Tag Archives: Martin Gerber

Olympics hockey tournament, week 1

The Games of the 21st Winter Olympiad are just about halfway home. For those of you not sick of the seemingly endless stream of Mary Carillo allegedly heart-wrenching fluff features, here are some of the biggest story lines from the premier competition of these Games.

The men’s ice hockey tournament is off to a schizophrenic start (and yes, fans of sequin-vested Russians, it is the premier sport). We’re now in the middle of the third round of games, and I no one is asserting anything looking like dominance on the tournament just yet. Let’s take it team by team to see where everyone stands:

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Canada: When I thought of writing this on Thursday, I thought by opening observation would be about how strong Les Habitants looked after their thrashing of Norway. But the Swiss begged to differ. I don’t know what it is about the Swiss, but they the biggest threat to Canada since Alan Alda in “Canadian Bacon”. If they were ever to somehow meet up in the knockout rounds, and the Swiss were to pull the upset, Stephen Harper would have no choice but to declare war. I’m picturing something like the US invading Kuwait in the first Gulf War, only instead of oil wells and deserts, we’ll have ski resorts and chocolate factories burning through the night. Continue reading

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O Canada, we stand in awe of thee

I love the Olympics as much as anyone. And up until I started following swimming in earnest as a high schooler, the Winter Games were always my favorite competition thanks to sports like curling and luge, which I could otherwise only watch in a frozen alley in Calgary or in the Swiss Alps.

This year’s most mouth-watering competition has to be the men’s ice hockey competition for a number of reasons. The talent level is as high as it has ever been, and the new post-lockout openness of play that has had four more years to manifest itself since the last Games will be on display again on the wider international rinks.

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One of the usual sources of enjoyment in this tournament is gone, however. Team USA’s scintillating run to the Gold Medal game in 2002 added excitement to only the second Olympiad featuring NHL players. This year’s team, at least on paper, simply doesn’t have the talent to match that feat. Russia and Canada are far and away the favorites, while 2006 gold medalist Sweden has an experienced, albeit banged up and aging, squad. Continue reading

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