So far the Olympics have been really cool (imo)
Germany is playing ALOT better than expected (3-0, 2-0), a nice 12 goal shoot out between Latvia & Slovakia..
I think it is lame by the NHL/NHLPA that they don't allow those teams to use their best players (Go to ESPN.com and read the Irbe article. It's interesting..) but that's a different story all together.
Anyways. Again the pressure is on Canada to win it, and I guess also on the USA as they are the home team..
I wonder though..Russia and the Czech republic are solid teams from top to bottom and they always have the advantage of being more used to playing the bigger rinks and actually have a better strategy/style.
Ofcourse they also have the big names and great players and goalies that can make the difference.
Right now their goaltending sounds alot more solid than the US/Canadian teams.
Sweden is still a powerhouse and always does well on tournaments and the same goes for Finland.
How well will the US and Canadian teams work together? How do they adapt? I am really curious to see how this plays out..
My bet is on Russia this time around. Though I want Canada to win it.
"...And I use that to fuck them some place fairly uncomfortable." "What, like the back of a volkswagen ?" -Mallrats
Man If I was Chara (or any other Slovak player) I'd be pissed. And apperently the Senators ARE pissed.
Zdeno Chara (and Marian Hossa) where flown by the Sens to Salt Lake only to have Chara NOT DRESS!!! And the reason? They wanted to leave room for other for the next game...ummm when you lost your last game (shutout by GERMANY!!!) and NEED a win in order to stay alive I'd be worried more about THIS game then the next one!
If Chara had played last night I think it would have been a VERY different outcome and Slovkia would still stand a chane. Right now it comes down to the game between Lativa and Germany to see who advance from that pool.
Obviously this is not ALL Slovkia's fault. I really think its unfair that the olympic break occurs only for the 'big 6' and not for all the teams playing. While the Swiss get the advantage of David Aebischer (sp?) the Avalanche aren't really hurting since they have Patrick Roy!
But Irbe for some reason wasn't allowed to go for last night's game because the Hurricanes had a game against the Sharks....and he didn't play! Barrasso played the game and Irbe watched! (He will be there for Latvia's final game which I think give them the advantage since Kolzig is injured and can't play for the Germans)
All and all I don't really expect the 'qualifiers' to be much of problem.
As for the Big 6? Not too sure how it will finish, but here's my guess.
Gold: Canada Silver: Sweden Bronze: Czech
As for Women's Hockey
Gold: Canada Silver: US Bronze: Someone else
As has been said everywhere the Women's Tournament is US & Canada at 1 and 2 (in some order) and everyone else WAY behind. Canada has won the last 7 Women's World Championship, were the final game has ALWAYS been Canada/US. The Americans won the last Olympics and have been beating up on Canada winning the last 7 or 8 games they've played.
Anyways the Canadian women play thier first game today (Monday) at 1:00 pm EST, over/under on the amount of goals by Canada? I say about 7
EDIT: Wow I'm good, the final score Canada 7 Kazakstan 0!
(edited by Loosie on 11.2.02 1514)
Your friendly nieghbourhood Canadian.
While I will pick no other team other than Canada, this tourney is simply too close to call. ANY of the "Big 6" could win it.
Already there's been upsets, with Slovakia losing 3-0 to Germany, then tying Latvia 6-6 in a game that Latvia deserved to win - they played their guts out. So, Slovakia, who were HEAVILY favored to come out of their group, are now eliminated, and poor Peter Stasney is gonna take a beating for it.
I am excited, and scared as hell about this tourney. As y'all know, us Canucks take our hockey awfully serious (much like the way football is in Texas), and the pressure up here for a Canadian Gold Medal (which has not happened in over 50 years, believe it or not) is crazy-huge. Sweden scares the shit out of me. So does Russia. So does the USA. So does Finland. So does the Czech Republic. (why the Czechs never get any respect is beyond me - they've only won the last two world championships IN A ROW, as WELL as the junior championships - AND, of course, they won the Nagano Olympics).
I really do feel that the Canadians will pull it out, simply because Gretz has done a monumental job getting these guys ready to play together - there is no Bobby Clarke trying to turn the Olympics into the Eric Lindros Show this time around. As Gretz said himself, Canada probably has the fastest team ever put together. Mr. Quinn will have everybody revved up, and after watching the Slovkia/Latvia game (which was REALLY exciting), I fear I will have a heart attack during Canada's games. I can't wait, and I don't want it to happen at the same time. THE PRESSURE~!
The Czechs getting no respect? Here in the Netherlands the few that do know about hockey are pretty much like: "Czechs will win, no matter how the USA and Canada claim they will" Ofcourse that would be around 20 people saying that..
Canada does have an exciting team. I am a big Kariya fan, and am looking forward to seeing him play on a good team. I believe with his speed he can do some magic on that big rink. Especially since he will play with Mario and Sakic.
What does pissed me off for a second or two btw, is not directly related to the games itself.. 4 years ago the coolest image from Nagano was Gretz walking with the other canadians inside that stadium for the opening ceremony. (The most saddening ofcourse was Wayne's look after Canada failed to get a medal, as he sat on the bench).. Now as the Olympics are being held in the States the NHL plays on as long as it can..totally fucking up the special status the games should have..you play some in between NHL games. I understand the NHL is business but think of the promotion if all countries could have their stars (irbe, charra,and so on and on) play. Think of the promotion if you can have Mario in the opening ceremony..You get the point I guess..
Back to the game. As Brewguy said, there is little difference between the big 6..its gonna come down to form of the day and goaltending. I hope I underestimate Richter, Brodeur and Joseph and overrate Khabi and Hasek..
"...And I use that to fuck them some place fairly uncomfortable." "What, like the back of a volkswagen ?" -Mallrats
But Irbe for some reason wasn't allowed to go for last night's game because the Hurricanes had a game against the Sharks....and he didn't play! Barrasso played the game and Irbe watched!
WARNING Hurricanes fan about to defend the team!
The league rules state the team HAS to put forth it's best lineup, because otherwise you can be accused of throwing the games. The reason some players were allowed to go and others weren't, was based on what they mean to the team.
Irbe is their definite #2 guy - and if Barrasso went down and they sent in anyone OTHER than Irbe, it would look suspicious. Where as the dude from Colorado was able to go play for Switzerland because he was the third string goaltender, and you're not required to carry three.
I know it seems silly, but the league ruled on it, and Jim Rutherford backed it up - so there ya go.
Kings didn't allow Pallfy to play Pallfy dressed up for a game the Kings didn't allow him to play for the Slovaks. Oh well..he can get some rest now as they are eliminated.
Victor Kozlov is out for the Russians. I hate those final days before it really gets going. You notice that people get injured left and right and changes have to be made..
CFGB, i don't believe we were attacking the Canes. I think the article on espn actually said that they wished they could have helped him..it's just very louzy by the governing bodies that they aren't willing to allow the best players for each country to play.
I read an article that said Hossa played against the Sens, flew to Utah arriving at 6 am, played that afternoon and flew back to be in the game on sunday..all just to play for his country. Those guys really want it, as bad as the players from the big 6..I think it is lame they aren't able to..
(edited by dMp on 12.2.02 1047)
"...And I use that to fuck them some place fairly uncomfortable."
"What, like the back of a volkswagen ?"
By the way cfgb, Aebischer is the second-string goalie for Colorado, not third. He is the only one to have played other than Sir Patrick...
Whoops, so he is! And a quick check of his stats shows he's played twice in the past month with two shutouts.
Then it REALLY baffles me about Carolina's situation. The report I read made it sound standard, but if they didn't force the same rules upon Colorado, I guess some issues DO need to be taken up with the league.
Oh well, all will be forgotten should Irbe and Latvia win their game against Germany.
OK, I saw the whole Slovakia-Germany game. Slovakia didn't have all of their NHL talent there against Germany, but they had some of their better talent. I know Miroslav Satan was there, and got stoned by the German goalie (Seliger). Handzus was there and got stoned. Lubos Bartecko was there and got stoned. Zigmund Palffy was dressed but he was only to play if Slovakia was in an emergency (I guess being down 2-0 after 2, then 3-0 in the third period constitutes an emergency), and he too got stoned by Seliger. Seliger (who, incidentally, is a BACKUP goalie in the DEL) was just awesome, and the Germans took it to the Slovaks physically and to the net. So I don't see how the NHL is at fault for not letting ALL of the Slovakian players named to the team to play. They had the talent to beat Germany (who played WITHOUT Olaf Kolzig and I think Johann Hecht), and they just lost.
Against Latvia (who had Ozolinsh but NOT Arturs Irbe), Slovakia had Pavol Demitra, Marian Hossa, Lubomir Visnovsky, Richard Lintner and Bartecko and STILL only tied against Latvia. So again, it's not the lack of talent (actually, those NHL players I named combined for 3G, 4A), Slovkia just got beat by Latvia.
Aebischer played against France (Swiss and France TIED 3-3), and he DID play against the Ukraine-he was replaced in the second period after giving up 3 goals. I wouldn't say the Swiss had THAT much of an advantage by having Aebischer and Reto Von Arx (who is only 0G, 1A, and a -3 in two games).
So, essentially, I think Slovakia (who will NOT be a Big 6 team with that goaltending) and Switzerland has no one else but their lackluster play to blame for not making it to the Final Round.
My picks: Men's Ice Hockey: Canada gets the Gold, Russia gets the Silver, the U.S. upsets the Czechs for the Bronze. The U.S. has to upset SOMEBODY in SLC (Curling doesn't count).
Women's Ice Hockey: Canada gets the Gold (What? YOU want to bet against Wickenheiser and St. Pierre?), the U.S. gets the Silver (Come back when your "youth" still isn't in high school), and Finland retains the Bronze because Russia nor China are good enough to get it...yet.
...Some fear the Pink... ...But many fear....THE MOUNTIE! (He's handsome, he's brave, and he's strong, you know)
I still love all the Molson Canadian commericals ripping the other team though...the Blue commercial with the 'jock cup' is rather weird.
There are two that are driving me up the wall.
The first is that commercial where there's a bunch of people in the car. They find out there's 9 seconds to play in the game, so they call their friend at a bar. The bitch stands up on the bar, and places the phone on the TV (thus obstructing the view for everyone else) as Canada wins the game and everyone goes home happy.
The other one starts off with some kid shooting a Coke can into a net and screaming about how Canada wins the gold medal. It kinda escalates from there into other people doing stuff.
Okay, so maybe those aren't beer commercials. Sorry - I guess I was being stereotypical when I assumed EVERY commercial was a beer commercial. ;-)
Well, she talked me out of wearing the jersey, but I still was able to wear the Habs hat. EXCELLENT back and forth game. A few notes (if anyone cares); - Both goalies were very shakey during the game. VERY shakey.