It was a great ending to a great game in a great hockey tournament in a great Olympics. There isn’t a lot more that can be said about it. Not a lot more has to be said except that there could not possibly be a better showcase for the game. Ratings in Canada will end up being ridiculously high, and I won’t be surprised to learn that more Americans watched the game than have watched any other hockey game. (The bad news is if that doesn’t create new fans in the States, then why would the league go to Sochi?)
Both Canucks played really well. Ryan Kesler was one of the best American players – throughout the tournament – and I’m glad fans across the league got the chance to see why Vancouver fans appreciate him so much. Roberto wasn’t Roberto in his Luongo zone but he was solid, particularly in the Gold Medal game.
I like William Houston when he is covering the media, but I don’t think very much about his hockey positions. I don’t understand why he spent so many words slagging the Canadian team, the management group and Roberto Luongo:
One of the great mysteries of the Olympic men’s hockey tournament is the Canadian brain trust’s decision not to play goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Yes, he’s fairly young (25), but he’s played in plenty of pressure situations including a Stanley Cup Game 7, which he won.
That Mike Babcock, Steve Yzerman et al decided that the two old guys, Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo, both struggling through mediocre seasons, would be the starting goalies could be their biggest mistake. Brodeur was inconsistent against the United States. Luongo had virtually nothing to do against the Germans, but looked bad on the first goal by Germany, awkward and out of position.
Luongo is not old and he is not struggling through a mediocre season. I don’t think it is a big mystery why Mike Babcock chose to play Luongo. He made the sensible decison to play his best goaltender, and, in his opinion, Luongo is a better goalie than Marc-Andre Fleury. I don’t think there are very many hockey people who would disagree. Ironically, I decide who the best goaltender in the league is by asking myself a question: “Who would I start in the seventh game of a Stanley Cup Final (or a Gold Medal Olympic game) if I could choose anyone?”
For several years, my choice would be Luongo so obviously I was happy when he took over the job. The fact he finished with a 5-0 record, a 1.76 GAA and a .927 save percentage pretty much validates that choice.