Rapid reaction to the fantastic Olympic contest between our United States and the "home" Canadian team: I thought it was just tremendous that MSNBC gave this matchup a full 45-minute preview to the match. Analysts Jeremy Roenick and Mike Milbury did a great job setting the stage for the game and gave it that "Big Fight Feel" that's been lacking from these games so far. It tells me that starting this week when it's win or go home that they'll continue to showcase the sport this well.
Originally I was mad that this game was on MSNBC and not NBC, mainly because of HD, but after seeing the pre-game show I totally see why it's getting showcased on cable.
USA looked great in the 1980esqe Olympic team sweater. If you were under a rock today I'll break the news to you. Today is the 30th anniversary of USA's upset over the Soviet Union. "The Miracle on Ice."
As for the game itself the crowd was as hot as any you'll ever see. Part game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, Part Jonas Brothers Concert. USA seemed to get a little lucky with it's first two goals but kept up the pace with the mighty Canadians. Sharks' winger Dany Heatley's goal made a real statement and Chris Drury and the Americans kept fighting back. Really impressive overall. I thought the second period was really about settling down and setting a pace for the game. Canada needed to see if they could get by team USA without playing their "A" game, and the Americans just needed to figure out how match Canada's daunting star-power.
The late penalty kills by the Americans in the third were thrilling. Buffalo's Ryan Miller was off the charts with 4:00 minutes left and then Sidney Crosby squeeks one by him. Go Figure.
The final three minutes were about as thrilling, mesmerizing, polarizing, and fantastic as any sporting event as you'll ever see. A FURIOUS flurry by Canada. Ryan Miller standing on his head, USA players spreeing on the ice to block pucks. (L.A.'s and former Badger Drew Doughty especially wore one.) All this leading to Ryan Kessler hustling his ASS off to sprawl out and give USA and empty-net clinching goal. NBC play-by-play man Mike "Doc" Emerick is just insane good calling these last three minutes.
He's literally a cross between Jim Ross, Mike Goldberg, and that Spanish Soccer anouncer that screams GOALLLLL!!! for 45 seconds.
Major props to the American fans for rocking the USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! chants
The Americans take it in the end 5-3. Did I mention this was a prelimanary, round robin contest? We're not even in the medal round yet.
How fitting that the Americans' young squad pulls it out against the veteran, superstar roster a'la 1980. Not completely a fair comparison but there are shades there.
A++++ effort from both teams. They WANTED it. The crowd brought the heat, the TV crew was outstanding.
What we know: USA will be a top 2 seed and get a bye in the medal round. Canada looks just dejected. They barely beat Switzerland on Thursday and now lose to team USA. With the games being held in Vancouver the pressure is now on. You know the Swedes, Czechs, Slovaks, Russians, and Fins aren't going to lie down for anyone. I'd bet the farm that Martin Brodeur get's benched in favor of Roberto Luongo in the net for Canada from here on out.
Canada's made their bed and now must lie there. Here's hoping we can get a rematch sometime this week. Sid Crosby looks like he got stabbed.
I typed this "stream of consciousness" style so I'm not going to correct any grammar or spellings. I implore you to share your thoughts below!