acanuck's picture

    Favorite things: wall-to-wall hockey

    Don't mean to step on anyone's franchise (no need to lawyer up, Deadman) but I simply have to share this armchair fan's elation at tonight's orgy of televised hockey fare: four games to choose from, spread over the next seven hours -- and much of it top-notch.

    It starts with Sweden and Finland facing off in the bronze-medal game of the World Junior Hockey Championship. Sweden is always a contender, but I'm pulling for the upstart Swiss, who pulled off a last-minute overtime win to eliminate mighty Russia from the medal round. It was the first time Switzerland had ever beaten Russia. (The game for the bronze is actually under way; Sweden leads 5-0 after one period.)

    At 7, the Canadiens meet the Washington Capitals, who lead their division but have slid badly recently. Meanwhile, the Canadiens have been on a bit of a tear, winning six games out of seven during their last big road trip. Slump or not, it's always a treat to watch Alexander  Ovechkin play (and I've got him in my hockey pool, too).

    On another channel, the Boston Bruins meet the Ottawa Senators (both ahead of Montreal in their division); I'll flip to that game during commercial breaks. At 8, it's the night's biggie: Canada vs. the United States for the World Junior gold medal -- two closely matched national teams playing at the top of their game. I'm pulling for Canada.

    Tonight's orgy of hockey is just an appetizer for what's coming next month, when the NHL shuts down for two weeks while its best players compete for their national teams at the Vancouver Olympics; I'll be glued to my TV. Then, as icing on the cake, I scored a Christmas gift of tickets to the late-March matchup between the Canadiens and the Eastern Conference leading New Jersey Devils. That will be six games from the end of the season, so Habs' playoff hopes could be on the line.

    2010 is shaping up as a great year in hockey. Feel the joy.




    Congratulations to Team U.S.A., the new world junior champions. Canada scrambled back from a two-goal deficit in the last three minutes to force overtime, but the miracle comeback was not to be. Full credit to the U.S. team for the win.

    See, I'm not bitter. Much less cranky. Not a bit. We'll get you next year, like we did the previous five straight.

    Everyone else I was rooting for also lost. There are days like that.

    Yup, been some great hockey already this year. Good to see the US win Juniors after 5 years, eh? I think their NCAA-based training/pro/education route is better than the Junior Hockey League schtick anyway.

    Meanwhile, my Leafs suck slightly less than previously, the season only being saved by that truly bad Smurfs/Habs team, and the Olympics coming should be fun....

    I like hockey. I spent some of my formative years in Minnesota, so that's a given. But I've never really followed any organized leagues, including the NHL, so I didn't know about all the hockey activity last night. However, a friend's comment on Facebook was a clue that there was at least one game. The comment read: USA USA! Suck it, Canada.


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