Sunday, February 21, 2010

USA - Canada Live Blog

Here is the live blog that I did during the USA-Canada game tonight, verbatim. If you followed it, the posts went up as the action was going, but I decided to put them together here, in proper order, so that you can read them from start to finish if you missed the live blog. Also, it is only about 2500 words, so to have it take up 17 posts seems a bit ridiculous. Anyways, here it is as it appeared, unedited.

Live Blog I (4:45 PM)

Screw it, we are going with the first ever OV Sports live blog.

I just ran down my cousin's staircase (where we are coming to you live from San Francisco) yelling "IT'S OK...WE HAVE HORS'DOUVES!" It must be game time.


The USA goes up 1-0 just 41 seconds in. If we have a chance, I really think that it is on a goaltending advaltage.

Rafalski's shot was tipped by Sidney Crosby and sneaked by Brodeur. Miller has already made a big save on on Iginla, but the USA has 3 scoring opportunities early on. I would be way more afraid of Luongo, I just don't think Brodeur is elite anymore.

Ryan Malone, by the way, just mishandled a breakaway pass.

Broduer has USA on the knob of his stick. He knows what's up.

Live Blog II (4:55 PM)

Unfortunate call goes against the USA, Pavelski's stick rode up Getzlaf's stick on a clearing attempt follow through and hit him in the head for a high stick.

Callahan was the recipient of a shorthanded break but missed the net badly. We had Callahan and Drury on the PK, against Heatley, Thronton and Marleau (with Boyle no less), becuase any time you can get a mediocre team's PK against the second best team's PP in the Olympics you gotta do it.

The PP got killed, but Canada sustained pressure, and Erik Stall tipped one in. Crap. 1-1.

Live Blog III


I can't believe it, he has the USA's last four goals, he only has 4 this season for Detroit. What a response for the good guys (who it bears mentioning, are wearing the worth-buying-good 1960 Olympic throwbacks).

Really though, this one is 100% on Brodeur. He made a really dumb play, trying (and succeeding) to bat the puck off of a dump in mid air. He did what he wanted, but the result was exactly what they tell you not to do, a weak clearing attempt up the middle. A really boneheaded play. To top it off, he not only matched Rafalski's fan, but managed to kick it in. I'm not saying I told you so, but really I'm just not saying it yet.

Live Blog IV (5:09 PM)

I'm having a hard time not following the "gotta root for Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley" instinct. I'm not, I just have to fight it. That has been Canada's best line so far thought, and Miller just made a great save on Marleau. Crosby, and maybe Thornton and Marleau seem to be the only Canadians matching the United States' energy at the moment.

Canada is buzzing a bit right now. They are sustaining pressure here in the final quadrant of the period. The Kessler-Ryan-Kane trio (Kane was moved from the Statsny-Parise combo) got two great opportunities. Ryan got a shot from his spot at the bottom of the circle, and Kessler tipped a pass that nearly got passed Brodeur. Good save.

By the way, the instinct I mentioned for Marleau and co is more than made up for by my hatred for Cory Perry (who has already been pulled off of Miller twice), in case you are wondering where I'm at emotionally.

Live Blog V (5:18)

That’s the end of 1, all in all a great period, despite an 18-6 shot advantage for Canada. Let's wrap it up with a few lists.



















Someone named Dylan Ratigan just talked about how he has turned a black and white T-Shirt (which he described as the most liberating thing he has ever seen) into a career. His show is on the same network that the most exciting day of hockey ever is carried on. I don't know whether to vomit or to light myself on fire.

Live Blog VI(5:39 PM)

The inevitable happened, as Heatley made it 2-2 early in the second. We are spending way too much time in our own zone (to the tune of about 80% of the time). Rick Nash followed that up with a golden oppertunity for Miller's 20th save. Jesus.

Any emotional advantage has been neutralized by now, as Canada has cotrolled the last 15 minutes of game time. They have all of the energy and momentum. All of it.

In unrelated news, Jamie Langenbrunner and Ryan Callahan shouldn't be on this team. They just shouldn't.

NBC just did the "stars in the stands shot, we have Michael Phelps (who I correctly identified by saying "is that the dude from the office?”), Gretz, and Gary Bettman, among others. The crowd has been good, but not great. Not quite what you would expect, at least from what I can tell on TV. Tons of red though.

Live Blog VII (5:46)

The USA is not using their speed right now. They have been completely neutralized offensively, and are just getting pummeled in their own end. I was about to point out that I haven't heard Kessel's name this period, but really there are six or seven guys that could be said about. Pat Kane just got a good chance from Kessler, but other than that, the flow is essentially sustained Canada pressure, one USA rush, more sustained Canada pressure.

One thing I will say right now for the USA is their team D has been solid. As much as the puck has been in their zone, Miller really hasn't had to do anything spectacular lately.

The ine right now is Callahan, Pavelski and Brown. The USA needs a hard-nosed, dump and bang shift from these guys that can swing some momentum.

Live Blog VIII (5:52)

Dustin Brown saw himself coming down on Drew Doughty, thought he was in practice, and tried to throw the puck through his own legs to beat him. He actually almost got it, and would have got to the net but for a great recovery by Doughty.

America has calmed a bit here, and Parise got another good chance for the US off of a draw. At the other end, Miller has been as good as the Americans need him to be (really, really good). This game is getting really physical. Both teams seem to know what is at stake. Miller's 26 saves means that Canada's rate of shooting is a little bit less than in period one, surprising because the momentum has been all in the American zone.

I'm still looking for more from the Pavelski, Kessel, Malone line. They haven't had a quality chance all day. I also hate having Langenbrunner on a line with Parise and Statsny. His game is (if anything) defensive at this line. It doesn't work to have him with two of our best scorers.

By the way, Eric Staal just accidentally lit up Corry Perry, who went to the lineup, and I couldn't be happier. Apparently, also, the fans are great. Bad job by the NBC production on that point, since you really can't tell.

Live Blog IX (6:01)

I would like to apologize to Chris Drury. I never had him on the team, but he has worked his ass off, embraced his role, and been a huge asset for team USA. Basically, he has done what Langenbrunner has been unable to do.



First, Brown was sprung on a breakaway. Marleau sort of ran him down, but Brown got a shot off. Brodeur handled it, and Canada immediately sprung Thornton on a chance. He tried to jump around Rafalski, who had caught Thornton on his breakaway, and the USA recovered. Another long pass sprung Bobby Ryan on a breakaway off of the bench, but Brodeur made another save and covered.

Quite a bit of shoving now after the whistle at the end of the second period as Niedermeyer slammed Jack Johnson into the glass, but nothing appears to be coming of it. All in all, it wasn't pretty, but it was another good period for the USA.

Live Blog X (6:11)

This warrants its own post:

Congratulations, NBC, on airing the best hockey game, with the broadest appeal, that we have seen in quite a while, on your third network. What a joke. This is why no one likes you right now. This is why you are failing. Between The Office, the NHL on network TV, SNL, two late night talents, and a well done Football Night in America, Dick Ebersol's job should be easy, but this damn peacock just can't get out of its own way. It is disgusting.

Live Blog XI (6:18)

From Peter King (Monday Morning Qarterback writer for SI)'s twitter feed-- "RT @abarajasm5: @SI_PeterKing what do you think about the buffalo bills next season?? ... I think Ryan Miller should replace Trent Edwards."

Good stuff. This game really has the attention of the sports world. It is about time. It is all over Twitter, if you follow sports people, has it on the front page, and even has it up. Good thing ice daancing is on in prime time in New York. No I will not drop it.

We are back in action in Vancouver. I think I speak for all USA Hockey fans when I say thank God we don't have Jamie on the point anymore. I should explain that I don't really have anything against Langenbrunner, I would love to have him on the Sharks, I just don't think he brings much to this team.

Canada killed the USA PP after a couple of chances, but Crosby took a high stick, and we will go back on the advantage.

This period is going to come down to this: Will the USAbe able to keep it a back and forth game or will they turtle in their own zone? Canada is too good to simply hold off for 20 minutes. The chance that they have is to play a game on both ends.

The second powerplay has seen plenty of USA pressure, but not a lot on net, and not a lot of quality chances. The two man advantages served ultimately to kill 4 of the 20 miles the USA has to climb here.

Finally, Langenbrunner just made another mistake. The USA has been good at not giving up odd man rushes, but Langenbrunner just threw a centering pass up the middle which Crosby took the other way. You can't make that play, even 200 ft from your own net, against a team like Canada.

Live Blog XII (6:29)

Great start to the third for the USA. They are getting their third PP, after a slash from Perry. They have even managed to control the small amount of 5 on 5 play lately. A PP goal here would be huge. Not converting so far has been the only thing that could leave Americans in want.

Word is (again from Twitter), that Canadians have been chanting for Luongo.

That may have been the most beautiful shot that I have ever seen. To watch Cory Perry skate to the Canada bench, with the USA making it 4-2...beautiful.

That was followed by a miraculous paddle save by Miller. 12 minutes to go. Replay shows that Nash actually just hit Miller with most of an empty net. The USA has controlled this period, they can't stop now, even up 2.

Live Blog XIII (6:35)

Powerplay for Canada after a Patty Kane hook. Questionable but not outrageous...this is gonna be scary. I should have mentioned, great job by Langenbrunner setting the screen. Gotta call it both ways.

Olczyk has been great, he just pointed out that the USA has been doing a great job of keeping pressure on Canada, but also managed to stay in the middle of the ice. He just said that this is the game one way or the other. I am sweating right now. Fortunately, the USA has a lot of good PKers like Kessler, Pavelski or even Drury.

One more from Twitter that I found funny, this time from Jason Whitlock:

"USA USA USA!!! Do you believe in small upsets?"

Live Blog XIV (6:41)


This is unbelievable. What a game so far by the USA. They have done everything they need to. No complaints, and I see old glory being waved in the stands. This is when we need to make sure we keep the pressure on.

Doc Emerick - "The Deficit is 2", me - "Obama wishes"...not sure why that partucular joke came to mind. Anyways, uh...USA! USA!

3 shots in 15 minutes (including a PP) for Canada. I can't say enough about htis effort so far.

Johnson trips Marleau (maybe) and Canada is back on the advantage. The Sharks first line has had the puck in the USA zone their entire time today. Good game by them.

Back to the nervous PK here...

Live Blog XV (6:46)

Oh. My. God.

Rick Nash did an incredible job attacking the net, and Ryan Miller just made two more big saves. I feel like i am going to read this later and realize it is just me saying that Miller made a great save again and again. It would be an appropriate reflection. What a performance.

As I type that, Crosby taps one in from the crease. He beat Rafalski to cut it to one.

More twitter:

"sportsguy33 This is incredible. My Dad made a great point: lack of commercials helps the breakneck pace, You can't breathe."

These are going to be the three longest minutes of my life. I would say more but my hands are shaking.

Live Blog XVI (6:50)

Timeout Canada. This has been tremendously tremendous, according to Olczyk. I couldn't agree more, and I'll give Olczyk a break because he has been insightfully insightful tonight.

My buddy has pointed out that Canada is just firing it on net right now. The next two minutes are goinf to look like a powerplay. I would expect nothing less from perhaps the most talented team I have ever seen.

Stand and clap for a clear and change. It is more like a 5-3. THe American defense seems to be "try to block shots and clear it if you can." 1:05 left.

WHAT A PLAY BY KESSLER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Live Blog: fin (6:55)

Unbelievable. I Cannot believe it. Canada has to face Germany. I can't believe it. We are 3-0 and in the quarters. I don't even know what to say. I think I hear a USA chant. It isn't a miracle on ice, but damn it feels good.

So many things I'm sure I could say, but I'm gonna let it sink in first, thanks for reading.

One last thing. As for my prediction: I don't count empty net goals.

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