Sports is tailored to the underdog, it always has been. There is something special about a David and Goliath match-up, something amazing about a
But there is a reason why the underdog is an underdog. There is a reason why
It's because it's not supposed to happen. David is never supposed to beat Goliath. That's why it's so special when it happens, because you're never supposed to see it. That's why you remember, because you might never see it again.
The United States had an opportunity to do that today, they earned the opportunity to do that today.
The game was incredible, it lived up to the hype and the billing that proceeded it. Both squads seemed inclined to get as many pucks on the net as they could, maybe to catch the other team off-guard, or maybe just to get lucky. Which would happen when Jack Johnson would try to pass the puck through the slot, a pass that was scooped up by Canada and ended up in the back of the net courtesy of Johnathan Toews.
The United States would look a little floored after that point and not long after it was 2-0 Canada with the second period winding to an end. But Ryan Kesler would do the honors for the United States, deflecting the first United States goal past Roberto Luongo to make the score 2-1.
The third period was Ryan Miller time, with Miller making a few jaw-dropping stops to keep the deficit at one for the Americans. Including a nifty save by Miller on Sidney Crosby who was in alone. And then, before you could blink, there was a minute and a half left, Miller on the bench, the game on the line.
And all of a sudden things start happening in flashes. An American shoots at the net, Luongo gloves it but can't hold it, the puck is in the slot. And then Patick Kane throws one at the net, the puck deflects around and it's on Zach Parise's stick who bangs it home. Parise is jumping on the glass, the players are going crazy, my heart is racing, chills running down my spine. It's 2-2, it's 2-2, it's 2-2, it's 2-2, oh my God it's 2-2, it's really 2-2!
Overtime started soon after, and was about as nerve racking as anything I have ever watched. Hockey overtime is different than other sports, one mistake, one shot, one lucky bounce, one anything, and the game is over. Boom done, the game is over. Crosby made that happen today, blasting the puck through Miller and ending the dreams of the United States.
I bold this because it's vital. While it sickens me to watch Canada dance up and down and celebrate their gold medal at the expense of my country I can't help but swell with pride. Those are my boys over there, scaring the crap out of Canada bringing the United States within a scoring chance of wearing gold instead of silver. Some Canadians will tell you that they knew all along they would win, that this is status quo, that this isn't a big deal, don't believe them. The United States put on a hell of a show, kicked Canada in the pants, and told the world that we have a team to believe in. Don't let anyone sell that short for you, that is way more special than a gold medal, even if it doesn't feel like it right now. Miller might cry, then again so might I ...
If you are a Ranger fan, however, you have to be happy with how these Olympics went. Henrik Lundqvist lost early and when all is said and done will get a full weeks rest before the Rangers make their push to the playoffs. visit played really well for Sweden, and just a hunch here, but that loss if gonna fuel his fire for the rest of the season.
Both Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan played out of their heads. For Drury, maybe he has found his game for the Rangers, because he sure as hell found it for America. As for Callahan, he played brilliantly too, but more importantly he got some much needed big game experience (and no the second round of the playoffs doesn't count).
Marian Gaborik played really well too, and although he gave us a scare, he gets a little bit of rest as well (he missed a few games over the course of the Olympics). Here is to him having his fire fueld by a tough loss as well. And who can forget Olli Jokinen who had two huge goals for Finland in the bronz medal game, played well also.
And let's not forget John Tortorella who might have seen some changes he wants to make, after watching Callanan and--especially--Drury blossom wearing a different shade of blue.