Monday, February 22, 2010

Super Sunday

What a day!
Pre-script: no offense to any losers

Russia defeated the Czech Republic and clinched a bye to the quarterfinals with a thrilling 4-2 win. At 2-1, my man Alex Ovechkin decked Jaromir Jagr--check out Jagr's stats sometime--and the puck ended up behind Czech goalie Tomas Vokoun about 10 seconds later. Russia with the win improved to 2-0-1-0 with 7 points and clinched Group B, seeding 3rd overall, while the Czechs fell to 5th.

If I'm Jaromir Jagr, this is a completely legit reason to not come back to the NHL. Not only will he be heckled in two cities, but also has to take extra care of himself. A cracked visor will do that for you. (Photo © Gene J. Puskar, AP)

Sweden put the shutout on Finland, winning 3-0 in a rematch of the 2006 Turin Olympic gold-medal game. My bro "Mean Lars" Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two helpers and "The King" Henrik Lundqvist has yet to give up a goal. Sweden is 3-0-0 with 9 points, 2nd seed behind a certain team (cough cough) and Finland is 4th, at 2-0-0-1 for 7 points. Sweden won Group C. They look really good. Medalists for sure, except for a certain little problem...(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
They're in the same half-bracket as Russia, along with these losers:

(Photo by REUTERS/Bruce Bennett/Pool)
No moment in the near future with regards to US ice hockey will ever come close to Lake Placid. But 1960 may see some competition soon enough. The vets stepped it up, as Brian Rafalski (twice!), Jamie Langenbrunner, and Chris Drury scored for the United States (Ryan Kesler added a pretty empty net goal) and Ryan Miller stood on his head, outplaying the second-greatest goalie ever by quite a bit. The USA won Group A and took the top seed in the tournament. Perhaps more importantly, they are assured of not facing
Memo to Canada: When you outshoot an opponent by more than a 2:1 margin, you're supposed to win.
The USA won this game on speed. Canada's speed wasn't up to par (I recall of a certain defenseman who would've helped tremendously), especially Chris Pronger's. And this after the Americans used exactly the same style to win the World Junior Championships in one of the coolest moments ever: Caps 2008 draftee John Carlson scoring in overtime, like a true American hero (check out the comments in the Japers' Rink link). Last night, it was Brian Rafalski who was the right-handed defenseman with two pivotal goals.

Final score: USA 5, Canada 3.

In the words of many Americans this year:
Suck it, Canada.

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