All this talk about this being the last of the NHL’s participation in the Olympics has caused mixed feelings for me.
Because of the professionals in the Games, we can’t see another Miracle On Ice, as much as NBC’s newbies want to try and fabricate one this year. There can’t be that type of David and Goliath. And there can’t again be the magical year like the one Ken Morrow had in 1980 when he went from Lake Placid Gold to the Stanley Cup in a matter of months. Since then Brendan Shanahan and Steve Yzerman have done the double-title-dip, and many more will if NHLers play in the Olympics.
All that ideal stuff said, though, this is the best hockey on the planet, with the best talent on the planet all gathered on one ice surface. Incredible hockey. I always say the best hockey I’ve ever seen was the 1996 World Cup, which I was fortunate to cover, and when you have all this talent at one Olympics there is the chance to see that ’96-caliber of hockey again. We might be seeing it this year, although that ’96 USA team was the best this country has ever assembled.
But I understand that the NHL doesn’t like closing its doors for more than two weeks (it is longer when the Games are on another continent) and providing all the talent (including officials and coaches and massage therapists and equipment managers) and assuming all the risk (how do you think Washington will feel if Ovechkin gets hurt, as an example?). And that the NHL especially doesn’t like not getting a big cut of the Olympic green pie. And that some years the games may not appear live or, you know, when most of North America is awake.
Perhaps Gary Bettman is just posturing for a deal with the Olympic committee, bluffing to get cut in. Who knows?
But it has become a topic for debate once again.
A couple of things I forgot to mention yesterday:
1) Sidney Crosby blew his nose with his hand before the handshake line Sunday night. He wiped it on his pants. Some of you mentioned it last night. Yuch. Well, at least he shook hands this time, unlike when he snubbed Nick Lidstrom, the Detroit captain, after winning the Stanley Cup last year.
2) Kessler’s goal might have been the best empty-net goal I’ve ever seen, including those scored by goalies.
FINALLY, WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES THIS MORNING. NOT SURE IF YOUR COMMENTS ARE GETTING THROUGH YET. I KNOW THEY’RE WORKING ON IT.
Oh Carp, hope you don’t mind me popping in, but I know you have LOTS to do this week, and the heads seemed to enjoy these Olympics posts, and I’m still jonesing to be Report host, so I thought I’d just offer some tidbits :)
Can’t find anything on Swiss win (WTF??) If it’s out there, please post in comments.
Seriously, who wants Germany over Canada….don’t you want a rematch?