EUREKA, NUNAVUT – As the Northeast continues to recover from Snowpocalypse and its big budget sequel, Snowpocalypse II: The Snowening, and as we brace for the next installment, Snowpocalypse III: The Bride of Snowy, we are all reminded of how much ass winter sucks. The situation is made worse by the post-football, pre-baseball doldrums we’ve just entered into.
At least there’s NHL Hockey… For a few more days – until the league takes a break to send the lucky ones to a war-torn region in Russia for the Olympics. The Olympics actually started yesterday but the mens ice hockey tournament doesn’t start for another week. Wake me up when the puck drops. I could care less about Nordic combined (whatever that is), ice dancing, and women’s ski jumping, which is an Olympic sport now. Hell I didn’t know it wasn’t an Olympic sport before. Either way I don’t care.
It will be interesting to see the NHL’s superstars play for Olympic gold in Sochi on the big sheet of ice. This definitely favors the European teams stocked with KHL and Swedish Elite League players. Look for Alex Ovechkin to be back on a cycle of Soviet steroids in Sochi. He’s been in fine form for the Caps this season. He’s a great scorer, if nothing else. He will be extremely dangerous with a bit of extra room on the olympic ice. Look for Russia in that gold medal match on February 23rd
Team Canada should be a force in Sochi. In Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, and Ryan Getzlaf, they boast arguably the three best forwards in the National Hockey League right now. Chris Kunitz made the team by playing on the same line as Crosby. He should do the same in Sochi. Otherwise there is no reason for him to be on the team. Marty St. Louis got the call up to Team Canada to replace his injured Tampa Bay Lightning teammate Steven Stamkos who couldn’t recover in time from a broken leg. St. Louis is a good replacement and a better fit than James Neal or Claude Giroux. Look for the Canadians to face the Russians in the gold medal match.
The Good Ol’ U-S of A also has a solid team that will contend for medals in Russia. Derek Stepan made the team based on skill and reputation and not based on current form. He’s been having an off year for the Rangers, but he’s good enough to make the team and make a difference in Sochi. Kyle Okposo’s omission boils down to the fact that he would be playing against, and not on a line with John Tavares. Sucks for Okposo. Probably good for Team America. Look for our boys to beat Sweden in the bronze medal game.
Finally, a word on the passing of a baseball legend. Hall of Fame slugger and Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner passed away yesterday at the age of 91. He had a great mind for baseball even after Bell’s Palsy robbed him of some of his ability to convey that knowledge. Kiner was a joy to listen to and he will be sorely missed. I’ll leave it to a Mets fan to properly eulogize the broadcast great.
Tune in tomorrow for Junoir Blaber… a Mets fan.