

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  13. I probably shouldn't say this but what the heck. Sitting down to breakfast I read the first couple of paragraphs out to my Canadian wife. Her reaction: "awwwww, just like spider-pig!".

    Fantastic game though, shame we were stuck with the BBC commentary team who were clearly going off a script and twisting the action to fit their talking points (save us CBC!) but the action more than made up for it. Canadians kinda had to win it mind or it'd have been mass-suicides time. And have to say Brian Burke did a hell of a good job getting the US to play as a team and with heart, something that the Canadians seemed to be lacking a lot of the time. Mind you that's the only piece of 'silver'ware he'll be seeing this year... sorry.

    Oh, almost forgot, thanks DGB for brilliantly entertaining tweets throughout the game and for one of the best damn hockey sites around. Long may it continue!

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  14. Anonymous #4,

    You don't get it. We're not happy because we think we were underdogs. We weren't. We're happy because hockey is burned into our national identity, because we feel in our bones that it is OUR game... and the passion is all the more real because we know that there are quite a few teams out there good enough to take it away from us, especially in short tournaments.

    Sometimes you appreciate most what you love when you know you could well lose it... and you appreciate more having it when you have fought hard to get it.

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  15. For some reason to me the victory over Russia was much sweeter. I don't know why but absolutely crushing the Russian machine felt great to me.

    From a Leafs perspective the good:
    Burke knows how to put a team together.
    Wilson knows how to coach

    The bad: Kessel was invisible the whole tournament and I don't think he had a single goal.

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  16. Is it safe to assume I high-fived many DGB readers at Yonge & Dundas Sq. last night?

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  17. @ Meatriarchy Was just about to post the same thing re the Leafs and Kessel. He played only a handful of shifts at most yesterday. Tried to check his ice time, but can't find it anywhere. Not a good tournament by Kessel at all. The only thing I well remember him doing was ringing one off the crossbar against the Swiss when it was 0-0 in the quarters. Great for Burke and Wilson though. Tremendous tournament.

    Kesler was outstanding all the way thru for the States. Did not like the fact he said he ..."hated Canada", but give the guy all the credit in the world for saying his team would win a medal last summer.

    Great game and will go down in history. Not as thrilling for me as 'Henderson, Henderson' but still an amazing moment.

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  18. Isn't much to say about the game other then I thought we played a better overall game yesterday then we did when we beat Brouder. And I think we were the first and only team in the entire tournament to play Canada even.

    In all ways, the team exceeded my expectations, and made me proud. I want Zach Parise on my Blues yesterday. God damn can he play some hockey. Imagine how many points he'd be putting up if he didn't play on New Jersey.

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  19. Congratulations on the victory! Y'all won it fair and square, though I really wish someone other than Crosby would've scored the winning goal.

    I wish they'd given Cally more Olympic ice time.

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  20. I could have accepted it more easily if it wasn't f-ing Crosby scoring the winner, now I will have to watch or hear about that goal in every Penguins playoff game until he retires.

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  21. Also thanks to Brodeur for sucking it up against the US, which gave us a much easier route to the medal, US would have had a tough time against Russia, Sweden, or Slovakia in the other half of the bracket! That was pretty crazy, had they kept Brodeur in goal I think he would have stepped it back up and done just as well as Luongo in the next few games, but there was just no way the coaches would risk the wrath of a nation if they started him and he sucked again.

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  22. I was just having a pint after I finished work when I saw this one. Ended up getting stuck in the bar for another two hours because the street was closed down with rowdy celebrations- never seen anything like that before in a (relatively) small Canadian city! I didn't mind at all, because I knew I'd remember it forever.

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  23. "HURR DURR THE OLYMPICS WERE SO GREAT BECAUSE CANADA DEFIED ALL ODDS BY DEFEATING THE HEAVILY FAVORED USA IN THE FINALS IN OVERTIME HOLY CRAP NO ONE EXPECTED CANADA TO BE ABLE TO BEAT USA. EH?"

    What a bunch of idiots.
    USA's rank= 5th
    Canada's rank= 2nd

    There was a huge disparity in talent... only it favored Canada entirely. The only memorable miracle was USA's entire performance in the tournament as a whole. However, you inferiority complex-ridden Canadians can feign disbelief and act like this was a "HUGE STATEMENT WIN" if it appeases your thirst for the spotlight. It will only evince how sad you are, though.

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  24. excellent work sean. while you raise a valid point that Canada should've been a favourite, try to remember that the US had beaten them merely a week before the game. and if i might remind you, before you start going "OMG THE US IS BESTEST", they were heavily outplayed by Canada in both games. the only reason you guys did anything in that tournament was Ryan Miller. remember the Swiss in the QF's? yeah, you didnt deserve to win that game either. it was a hell of a game, but to try to say that Canadians shouldn't celebrate is just sour grapes.

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  25. Seriously, it was the awesomest game ever! At least by the emotions it stirred up. Especially after bitter disappointment about the game with Russians. Well deserved gold.

    Toronto Gold

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  26. Well deserved win for Canada's team, does anyone have any update for 2012? I'm overseas and the news here are in chinese...

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  27. Interestingly enough, Parise and Miller both have Canadian hockey roots.... Parise of course is the son of Jean-Paul Parise who was part of the legendary Canada-Russia Summit team! And Miller's grandad moved from Saskatchewan to Michigan on a hockey scholarship and ended up staying and that's how that Miller branch ended up in the States. They still have plenty of family in Saskatchewan who were thrilled to see Ryan playing. It was also his grandad who got him into hockey according to an interview I read...

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