This article was originally posted on Bloguin's Olympic Hockey Blog
Roberto Luongo will have the nation's hopes for a gold medal on his shoulders today. This is the biggest game in his career thus far. Back in Salt Lake in 2002 Martin Brodeur was the starter in goal for their gold medal win. This time round, Brodeur was expected to be the goalie for Team Canada again. He had the chance but he crumbled. In a 5-3 loss to the United States, Brodeur put Babcock in a position where he had to make a goalie change. Luongo was tapped on the shoulder and told he would be the starter for Team Canada.
Luongo now faces the pressure and expectations of his whole country to play a better game than Ryan Miller.no comments
I went to my first hockey game of the Olympics two nights ago, and if you caught it, it was a fantastic game of hockey. Halak put on a show making 36 saves and only let in one shooter out of a seven round shootout. The Slovaks were expected to be steamrolled by the offensive Russians that boasted a powerplay unit of Ovechkin, Malkin, Kovalchuk, Semin and Gonchar, scary thought huh? To makes things interesting, the Slovakians had just played the night before against the Czech Republic, losing 3-1. To the Russian fans disappointment, this powerplay of pure offense led to shorthanded attempts that cause the coach to break up the pp unit.
So, armed with some energy and beer from watching the Canada vs. Swiss game, I headed towards Canada Hockey Place, ready to encounter Russians, Slovaks and fanny packs...no comments
1. Patience. Patience. Patience. There will be a line up everywhere. For anything. They could be giving out old Canucks Sundin jerseys and people would stand in line for an hour to get them. Why? Because they are FREE.
Though the zip line through the city is cool, is it worth a 6 hour wait?
2. There isn't that much to do downtown but there are a ton of people. Lots of people. I don't know exactly what everyone is doing, but they are there.
3. Most jerseys didn't have names on the back, which is a little dissappointing, but for the ones that did, here is my estimates of a jersey count in about 3 hours of being downtown today:
Who knew there were so many Nash or Iginla jersey's?
4. Russians and their tracksuits.
Notice that the girl has matching red boots, with detailing. They are about $400 if you want to buy one. I saw multiple people with them today, which leads me to believe that all Russians are told to rock their Russian tracksuits everywhere in groups of people also wearing matching tracksuits.
5. Jeff Carter has landed in Vancouver today, coming with Chris Pronger, they gave interviews at YVR. But with Getzlaf getting two goals and two assists Sunday night it looks like he's healthy enough to play, so do you think that means Carter will remain in Vancouver for a few days just to take in some events *ahem* nightlife since he is here already? Yzerman to submit his final roster by Monday at 12pm PST
And one final Canuck related thing: Edler has been told to be on standby as he could be a last minute addition to the Swedish teamno comments
Pavol Demitra is flying out tomorrow to meet up with the Canucks in Florida after taking a quick personal leave. Amid speculation that there was something bigger going on (injuries), The Province reports that he left the team because his wife was rushed to the hospital because she was suffering pain in her chest. They report that it was just a mild reaction from a prescription drug.
He's won't play against the Panthers tomorrow, but could play on Friday against CBJ.
Oh and that game against the Lightning. Terrible. That great save by Luongo? I didn't think it was a great save, it was more of Lecavalier shooting the puck right into Luongo's glove. I do not understand how it is getting that much notoriety for being a 'great save' because it wasn't a great save.
Anyways the Canucks had no jump and deserved to lose the game. I'm over it, looking forward to getting through the next 3 games and then move on to Olympic hockey....I question on the scheduling of Friday's game against CBJ on PPV. Since it's at the same time as the Olympic opening ceremonies I can tell you that I won't be watching PPV Canucks hockey. I assume they stuck it on PPV since all the other sports channels will be covering the Olympics instead.
And just to note: the NHL trade freeze starts at 12pm PT on Fridayno comments
After getting a sweet goal in the shootout in Boston, Demitra has left the Canucks in Tampa Bay to fly back to Vancouver. He is said to have a "personal matter" that he had to take care of in Vancouver, so he left team today. No word yet on what the matter is or whether he will rejoin the Canucks for their remaining 4 games in their roadtrip.
Game preview for tomorrow's game against the Lightning can be found here at my Tampa blog: The Hockey Bay Blogno comments
As you may have noticed that the posting this week has been a little slow. Apologies dear readers (hi mom!), but it has been a combination of real life and other stuff that I have been working on that has caused the lull. But I have been writing, just not on here, but here are some links to the stuff I have been up to and some thoughts on the week (so far)
Stuff I've been up to:
- I have been working on the Olympic Hockey Blog, which you can find on the right hand side of the page. If you missed them, there were player profiles on the majority of Canucks participating, Lightning players and Shea Weber (he's in a category of his very own)
- I've also begun writing a series of stuff about the Olympics, first off was a look at the two rinks that the hockey games will be played at called Vancouver 2010: The Venues
- After a three week hiatus, I wrote my NW (and some Pacific) Division links over at Cycle Like the Sedins
- Bernier is trash
- So is our 3rd line
- I miss Willie Mitchell
- Ottawa has won 11 straight games
- Washington has a win streak of 12 games
- Kovalchuk turned down a contract offer of $101 million dollars. Un-freakinreal. Wow. Why? He thought the club was shaky, so why not just go the NMC route?
- In the 40 minutes away from my computer today, Kovy was traded, to the Devils. Whatevs. I won't stop believing that they play boring hockey until I see it, and since I don't watch their games, I guess I won't
- If having an Olympic break means that we have a trade deadline week following by another trade deadline day after the Olympics, can we have the Olympics every year? Screw the All-Star break, these past few days have been unreal. Remember last year the biggest trade was Jokinen to the Flames?
- Hitchcock has finally been fired. I personally thought it would have been after the loss to the Canucks at the beginning of January. Actually, it probably should have been right after the loss to the Canucks at the beginning of January
- Some sports analysts do a fantastic job on twitter
- Cody Hodgson played tonight for the first time with the Brampton Battalion. He had two assists, that sigh of relief is the realization there might be a light at the end of the 3rd line catastrophe tunnel
And Ovechkin scored his 500th goal with only one hand:no comments
Two losses, we are not in a slump. Get a freakin grip Vancouver.
Fact: Our road team sucks. This we need to fix in a hurry since we are only 3 games into a 14 game road trip. After Luongo acted like a prima donna calling out his teammates after the game against Montreal, Raycroft started tonight. The team did nothing to help Raycroft in winning tonight's game against Ottawa. The team was slow, took dumb penalties and didn't bring the offense to Elliott. And when Bernier had a breakaway? Nobody expected him to score. Bernier has been trash. Coach V needs to bench him, like now. O'Brien tried to stop a 3-1 by sprawling on the ice right into his goaltender, well at least he tried.
Don't worry Luongo isn't injured, Gillis said that it was decided on Wednesday that Raycroft would start tonight:
"Roberto is fine in the sense that he's healthy," Gillis said. "We were looking for an opportunity to get Andrew into a game and we thought this would be a good chance because (Ottawa) is playing back to back."
The Canucks flew out to Boston tonight after the game and will play the Bruins at 10:00am on Saturday (on Sportsnet)