Saturday, February 18, 2006

Olympic Update

Let’s take a little quiz. Before the Men’s Olympic Hockey Tournament started I would have answered the following questions, and then the reality of those answers to follow. You ready?

1. Will USA be able to handle their first opponents Latvia with little trouble?
My answer 2/14: The US will probably start slow, but will have no trouble playing Latvia and should come out with an easy win. WRONG!
Reality: The US team came out strong, but then allowed Latvia to gain some ground tying the silver medalist of 2002. Latvia who has little chance to make the final rounds splits a preliminary point with the US.

2. How many goals will Canada score versus team Swiss?
2/14: The Swiss only has 2 forwards in the NHL, it will be hard for them to slow down the Canadian attack. Team Swiss will be lucky to escape 5 goals down. WRONG!
Reality: After an emotional win versus the Czech Republic 3-2, Swiss came out with some hard work and another great goaltender performance from Martin Gerber. Canada is shut-out 2-0.

3. Russia and Sweden are in the same pool, what will the competition be like?
2/14: Even though Canada has this pool in their back pocket, the battle will be for the second tier between defensive Sweden and offensive Russia. The game will be close with the Swedes able to come away with 2 points. WRONG!
Reality: Russians proved that speed is everything, making this game a no contest. The Swedes failed to score a point and the Russians steam rolled the Swedish team.

What the hell is going on? I am giving up on the US team after their failure to put the puck in the back of the net. I am now a full fledged Swiss fan. Now I just need to find an official Suisse Jersey. “Hop Suisse! Hop Suisse!”

-- Olympic Notes --

  • Dominik Hasek is out of the tournament which actually hurts the Czech Republic’s chances. Hasek pulled a groin muscle in his first game of the tournament. He should be healthy when he returns to Ottawa.

  • Jaromir Jagr got on the bad end of a check and was bleeding from the forehead when he left the ice in a game versus Finland. If you’re physical with Jagr early in the game, and sometimes he won’t show up. In this case it just took him out of the game. Jagr should be back in the lineup Monday.

  • Slovakia has been the surprise of the Olympic Hockey Tournament behind Team Swiss. So far unbeatable with impressive wins versus the US and Russia. Former Capital Peter Bondra is having a good tournament, scoring the game winner against the US.

Enjoy the Olympics! Hop Suisse!

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