Deep down, we’re all huge Teemu Selanne fans (even Peter). That’s why, even though John Carlson and the United States lost out on the bronze medal, seeing Selanne have one last hurrah in Sochi is one hell of a consolation prize.
Selanne scored two goals against the United States this morning and will leave Russia as the greatest Olympic scorer of all-time.
After 42 years out in California, The Tonight Showreturned to New York City on Monday. New host Jimmy Fallon didn’t wait long to make a joke about Alex Ovechkin. In his fourth Tonight Show on Thursday, Fallon introduced a segment called Olympic Thoughts and had some fun with a recently taken Ovi photo.
“Canada all the way,” Brooks Laich told me then. “Canada’s going to lay a beat down.”
That’s why this morning, I was not surprised to see that some of John Carlson‘s teammates messed with his locker ahead of the Team USA/Canada game today. Above Carlson’s gear, there was a piece of tape that read “GO CANADA” with a maple leaf drawn to the side.
That’s great, but the story doesn’t end there.
Defenseman Connor Carrick, who recently represented the U.S. in the World Junior Championships, noticed what was going on, ripped the tape off, and threw it in the trash.
Nicky celebrates his apple. (Photo: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Backstrom (right) plays some pre-game soccer.
Washington Capitals forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson will play for a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics. Team Sweden defeated Teemu Selanne and Team Finland 2-1 early on Friday morning (our time) to earn the right. Erik Karlsson scored the game-winning goal and Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves.
While Johansson played only ten minutes and didn’t have much impact on the game, Backstrom certainly did – winning an insane 85% of his face-offs (16 of 19) and assisting on Sweden’s first goal of the night.
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.
It started off so well. Ilya Kovalchuk scored early in the first period of Russia’s quarterfinals game against Finland, but Finland fought back (as good teams do), scoring twice later in the period, including a goal from septuagenarian Teemu Selanne. Finland added another goal in the second period. Russia couldn’t come back. They lost 3-1.
This is no ordinary loss. After getting blown out by Canada in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, this was supposed to be different. Russia was supposed to medal. They were supposed to win gold in front of their home fans.
Instead: sadness, disappointment, blame. Again.
We’ll be updating this post with images and quotes from the players as they come in.
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.