Unlike this morning, Wednesday afternoon’s games went as planned. Well, almost. There was that whole thing where Latvia, led by inhuman goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis, scared the living hell out of Canadian Hockey Twitter for 55 minutes of rego hockey. But the US put away the Czechs with a strong, evenly distributed scoring effort, and that was pretty cool.
The wins by America and America’s stupid hat set up a rematch of the 2010 Vancouver finals for Friday at noon. It’s going to be absolutely unbearable; I need you to start rationing your anti-anxiety drugs now.
I think Team Russia is fascinating. Scoring just eleven goals in their first four games, the much-ballyhooed offense of the home team hasn’t really shown up yet– especially from their NHL stars. After a brilliant start with back-to-back goals by Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin in game one, Russia broke up its top line, sending Alex Semin to the dreaded checking assignments of the bottom six. The team’s power play, meanwhile, has converted just two of its 13 chances despite having a handful of the best offensive players in the world.
To most observers, Russia has been a disappointment. They’re still very much alive, playing Finland at 7:30 am on Wednesday, but what they’ve shown us so far isn’t what we were promised. Of course, four games is a measly sample– particularly when measuring rare events like goals and power plays. While there aren’t a lot of data available, let’s take a big old grain of salt and play with them anyway.
I don’t really have an agenda in sharing this stuff. I looked it up because I was curious; I thought you might be too.
On February 18, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
And down they drop! Tuesday was the first day of elimination in the Olympic mens tournament, meaning lots of high stakes and desperate players. More importantly, the recaps will be easier from here on out because there will be fewer games. Maybe that’s not more important for you, but it is for me.
Sunday’s hockey schedule didn’t stand a chance of matching yesterday’s operatic levels of excitement. The USA’s Phil-acrity was too much for an inspiring and inspired Slovenian crew. Russia squeaked a win out of a really deflated effort against Slovakia. The Finns nearly exsanguinated the Canadian offense, but couldn’t get the win. And I didn’t even know Austria and Norway were playing.
With these games in the books, we now look towards the next round. Prepare for seedings, brackets, elimination games, and the pressure getting amped up to UNHEALTHY.
On February 15, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Russia and America collided and our site didn’t self-destruct. Yay!
Saturday in Sochi was an upset festival, but all anyone is gonna talk about is how T.J. Oshie became a superstar in the States’ shootout win over Russia. In today’s recap, I’m gonna pretend to care about everything else that happened, but you’ll know my heart just isn’t in it. T.J. Oshie rules!
On February 14, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
There is a tiny anteater in the back of this photo. (Photo: Getty)
Happy Friday! Hope you were able to dig out of the miserable, snow-flanked hut you spent all day Thursday in.
The mens Olympic tournament fielded four games today, starting at 3 am. The favored team won in each of the four games, though some teams struggled (Sweden) and others had to hold back in the third period to avoid looking unsportsmanlike (Canada).
Plus, while you were getting some delta-wave sleep, Martin Erat scored on a net that actually had a guy guarding it. That’s novel.