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The Re-match and USA/Canada Open Thread

Better luck this year?

This afternoon, at 12pm Eastern time, the United States will take on their bitter rivals to the north* for the chance at Olympic Gold on Sunday.  After losing to the Canadians in the Gold Medal game in Vancouver (for the record, one of the best international hockey games ever played), I can only imagine the Americans are chomping at the bit for another chance at the Red, White and Black.

Since the Americans didn’t bother to show up to Nagano, Japan, where the NHL marked its Olympic debut, this modern rivalry really got started in Salt Lake City in 2002.  Prior to his tragic passing, Herb Brooks lead an improbable US squad to what should have been a Gold medal (because destiny), but came up Silver to the Canadians.

Neither country had much of a showing in 2006 as we all watched Henrik Lundqvist take Gold home to Sweden, finishing 7th (Canada) and 8th (USA), respectively.  But the rivalry was on full display in Vancouver, once again.  After a round robin win, the young, upstart American team was full of confidence and the belief of a nation.  Alas, Sidney Crosby had other ideas.

Fast forward to February 21, 2014, and the Americans have another chance.  They are four years older, more experienced and more battle tested to succeed on this stage.  Thus far, the Yanks have looked the stronger of the two sides, but we all know that means nothing once the puck drops.

Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss the game, bald eagles, the cessation of Quebec, the heartbreaking Women’s Gold medal game, or anything else Olympic related.  Will the USA taste sweet revenge?  We will have the answer in a few hours.

*I, myself, am half-Canadian, so feel free to tar and feather me if the USA loses.

12 Responses to “The Re-match and USA/Canada Open Thread”

  1. Chris F says:

    Sweden is gold medal game bound!

    Hopefully USA too, with Canada taking bronze against Finland. That would 6 medals for NY Rangers players.

  2. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Wore a USA jersey to work today with shirt and tie underneath. Words cannot capture my full level of excitement. Sweden v Finland was an excellent appetizer this morning, but now I’m ready for the main course.

    ‘murica!! getter dun!!

    • Spozo says:

      USA Callahan jersey?

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Nah… for the 2010 games I ordered a chinese replica which had limited options for name plates. I ended up choosing Kane. If I had my choice for this years team I’d probably go for Kessler or Backes as my favorite non Ranger on the team.

        • Spozo says:

          I became a huge Backes fan watching these games. I wish we could get to see him play more during the season. He looked pretty good out there with Cally eh?

          • Hatrick Swayze says:

            Yea man, can’t disagree at all. Except for in this loss to Canada. They just overwhelmed us. Unfortunately we couldn’t really establish a forecheck or cycle at all. Grats to Canada, I guess, but I will be pulling hard for Sweden on Sunday.

  3. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Strike up the debate once again: Zuccarello to miss 3-4 weeks. Not a minor injury.

    • Spozo says:

      I’ll take the risk of injury during an extra 8 games (a risk that is no greater than during an NHL game) so I can watch games like this one. It’s unfortunate but hockey happens regardless of which continent or tournament the game is played in.

  4. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Justin,

    Given that we lost in the semi finals, and will now be playing for a Bronze against the Fins, would you go back to Quick, or give Miller a start between the pipes?

    Quick was a wall tonight and my question is no indictment on his play. Starting him would be the going with the better goalie.

    Do you think that Miller deserves a significant start in these games (no disrespect to Slovenia)? He was a hero for us in 2010 and is no question another solid option for us. I honestly could see Bylsma going either way and I’m curious of your thoughts.

    • Justin says:

      You know, Hatrick, I was thinking the same thing after this game. I guess it depends on how the US program feels about Bronze. If it was Gold or bust, it could be a nice gesture to give Miller the game. Not that playing Miller implies punting at all, but given how well Quick played, you’d have to go back to him if medaling is the priority.