Olympic Hockey: Déjà Vu All Over Again as Canada Tests USA Mettle for Medals

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Canada Fan teeth missingSOCHI, COMMIELAND – Yesterday’s gold medal tilt in women’s ice hockey was quite the spectacle. The USA and Canada faced off for gold for the umpteenth time and for the umpteenth time Canada won. The loss is a bitter pill to swallow for the Americans. They were up two goals in the waning moments of the third period. And then things came very unstuck.

WScreen shot 2014-02-21 at 7.47.22 AMith just three-plus minutes left, Canada finally found a breakthrough to make it a 2-1 game and set up a frenetic final three minutes. With under 90 ticks left and the Canadian net empty, the US had a chance to bury the game. The puck was sent hurling towards the empty net from the American blue line. A 3-1 lead with a minute left would surely have guaranteed gold for the Americans. But the puck could only find the left goal post… not gold.

Seconds later, Les Americans were picking the puck out of their own net. The game that the USA was firmly in control of just minutes before had gone completely off the rails. A Canadian winner in overtime was inevitable. The goal came on a Canadian power play on what, to me anyway, was a penalty call that was softer than wet dog shit. C’est la vie, I guess. Canada has their fourth straight gold in women’s ice hockey. The American ladies have to settle for silver again – and cry as they got them.

Today it’s the men’s turn… The Canadians and Americans face off in the semifinals of the men’s tournament. Boasting most of the best forwards in hockey, Canada has found goals hard to come by. The fact that Sidney Crosby has done next to nothing so far scares me more than anything. They’ve made it this far and they haven’t really played that well.

Canada will have to go without the second best player in hockey today. John Tavares is out for the tournament (and the rest of the NHL season) with a knee injury. And I’m not convinced Carey Price is a gold medal goalie. The US definitely has the advantage in net. Jonathan Quick has been very good. I’d like to see him moving around less. He flops around like an Asian carp out there. But whatever works I guess. Keep it up Quick. The US men will be looking to avenge the ladies’ loss yesterday and book their place on the podium. Hopefully this game goes better for the Americans than the gold medal game in Vancouver four years ago.

Canada Wins Gold over USAThe game should be a real barn-burner. The winner will meet either Sweden or Finland in the gold medal game. The losers of these games will meet for bronze. Finland has three goalies on their roster that are better than anything Canada has. Sweden has the King. It should be a feisty, low scoring affair. Earlier this year the Fins beat the Swedes in the gold medal game at the World Junior Championship by a score of 3-2. I think five goals might not be scored if these teams played twice. Look for a 2-1 game either way.

My previous prediction of a Russia-Canada gold medal game was way off – base due to me overlooking the fact that the Russians don’t or can’t play defense. Now I’m hoping to see Finland and the US meet for gold on Sunday. And Canada plays Sweden for bronze tomorrow.

That’s it for me today, come back tomorrow for a guy that would be happy with Gold Medal Flour, Junoir Blaber.

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Different Matt is our cunning Cornell grad/rugby player. "Diff" joined us just after the switch from being "Mets only" to an all-sports stop. He's a Yankee fan; thus he was "different." Aside from the Yanks, he's a diehard NY Giants, NY Rangers and NY Knicks fan. He also likes long walks on the beach and cappuccinos and nearly died in Las Vegas.

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