Do You Think Canada’s 3-2 Overtime Win for Men’s Hockey Olympic Gold on Home Ice Was the Best Hockey Game for Canada Ever?

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I don’t need to blog about Canada’s 3-2 overtime win over the United States for Gold in Men’s Ice Hockey at the 2010 Olympics. Everybody is pretty much writing about it.

What I want to know is if you think this were the best hockey game ever for this country?

It had excitement with all the exciting plays, including two posts by Canada in regulation time.

It had anxiety with the Americans scoring in the final minute to tie it and send it into overtime.

It was back and forth with the rushes and scoring.

It was great to watch with the quality play, hits and saves.

It was epic with everything on the line, and avenged a loss a week ago that just deflated our country. The rally was also phenomenal. The pressure unbelievable.

It was decided spectacularly in sudden death overtime, with my fellow 22 year old Nova Scotian sensation Sidney Crosby coming through like you knew he would. Eight periods of no scoring but he came through when it most counted with the literal Golden Goal in sudden death overtime. There was nobody more suited or symbolic to score that goal! (See CTV video of Sidney’s winning goal)

YEAH!!!

That’s what legends are made of!!!

Step aside, Paul Henderson!!!

Finally, it was on home soil, and best of all, there was arguably the ultimate prize at stake in the Olympic Gold Medal against an arch enemy.

I never saw the 1972 Summit Series, but there was no medal at stake, although a cultural moment. However, in today’s media frenzy environment, losing this game would have never gone away with YouTube and blogs leaving so much content we Canadians would never be able to avoid.

The 1987 Canada Cup with Gretzky and Lemieux was definitely spectacular, being the only tournament at the time which really featured professional players against professional players. However, as representative as those events were at the time, they weren’t the Olympics. It kept the focus all on hockey, sure, but there’s something special about the Olympics and the whole nation going for every sport. Don’t forget, Canada has the most gold medals in any single Olympics game now with that 14th gold medal from men’s ice hockey.

We did beat the US in 2002 for Olympic Gold on their ice to win our first hockey gold in 50 years, of course, but that was their home ice. It was also not nearly as close in a 5-2 victory, and no sudden death. As sweet as that was, though, given the wait and location, I think it’s different on our home ice, in front of our fans. We get to celebrate our own on home ice and we get to sing our national anthem afterward as a nation united.

All in all, every past historic victory lacked something this one did. It wasn’t a big thing in each case, but I never said this was the best win ever by a long shot. Just the biggest win in the legendary history of ice hockey in this nation.

But do you agree? I’d love it if you took a moment to cast a vote below or leave a comment. Thank you.

Congrats to the US for having a great tournament, especially goalie Ryan Miller. Thanks to Jarome Iginla for the hard work on the boards to get the feed to Sidney.

Meanwhile, LET THE PARTY BEGIN!!!

See CTV’s video for the gold medal presentation to team Canada.

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Did Evgeni Plushenko’s Mouth Cost Him the Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medal versus Evan Lysacek?

Evgeni Plushenko mid-jump

UPDATE:
Canadian Olympic silver medallist and former world champion figure skater Elvis Stojko wrote an article trashing the Olympics’ men figure skating results
called The Night They Killed Figure Skating. It pretty much sums up my sentiments. But who was I to say such a thing? Thanks for setting the record straight, Elvis! You tell them! They had the ultimate showman back on ice and they’re going to drive him away for more pansies to be competing. Some people just can’t get over how insignificant they are, you know? Pity the sport. Evgeni was very diplomatic in defeat at the podium ceremonies, though. A showman to the last moment.

Also, see my follow up post after watching the ladies’ free skate:

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After the men’s figure skating short program, Evgeni Plushenko was in the lead and said something to the extent that the future of men’s figure skating was in the quad, or quadruple jump. The story went through the press as a challenge to all male figure skaters’ manhood if they did not do quads in their programs, as he vowed to be a man among boys. (CTV News, Feb 17 2010)

Without a quad it’s not men’s figure skating.
— Evgeni Plushenko, three-time world champion and 2006 Winter Olympics Champion

Well, tonight, in the long program, Evgeni did a very difficult quad-triple combination, and was still beaten by the American Evan Lysacek, who did not do a quad jump.

The difference was Lysacek had a lot of elements piled up in the second half of his program where they had 10% more value. Evgeni and Evan actually had the same “component” score for elements in their program. Shockingly, Lysacek beat Plushenko in the technical component despite Evgeni having piled up points for his quad-triple axle combination. Evgeni had a full minute without jumps to finish up his program. Both skaters were nearly flawless otherwise.

Lysacek finished a point ahead of Plushenko, with Evan getting 257.67 and Evgeni getting 256.36 points.

Scoring systems and all, some of it is still human judgment, and I can’t help but think that if Evgeni had kept his mouth shut, he might have gotten gold. You can’t look at his comment on the future of skating just as an insult just to the skaters like the media did. Who do you think judges the event and truly determines the future of figure skating? Some people seriously need to get over themselves!

All and all, though, what a night of brilliant skating!

Daisuke Takahashi won bronze with a distant 247.23 points, but was the first Japanese man to end up on the men’s figure skating podium at the Olympics.

Patrick Chan of Canada, who I’m not a particular fan of, I must say, finished 5th. Maturity and charisma wise, he was literally a boy among men.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.0

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