Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vancouver Olympics Men's Hockey - U.S. & Canada Advance

Not to take anything away from Finland's defeat of the Czech Republic or the Sweden-Slovakia game going on now, but man... those victories by first the U.S. and then Canada were interesting today.

The U.S. game stood out to me not because of the high number of American shots on goal (44) or yet another great game from Ryan Miller (this a 2-0 shutout), but because of the reckless abandon with with the U.S. players blocked shots. It seemed to be a "no, I want to get in front of this one" contest with every member of the team sacrificing their body to help get the win. Impressive stuff.


Speaking of impressive stuff... that Team Canada offensive really hit it's (fully anticipated) stride against Russia. Six goals against Evgeni Nabokov (who didn't have a good game) and one more against Ilya Bryzgalov should be enough to get the win, and it was to the tune of 7-3. While he may not get a lot of accolades from the game, Roberto Luongo deserves notice for his keeping Canada off the board during an early first period power play with probably five to six shots against him. If Russia scores early, perhaps their offense really starts rolling.

So... on to the Semifinals for both teams. The U.S. will face a Finland team led by goalie Mikka Kiprusoff and Canada either Slovakia or Sweden (a Gold Medal pick of more than a few people). Hopefully the Americans and Canadians both advance to what would be a highly anticipated (and hopefully shown live on NBC) Olympic Final.

The odds of the U.S. beating Canada twice in the same tournament wouldn't be good, but then... they don't have to be in order for it to still happen.

NBC U.S. Olympic Hockey West Coast Coverage

U.S. vs Switzerland today in the Men's Hockey Olympic quarterfinals... on NBC... TAPE DELAYED ON THE WEST COAST.

I learned from this story on Puck Daddy at Yahoo! Sports and then went out to the NBC website for this information (noted below):

Time (PT)

3:00p - 5:00p
NBC Bay Area
Daytime After posting a stunning 5-3 upset of Canada on Sunday, Ryan Miller and Team USA return to the ice to take on Switzerland for a spot in Hockey's semifinals.

4:00p - 7:00p

Men's Hockey After losing to Team USA, 5-3, on Sunday, Sidney Crosby and Canada bounced back with an 8-2 win over Germany on Tuesday. Now Crosby and the home-ice favorites take on Alexander Ovechkin and Russsia for a spot in the semifinal round.

7:00p - 9:30p

Men's Hockey In the day's third elimination game, Jaromir Jagr and the Czech Republic square off against Finland for a spot in the semifinal round.

9:30p - 11:30p
Men's Hockey The fourth and final semifinal spot is on the line in the day's last win-or-go-home contest. Sweden and Slovakia square off live as Olympic Hockey continues.


US game being aired at 3:00PST after it's already completed and then the Canada game at 4:00PST. Yea, I'm sure for those hockey fans without DVRs, they wouldn't want to see both the US and Canada game... right.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Projected Olympic Hockey Tournament Matchups

Wondering about potential quarterfinal matchups for the Men's Olympic Hockey, I went out onto my good friend the Internet and found this detailed bracket at On the Forecheck... which I came across at From the Rink.

Here's the upshot as of right now with Sweden having a (presumably) commanding 3-0 lead in their game against Finland (assuming everything is correct on the aforementioned sites and I have no reason to think it's not)...

Big assumption: nothing shocking (you know, shocking to the level of say... the US beating Canada today) happens in the Playoff Qualifier games that will happen Tuesday and precede the Wednesday quarterfinal games.

NoonPST - U.S. vs Switzerland: the U.S. would certainly be favored, but as the San Jose Sharks found out last year... Jonas Hiller can play well in net, and in this case, it would be for Switzerland rather than the Anaheim Ducks.

4:30PST - Russia vs Canada: Uhhh... that sounds like a good game, and in a quarterfinal! Here's to not expecting to see Martin Brodeur back in net.

7:00 or 9:00PST - Sweden vs Slovokia

7:00 or 9:00PST - Czech Republic vs Finland

Winners of these games would then meet in the Friday semifinals... which might look like this:

NoonPST - U.S. vs Czech/Finland winner

6:30PST - Sweden vs Canada/Russia winner

Wow, that one game today make a world of difference for both the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. with a very advantageous draw going forward and Canada with... the exactly opposite.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Video of Building a Backyard Rink

Came across this video a few days ago linked from a post on Puck Daddy at Yahoo! Sports and while I found the time-lapse photographs to be a bit difficult on the eyes to watch, I sure did love the result at the latter part of the video...