Monday, March 1, 2010
Wow! What a way to end the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In a big showcase game, Canada defeated a tough and stubborn USA squad by a score of 3-2 in an OT thriller. Sidney Crosby found a way to win it for the Canadian team with a quick shot that beat a surprised Ryan Miller at the 7:40 mark of the OT. The reason the OT session was even needed was because the USA squad (that could have folded numerous times) came back from a 2 goal deficit to tie it up with the goalie pulled and 6 attackers on the ice.
I have to tip my hat to Team USA- big time. They probably where the most consistent team throughout this tournament and it showed how much the gap has closed on all of their opponents. Individually, Ryan Miller (MVP) showed the hockey world that he is the best goaltender in hockey today. Rangers fans might disagree, but if he’s not… who is? As for team Canada, the pressure was enormous and somehow they got the job done! At times they were the most dominant team (see the Russian game) and at times they were not so good.
One thing that I will take away from these Olympics is that North American hockey still rules the world as proved by Canada and the USA (in both the Olympics and the World Juniors). I was extremely happy to see the USA and Canada battle for the gold. It was fast, tough, highly skilled, and physical hockey. Just the way the fans want it. I’m pretty sure if you asked the players, they would agree as well. I hope the NHL takes a good look and figures out a way to get rid of the silly rules and just let the players play!
As for the New York Rangers, a game is coming up at Ottawa on Tuesday. I know the players who didn’t participate in the Olympics have been practicing and getting ready for the big playoff push. I’m sure there’s a few questions that need to be answered: How bad is Gaborik’s injury? Can Lundqvist carry the load down the stretch (Goaltender Alex Auld was picked up)? Will the Olympic break help or hurt the Rangers? What trades are on the table with the trigger ready to be Pulled? It goes on and on.
One thing is for sure- the New York Rangers will have to play better than they have been all season. Currently they are out of a playoff spot with 20 games to go… .500 hockey will not cut it! Stay tuned. Over and out!