Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Can Feel the Tension All the Way Down Here

Should have been getting this out sooner, but I've only now gotten to watch some games that didn't involve stones, toepicks, or bindings. Today made for an interesting day of hockey with the US vs. Norway ho-hummer, the Canada vs. Switzerland nail biter, and the Russia vs. Slovakia tap dance. I'm not going to break down entire games just hit you with the bullets which is my usual modus operandi when I'm feeling lazy.

Hockey Stuffs
  • The US got bashed today for their tendency to run around, and have their defenseman pinch for the offensive opportunity and instead give up the odd man rush. It looked to me like they knew they were playing Norway, and they knew they could get away with it. Like a bunch of peewees who knew they were playing a weaker team and everyone wanted to get a goal.
  • Why does Norway suck at hockey? I've asked this before but I can't find a logical reason. Sweden and Finland are hockey hotbeds, and it seems to me that Scandinavian countries are all very similar unless I'm just being an uneducated, racist prick.
  • Is Switzerland better than everyone thought or did Canada play a crappy game? A little bit of both in this case I think. The Swiss played their ass off, and My Name Is Jonas stood on his motherfucking head. They hung in there and kept battling and the lucky bounces go in your favor when you do that. All of Canada started to worry as soon as their lead was cut to a goal and the pressure was crushing. You could feel it through the television. There is so much pressure on these guys to win that they're falling into the old cliche of trying to do too much instead of just playing hockey like they all know how.
  • Panic set in early. Babcock started shuffling his lines with the exception of the Sharks line that looked like they were being quadruple shifted. That's just fucking stupid with a stacked team like the one you have. Mikey's usually a pretty smart hockey guy, but he looked kind of foolish doing that, and not settling his team down.
  • Why are the Slovaks the only team subject to playing back to back games? I haven't looked at the rest of the schedule to see if that happens to any other team later on, but getting matched up against the Czechs one night and the Russians the next? Who fucked that one up?
  • Where's all that Russian firepower? Its a 1-1 game right now against the Slovaks with three minutes left to play in the third. I thought they were just going to blow everyone out. I think they feel worried too.
  • The Swedes seem the most calm with their 2-0 game against Germany. No panic whatsoever in that team. Slow and steady wins the race.
  • Their seems to have been a lot of overestimation for the powerhouses and a lot of underestimation for the underdogs. Canada's not killing it like everyone thought they would and the tension is thick. Russia's not blowing it up. The Swiss played two tight games against the US and Canada and earned a lot of respect by doing so. The American's chances look better against the first two than everyone thought they'd be.
  • Goaltending is still the key. We've already referenced Hiller, but Halak has played extremely well, and Vokoun had a good game as well. A hot goaltender can win a tournament like this with just a little bit of help.
  • It seems like every four years they change the rules of Olympic hockey. First they count down on the clock, then they count up, then they count it like a soccer match, and now were back to counting down. And from then on its following NHL rules... 4 on 4 five minute overtime, then a shootout. I don't like that you can send up one of the three shooters on the fourth or later shot in the shootout, but whatevs.
  • I do love the absence of the trapezoid. Did you see that pass from Ryan Miller up ice on the Malone goal? You don't see that kind of play anymore from goaltenders even though the restriction of the trapezoid has nothing to do with it. Hardly see any assists anymore from goalies.
  • I don't think I've ever seen Pavol Demitra play this hard. Its amazing how much effort you can put forth when you actually give a shit. Also amazing is how obvious it is.
  • These teams with bunches, if not all, of NHLers are all trying to be too cute. They're all looking for that perfect shot, or that big move to the middle. Problem is, they're still playing other best players in the world. The middle's clogged up every time no matter what team's defending.
  • Did you see Ovechkin knock the shit out of Chara? Awesome.
  • Joe Micheletti's still a fucking idiot, and may be borderline retarded.
  • Datsyuk got pokechecked by Halak, holy shit.And the Slovaks beat Russia in a shootout, holy shit. Halak won that game. And Demo with the hanger over Bryzgalov.

General Olympic Stuffs
  • I think NBC's coverage of the games has been absolute shit. Torture in hell might involve having to listen to Bob Costas talk about the intricacies of baseball or tectonic forces at work. Between him and Cris Collingsworth talk about their keen fashion sense I was ready to go buy a gun or go looking for some black tar heroin. That and their scheduling and relegating hockey to their little sister networks.
  • Its amazing how much quicker the men work in curling than the women. They were throwing stones before the competitor's stopped sliding from the throw before.
  • What is it about curling that makes people love it? I fucking love it. Its strangely hypnotic. Maybe its the fact that looks like anyone of us could do it, without being in any kind of shape except out of.
  • Jacobelis gave up, plain an simple. Maelle was the better rider and Lindsey just gave it to her. That's why she should be embarrassed, not because she's pulling grabs in bordercross. Although that was pretty stupid in Torino.
  • How imperfect is the sport of figure skating? Is falling just a natural part of the sport? I'm not saying what they're doing isn't difficult as hell, but aren't these people supposed to be the best in the world? Even the commentators point that shit out, they're fucking ruthless at times.
  • Shaun White's McTwist was McFucking Awesome. It wasn't perfectly clean, but he didn't even need to do that run to win gold, and he went out there and stomped it and bettered the score from his first run.
  • The Women's Downhill was friggin awesome. So fucking fast. Lots of nasty crashes. Do you think Vonn was really injured or was that more of NBC bullshit 'make it interesting' propaganda?
  • Gretzky showed the most distress when that bay for the torch lighting didn't open. The other legendary Canadian atheletes held it together, shit Nash looked like he was waiting for the shot clock to run down at the top of the key. But Wayne was biting his lip and presenting a look of 'I can't believe this shit, I'm so embarrassed.' Get a grip Gretz, its not all about you, you ego maniac.
  • Sometimes I want to hide being American, we make looking stupid so easy.
  • Canada on the other hand is an amazing nation. There's just so much pride in these games that's not boastful or ignorant, its just real. The weather's uncontrollable, shit happens, and the games are great. Nice fucking job.
I'll have more as the games go on. Needless to say Sunday at 4pm is the big game.

No comments: