If you ever thought patriotism was going away and being supplanted by globalism all you needed was to catch a glimpse of the huge number of fans watching the Gold Medal men’s hockey game to recognize that hypothesis isn’t true.
Judging by the chatter and enthusiasm by moderate viewers before the game the network ratings for the game should be a pleasant surprise.
Several American fans were making plans to get home early to watch the game in its entirety.
Hockey Canada forecasted that over half the nation (Canada) would be watching the event.
The final game, won in overtime by Team Canada, had a healthy dose of everything any true fan would want.
Great goaltending, fine shooting and passing, hitting, superb skating and an overtime climax will have many talking about this game for ages to come.
Team USA proved that they are moving up on the world stage as an elite hockey power winning five games in a row and only losing in the final gold medal game in overtime.
For Team USA it was a heartbreaking loss. After fighting their way back and scoring a goal with 24 seconds left on the game clock Zach Parise put the puck in the net from about six feet out setting up overtime.
In overtime both team tried to play it safe defensively, but soon an opportunity in the corners resulted in Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla executing a text book give and go passing play that resulted in Crosby’s goal.
Tournament MVP Ryan Miller was noticeably affected by the experience yet put on a good face and accepted media interviews after the game was over. Miller was without dispute the best player on the ice throughout the series beating Russia and Canada despite both teams star-studded lineups.
Canada can celebrate a marvelous victory, but even it has to admit that the USA played excellent hockey and will be breathing down Canada’s neck for years to come creating a better product year after year.
Oh Canada, this was your year and your Olympics but the “Yanks are Coming."
Ryan Miller proved he was a big star on the big stage turning out shot after shot and dragging Team USA along with him to the gold medal game and overtime. Without Miller it is unlikely Team USA could have withstood the firepower they faced as they advanced, beating team after team.
Miller was noticeably upset after the loss but he showed his skill and class every moment he participated in the Olympic Games.
When you discuss defense the conversation could direct itself to the play of Ryan Sutter or Brian Rafalski, but the real story was the team effort. The Americans backchecked, stepped in front of Canadian marksmen, and sacrificed their bodies, propelling their team to victory game after game. Team USA benefited taking care of its own end.
Zach Parise got to do what most kids don't. He got to participate in Olympic games and out do his father former Canadian NHLer Jean Paul Parise who appeared in the 1972 Summit Series. Parise skated well in each game and contributed timely goals, including a key one with seconds remaining which got Team USA into the overtime round.
Rafalski has always been a solid performer but his stock went through the roof with his steady, sometimes spectacular performance during the Olympics.
Rafalski showed his production was no fluke duplicating it throughout the series.
Hockey is growing in popularity in he USA and fans everywhere let Team USA know they were supporting them and following their efforts every step of the way. A feeling of patriotism was in the air and Team USA responded.