Olympic Ice Hockey is awesome. I always thought it was because the ice was bigger and roomier - thus leading to a more offensive oriented, wide open game. Guess what - that's true when they play in Europe, but since these Olympics are in North America, they are using NHL-sized ice! So it's not that there's more room - I guess it must be that there's just more talent. If you watch NHL hockey, you'll probably agree that you've never seen as much set-up play in the offensive zones as you see in the Olympics. It frequently looks like one team is on a power play even when play is even strength.
Sunday afternoon's Russia vs Czech Republic game was a frenetically paced back and forth battle (did you SEE that hit that Ovechkin put on Jaromir Jagr?), but the USA vs Canada Men's Hockey game Sunday night was one of the most amazing hockey games I've ever seen. Wide open end to end - with non stop action and hard hits. The final four minutes of the game featured absolutely RELENTLESS pressure by Team Canada, in the US's zone for almost the entire time, peppering goalie Ryan Miller, who ended the game with 42 saves en route to a 5-3 win for Team USA. Canada, the host nation, was a huge favorite, and the atmosphere was absolutely electric. Did I mention this was just a preliminary round game?
I think the game was summed up by color commentator Ed Olczyk's exclamation with 5 minutes left:
"This game has been tremendously tremendous!"
I guess I'm not the only one who was excited about today's hockey action. Google's Autocomplete feature automatically suggests "Ovechkin Hit on Jagr" if you type in "Ovechkin," and "Canada vs USA hockey olympics" if you simply type in "Canada."