Olympic Post a Day: Bad news Team Canada, Good news Canucks fans

22 02 2010

Yesterday’s Team Canada / USA hockey game was a bit of an emotional conflict for me.

Of course, Go Canada and all that jazz. I’m quite crazy about national hockey tournaments, and have watched the World Junior hockey tournament over the Christmas Break ever since I was too young to play in it. I find it to be a faster and more passionate level of hockey.

Ever since being young, I dreamed of seeing Team Canada Men’s Hockey play live. So when the tickets for the Olympics were released in auction style (without a public schedule) my plan of attack was to bid on every single Men’s hockey game, hoping one would be Team Canada. And despite winning 7 games (plus both Aerial events I bid on), none turned out to be Team Canada.

But three of those games were Qualifying Round (all this Tuesday). And because of Canada’s slow start, that’s the route they’ll be taking. Bad for the team, but great for me!

There were other benefits for Canucks fans. Seeing Brodeur’s shaky game vs. USA, and not overly impressive game against the Swiss, the entire town will riot if he starts again. It’s really, only the right thing to do – but Luongo in net. This is his home arena. And while no goalie is perfect, Luongo has provided the Canucks with something that Brodeur hasn’t in his two games: a big, timely save to bail out his team when the game is close. It’s time to pass the torch to the next generation, it is what has made USA and Russia so successful to date.

Finally, I’m sure many Canucks fans, while heart-broken by the loss, felt a small swell of pride on that crazy empty net Kesler goal, diving around the defense man to whack the puck with one hand on his stick into the open net. It was the most impressive empty net goal I’ve ever seen. He in that moment had more desire to win than Team Canada, which he’ll bring back to the Canucks. Moments like that forge leadership.

So in summary, this loss to the USA was good for Vancouver hockey fans for three reasons:
• They obviously need to get their game (especially in their own zone) together. Germany is a good team to do that against.
• Luongo should be in net, that will make an already electric building blow its lid.
• I get my Olympic wish: to see Team Canada on home ice.

**note: likely no post tomorrow, as I have 3 hockey games that day:

12 noon – Switzerland vs Belarus
4:30 – Canada vs Germany
9:00 – Slovakia vs Norway