Tag Archives: 2014 Sochi Olympics

Mighty Fine Adventure

I said I’d continue later and that’s what I’m doing. Continuing.

I was in downtown Montreal early,  Danno and his clan wouldn’t show up from Ottawa for another couple of hours , so as I like to do, I walked the streets. And soon I heard excited voices on loudspeakers and people cheering.

I’d stumbled upon a Parti Quebecois rally in a park, and so I stopped and joined them.

Take away the signs and the voices explaining to the freezing crowd how great it would be if Quebec separated, the folks all seemed quite normal for being such treasonous, brainwashed enemies of the country.

Then I left because I didn’t belong. I’m a Canadian.

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Onwards to Ste-Catherine St. where it began to snow, and I stopped for coffee at Nickles. From the window I saw many of the people who were at the rally walking by with their signs. They can only talk about breaking up the country when it’s warmer.

Down Ste. Catherines to another park where a bunch of people were having pillow fights, which was much more normal than being at a Parti Quebecois rally.

Then it was down to meet Danno and his dad and brother, and we went for pizza and then to the game.

And what a tremendous game to be at. Detroit is a skating club, as Montreal certainly can be, and it made for back and forth, clean and skilled action. Emelin thumped, Price was sharp, the DD line brought extra doses of buzz when they jumped over the boards, and the team found themselves with a nice 3-0 lead.

One of my favourites guys, Michael Bournival, opened the scoring in the first, Max would get his 39th of the season in the second, with the third scored shortly after by Brian Gionta.

It was happy times for almost all concerned. Not for Danno’s brother Bob and others, but for most of us.

And it was just after my mentioning out loud that a fourth goal would be nice, along with the fact that it seems that on many nights now Carey Price stands a fine chance of blanking the opposition, that Detroit scored three quick ones and it was tied.

Rarely do you see me as animated as when Gionta would notch his second of the night late in the third and Alex Galchenyuk get the insurance marker. I looked like a separatist in a park trying to break up the country.

It was certainly a terrific night to be at the Bell. The crowd was loud, the game was fast and at times tense, and being with the Danno clan was a joy.

Afterwards it was beer at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel bar, and then I hopped on a bus and made my way home.

Vive Les Canadiens. Vive Canada.

Random Notes:

39 goals for Max. So great. And 40 is such a nice round number.

Wings outshot the Habs 37-26.

Quebecois Olympians at Sochi were introduced before the game, which was beautiful. Someday when I’m an Olympian I hope to be introduced at the Bell too.

Habs prospect Tim Bozon, looking great after his meningitis ordeal, was in the crowd and waved. Great to see.

Next up – Habs travel to Chicago for a date with the Hawks on Wednesday.

Below, Danno’s dad, brother Bob, and Danno enjoying nectar of the gods after pizza.

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Red, White, And GOLD

Team Canada was just too much for the Swedish team on a warm winter day in Sochi.

Too strong, too workmanlike, too solid on all fronts in blanking Tre Kronor 3-0 and ending this 2014 Olympics with gold and an astounding three goals allowed in six games.

What a sixty minute job by the Canadians and what a feather in Carey Price’s cap with his second straight shutout and just three total goals behind him in his three other appearances.

Carey was great, but this wasn’t a one-man show like it was with the Latvian goalie in Canada’s fourth game. It was Price and an unreal defence and an amazing group of forwards, all there to win gold, and they came through in spades.

There was no way the Swedes were going to win this game. The Canadians owned the ice at both ends, and goals by Jonathon Toews in the first, Sidney Crosby on a breakaway in the second, and Chris Kunitz with a great shot in the third was more than enough to put smiles on fans from sea to shining sea.

Great to see P.K. get his medal with the group. What a sensational smile he has, and his turn will come in four years when he and Price will lead the charge for another gold.

This Canadian win can only help Price and Subban with the Habs. They’ve seen what it takes, and it’ll translate into bigger and better things for them while wearing the CH.

Yes, I’m choked up now. I’m proud to be a Canadian. Proud of Team Canada. Proud of Carey Price.

Gold for Canada in men and women’s hockey.

It’s a moment for Canadians to cherish.

Thank you, Team Canada.

 

 

Finns Clobber Yanks

Team Finland demolished the U.S. 5-0 today to capture the bronze medal, and that’s it for the Americans who had begun Sochi  by lookin’ good with a taste for gold.

But it all changed on Friday when Carey Price and company edged them 1-0.

You could see that the Americans weren’t all that into it. Canada most certainly had ripped the enthusiasm out of them, and bronze wasn’t all that worth fighting for, I suppose.

The great Teemu Selanne scored twice in his last of four different Olympics, and maybe this had inspired his Finnish teammates as well.

Or maybe it was Patrick Kane missing on two penalty shot attempts that burst the balloon. Whatever, both the American men and women definitely aren’t crazy right now about how things ended up.

Now we focus on just one more game – the big one, tomorrow at 6 am ET, when Canada and Sweden go for gold. (I thought it was 7 am but they kept saying today it’s 6).

I don’t know about you, but I’m setting the alarm. And if you get up at 6 and it starts at 7, don’t blame me.

 

Olympian

My original plan was to be a gymnast at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but all these things like age, weight, arthritis, and lack of any ability whatsoever kept coming up that completely discouraged me.

I remember telling my wife how frustrating it was as I lowered myself onto the couch near the table where my beer, drugs, and chocolate cake sat.

“I don’t think I’m going to the London Games as a gymnast”, I told Luci, and she couldn’t believe it. All along she thought Canada was the land of opportunity, and now she saw it wasn’t.

London came and went, and I’ve been watching the Winter Games in Sochi, trying to decide which sport I could do, and once again it doesn’t seem fair.

They all seem to take lots of hard work and talent. I hate that. I also haven’t flown through the air and done somersaults since that night at the quarry when me and my buddies ate all that mescaline.

But I looked and kept looking and I now see that I can still take part in the Olympics. I can be either the person who opens and closes the door for figure skaters or the guy who shoots the gun to start races.

How do you go about becoming a race starter? Is there a course?

I can do these jobs. Both of them. I can open doors, and I can pull a trigger if my arthritis behaves itself.

Although if there’s a course I might pass. Always hated school.

South Korea in 2018. The dream is alive.

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.

Whew! Canada Squeaks By Latvia

Canada edged Latvia 2-1 today on a late goal by Shea Weber and it was a bit of a nerve-wracking affair considering Canada outshot the Latvians by an overwhelming margin.

But they couldn’t solve Kristers Gudlevskis who stopped 55 of 57 shots, while Carey Price at the other end wasn’t quite so busy, facing just 16 pucks.

It would’ve been a disaster of major proportions if the Latvians had sent Canada home. Not just about national pride and ego and all that, but there’s also my little joke about the Russian team getting sent to Siberia to consider.

It would’ve been some sort of sick karma.

Canada scored a goal that was disallowed though. The puck was on its way in when a Latvian player, and not the goalie, pulled it back out with his hand.

Looked like a blown call to me, even though they went upstairs twice.

But it’s a win, albeit a scary one.

I didn’t see all of the game, just bits and pieces while giving my usual 147% at work.

“Whatcha think of the game, Elmer?”
“Pass the heart pills, Red.”

Press box

 

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.