Damn. I don’t even want to write this.
Two Caps players will vie for gold on Sunday, but they won’t be Americans.
Marcus Johansson and Nick Backstrom won with Team Sweden to make the finals. Canada vs USA was David vs Goliath except Goliath won, and don’t even come at me with that Malcolm Gladwell craptrap.
Sweden 2, Finland 1
Appropriate for 7 am local time, this was a bit of a snoozer. Nick Backstrom got an assist, but this game wasn’t exactly explosive. Tuukka Rask missed his start due to illness, shoving Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen into the spotlight. Lehtonen did fine, saving 23 of 25, but Olli Jokinen (1 goal on 1 shot) and the Finnish offense couldn’t match the Swedes.
Poor old #TeemuForever. These will likely be his 83rd and final Olympic games. (Pic by @PeteBlackburn)
Canada 1, USA 0
Carey Price earned the shutout, but the credit should go to the Canadian defense for keeping the American offense on the margins. A grand total of 68 shots got fired between the teams, but only Jamie Benn‘s hit the back of net.
The US came out hot, but it didn’t last. The Canadians kept their zone time limited to one or fewer shots, leading to a pretty lopsided 1-0 win. There were hardly any odd-man breaks in either direction– until John Carlson broke one up in the final five minutes. Dan Bylsma desperately tried for chemistry in the final period, but it wasn’t happening: the Canadians were just too deep, regardless of how the US organized its attacks. Zach Parise, rego hero from Vancouver 2010, put 8 shots on Carey Price without bestowing a single biscuit upon the basket.
I’ve got no idea what Brooks Orpik is doing on this team. Did he make Carlson look good in comparison or bad by proximity? Hard to say.
At least Jonathan Quick was absolutely terrific in the American net, saving 36 of 37. The US will need that in the Bronze Medal game, which starts in like eight minutes.
USA vs Finland for Bronze. Saturday at 10 am.
Sweden vs Canada for Gold. Sunday at 7 am.
The Capitals could bring two medals home with them– hopefully one of them gold.
We’re probably all pretty bummed over how this went. I’m not gonna belabor it. If I started using figurative language or musing on the nature of losing, I’d worry that it’ll end up quoted on Twitter or on some filthy Canadian site. So I’ll do it like this: America lost. They can mope if they want, but there’s more hockey coming tomorrow morning. No time for losers.
I feel u, bros. pic.twitter.com/Edm1jN0FMV
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 21, 2014
Those guys, I guess, are allowed to mope.
Who you got in the finals? I’d share my answer, but I already did.