Category Archives: International Hockey

Only 42 Years Ago

Geez, only forty-two years ago.  I look in the mirror and see I haven’t changed a bit.

Forty-two years ago today, Paul Henderson slid one past Vladislav Tretiak, and Team Canada narrowly avoided the shame.

Below, hanging on my wall, a ticket stub from the historic game 8 in Moscow. No, I wasn’t there. But the stub was.

And below that, a couple of stubs from game 2 in Toronto. I wasn’t there either.

But I did see the games as an almost 22-year old bartender in Sudbury.

ticket stub

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’98 Nagano – Canada – U.S.

Canada didn’t do well in Nagano ’98, finishing fourth behind the Czech Republic, Russia, and Finland, while in women’s hockey, the U.S. took gold and Canada silver.

But all I’m doing here is showing Gretzky, Roy, Yzerman and the Team Canada gang in action against the U.S. early on in the tournament, when Canada won 4-1, and which I thought you might enjoy because of seeing these guys again.

Canada Sends Americans Packing

Team Canada played a tremendously solid game against a good U.S. and now move on to meet the Swedes on Sunday for the gold medal.

As a proud Canadian, it’s been a good two days, with first the women winning it all and now the men moving a big step closer.

I don’t care that the weather up here leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes the weather’s great. Anyway, we’re a tough bunch, and If we didn’t have bad weather, we’d have a lot less to talk about at parties.

Canada’s an exceptionally wonderful country and anyone who hasn’t been here needs to smarten up.

But back to the game.

Many said leading up to today that it could be a high scoring affair. It wasn’t.

Many said throughout the tournament, and long before, that Carey Price in nets would be a mistake. It was no mistake.

Price has been solid as a rock. He’s come through. And his calm demeanor has probably helped not only himself but his teammates too.

The pressure of winning in the Olympics is intense, but Price is used to it. He plays for the Montreal Canadiens.

Just a great showing by the Habs goaltender in Sochi, and maybe the critics will take a few days off now.

Jamie Benn scored Canada’s lone goal, a nice redirection of a Jay Bouwmeester pass, and that was it. The lone goal and the winner. It was all that was needed with Price holding the fort.

Benn’s been good.  And I thought Crosby and Kunitz had their best showing of the tournament and swarmed the American end often. Kunitz especially had about a half dozen good chances.

Now it’s Sweden at 7 am ET on Sunday for all the marbles. One more big game needed. One more game where everyone has to play like it’s game seven of the Stanley Cup finals, which is bigger than you think, Rene Fasel.

Proud of the two Canadian teams, proud of my country. But I can’t get carried away. I’ll have nothing to write on Sunday.

“Did you like the game, Elmer?”
“Sure did, Red. Did somebody say the weather’s good in Canada?”

Press box

 

 

 

The Ladies!!!!

Holy mackerel! The Canadian ladies! I want them all to bear my children.

The sequence:

Down 2-0 to the Americans with just over three minutes left.

Canada scores and it’s 2-1.

They pull the goalie, the Americans shoot it down and it hits the post.

The Canadians tie it with under a minute left.

And then they win it in overtime.

So dramatic, so great. If you’re a Canadian of course. The Americans certainly don’t feel that way.

But they had it in the bag and let it slip away.

These two teams aren’t crazy about each other, and how this must hurt for the Americans. Like a knife to the heart.

That’s now and then there’s tomorrow, when once again it’s Canada and the U.S. squaring off. The men.

This is hockey.

“He Can’t Do It For 60 Minutes”

Latvia

I watched the Canada-Latvia game again in the evening because the first time  was at work and I kept getting interrupted with work.

It worked out well because Luci’s at Place des Arts with her friend, listening to some live classical music of some sort.

It was interesting how  the announcers went on about things in the beginning, before the Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis proceeded to stop 55 shots and almost win it for his team.

This isn’t a critical review. I would’ve said similar things.

Jim Hughson “Should be a pretty intimidating night for some of these young Latvian players.”

Hughson “Kristers Gudlevskis is a 21-year old and gets an opportunity of a lifetime to play against Team Canada.”

Hughson “He had an awful warmup. The young man couldn’t keep the puck out of the net. ”

Glenn Healy “I’ve got a feeling he’ll be busy tonight.

Healy “He can play to a certain level for a certain amount of time, but he can’t do it for 60 minutes. Not against this Canadian team.”

Craig Simpson “As a player you just can’t help think that this is going to be a points night and have a good offensive game.”

Healy midway through the game “They’re running out of gas. You can see it.”

 

 

Russians Dismissed

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Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeny Malkin and other Russian players are seen here in northern Siberia after losing to the Finns 3-1 in Olympic quarterfinals action today in Sochi.

What a disappointment this must be to the Russian nation and Prez Putin.

In fact, Putin is probably more than mildly upset and I’d advise Pussy Riot to stay out of his way for a day or two.

Canada Plays Latvia

Ted Nolan’s Latvia squad upset the Swiss 3-1 today, which means it’s Latvia that Canada faces in quarterfinal action on Wednesday at 12 pm ET.

Certainly the Latvians beating the Swiss is an upset, and the French-language announcers said, while I was giving my usual 147% at work and which was relayed to me by my friend Gilles, that the Swiss were probably already thinking ahead to the Canadian game, which was a bit of a mistake.

So on we go. Bye bye, Swiss. Hello Latvians.