I’ve been holding my breath ever since about the first period of Game Two vs. Switzerland. Team Canada looked disorganized and got outworked by a highly motivated Swiss team; the hosts were lucky to win in a shootout.
Tonight, Team Canada worked harder but lost to a team with a better goaltender and – it must be said – a little bit of puck luck. Minor criticisms can be made – Pronger and Niedermayer both looked weak, Marleau and Thornton made all Canadians understand the frustration of Sharks fans as they completely disappeared inside an important game – but this game came down to some bad play by Martin Brodeur. Bob McKenzie of TSN said it best on the CTV telecast: switch the goalies and tell me the result wouldn’t have been different. Marty got us that gold in 2002, but he sure didn’t look like the same goaltender tonight. Expect Roberto Luongo to play for Canada from here to the conclusion of this tournament.
Lots of people are busy working out the permutations of who Canada will play in the medal round, but hear this: a win against Germany is by no means guaranteed. If the Germans play Canada like the Swiss did, and if Canada fails to adjust in the same fashion, there is a good chance that Canada’s tournament ends right away. I wouldn’t bet on it, but our team needs not to look past that game. You can bet the Germans aren’t.
In the meantime, here’s an idea for the next Visa Olympics related commercial. Morgan Freeman does the voiceover, of course. “Hear that sound? It’s the sound of an entire nation saying ‘FUCK RYAN MILLER’ – all at the same time!”