Both teams come off of devastating losses to their neighbors and rivals. Sweden and Canada are off to the Gold medal game. Finland and USA need to put yesterday's games behind them quickly and get focused today. The bronze medal game is still hugely important, and the difference between 3rd and 4th is massive. This is also big for the US in that it will affect the total Olympic medal count.
Let's hope the boys in red, white, and blue get back to work. Maybe score some goals, eh?
Bronze Medal Game: USA vs. Finland, 10:00 a.m. EST
All-time hockey medals: USA 2 gold, 8 silver, 1 bronze; Finland 0, 2, 3
USA's lone bronze medal came in 1936.
Coach Jillert Anema is talking about football, and he does have a point. If the US dropped football and had everyone instead focus on speed skating, I'm sure the US would be better at it than it is now. I don't think it's a stretch to think that someone like Denard Robinson, if he were a speed skater from childhood, would be quite good at that sport. .
"You have a lot of attention on a foolish sport like American football and you waste a lot of talent, athletic talent, on a sport that is meant to kill each other, to injure each other. ... You're so narrow-minded, and then you want to compete against the world [in other sports] when you waste a lot of time, good talent on a sport that sucks," he said.
OTOH, I doubt football linemen would have much success as speed skaters, and of course there's the whole thing about his claim that the most popular game in the US sucks. To each his own I suppose.
This is what hockey is all about. Two fierce rivals going head to head with a chance to play for Gold on the line. Sweden has already defeated its rival, Finland, and awaits the winner of USA vs. Canada.
I certainly haven't forgotten about 4 years ago, as I imagine is the case with every fan of US hockey. "Zach Parise out of a net-bound scramble, and the game is tied..." Pure elation followed by devastation. As one wise commenter on the blog stated, the effects of that game were clearly shown on the players faces. The aftermath of the final in Vancouver did not have the feel of friendly congratulations that were seen in Salt Lake City 8 years prior. Let's hope this team wants revenge as much as us fans do.
Olympic Semifinals: USA vs. Canada, Noon EST
Tv: NBC Sports
USA! USA! USA!
We are now halfway through the quarterfinals. The Swedes and Finns already advanced by beating Slovenia and Russia, respectively. Here's how the bracket looks (my crude version):
The semifinals have the potential to be rematches of the last two Olympic finals, but the focus is now on 1998 gold medalists Czech Republic (seriously, Jagr was there).
USA vs. Czech Republic
Noon, EST. TV: USA Network
USA! USA! USA!
OT: didn't see it among the noted ties between the Olympics and the University of Michigan (I apologize if I missed it). Anyways, the guy running the whole shebang for NBC is Gary Zenkel--Michigan alum-letterman(golf)-big time family donor.
Per MGoBlue.com there are eight:
USA: Max Pacioretty (hockey); Meryl Davis & Charlie White, Maia & Alex Shibutani, and Evan Bates (ice dancing).
Sweden: Carl Hagelin (hockey).
Austria: Brian Lebler (hockey).
Go Blue! Go USA!