Sunday, February 19, 2006


The US Men's hockey team lost another close, tight-checking game today to Sweden, 2-1.

Combine that with yesterday's loss to Slovakia by the same score and you get a frustrating Olympic tournament so far for the Americans. They're not playing badly; on the contrary, they're skating well, playing good defense and getting great scoring chances. But the puck's just not going into the net for them.

Still, thanks to that good defense they probably will make the medal round. Because Latvia has been trounced by Slovakia and now Russia and has allowed plenty of goals, the US will get the nod because of a better goal differential (unless the Russians score like 10 goals on them Tuesday). Once in the medal round, anything's possible. If they can continue to play good defense and score goals, then they might go somewhere.

The men's team isn't doing as badly as the women's team. The men weren't favored to do anything; the US women were supposed to play for the gold medal against Canada tomorrow. Now they might be lucky to get the bronze. I think they started reading their press clippings and figured that Sweden would be a pushover. Pride goeth before a fall and all that.

And on the subject of arrogant and overconfident hockey teams, I note that mighty Canada lost again today. Excuse me while I indulge in a bit of schaudenfreude at the expense of our northern neighbors, but they deserve this. They came to Torino expecting everyone to just give the gold medal to them and when the other teams gave them a taste of their own medicine instead all they could do is whine.

(Oh, and Canada, if you think everyone hates you and is out to get you, welcome to America's world. We get this kind of abuse 24/7. Incidentally, alot of it comes from you, or at least it did when the Liberals ran the country. Maybe the Tories will be better.)

So, my predictions must be modified. Based on how they're currently playing I doubt anyone can stop the Finns and the Slovaks. The Russians are kicking butt; the US will be their next victim. Unless Canada suddenly stops whining and starts playing hockey the Finns will beat the Slovaks for the gold and the US will trounce the Russians for the bronze (hey, I can dream, can't I?).

We'll see how things go next week. I'm going ice fishing tomorrow.


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