There’s not a whole lot left to say about the 2010 Gold Medal Game. The US and Canada played in a ridiculously entertaining game that was every bit worth the wait. In the end, Canada won the gold because they were the better team but like we’ve been saying since December, the gap is closing very quickly. I just have a few brief thoughts about this one:
–The thing that really burns my ass about Sidney Crosby’s game-winner is how much credit he’s going to get for Canada’s success, when in reality, he hasn’t really had a vintage Crosby game since the Switzerland game. Crosby was mostly invisible for the majority of the gold medal game, but the moment the puck snuck through Ryan Miller’s legs, he was already getting credit for putting Hockey Canada on his back and carrying them across the finish line.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Oh well, such is life when an annoying bastard scores the game-winning goal in overtime.
–On last week’s PuckCast, we had a fairly long conversation about Joe Thornton. Up until last year, I never really bought into the talk about how Thornton disappears the larger the game. After watching him in last year’s playoffs and this year’s Olympics, I’m officially a subscriber to the “Joe Thornton is spineless in big games” theory. He would be much better served as a 2nd line center, but any team boasting him as their 1st line center is destined for playoff disappointments.
–There’s nothing intimidating about a 6’4″, 230 lbs man with a head of hair like Larry David. Just shave what’s left, Ryan Getzlaf.
–After setting up Corey Perry beautifully on Canada’s second goal early in the second period, I don’t think Ryan Whitney saw another shift the rest of the game.
–Every Blackhawk participating in the Olympics represented themselves quite well. Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews were among the top scorers for the tournament. Patrick Kane was the USA’s second best skater. Duncan Keith was one of Canada’s top-4 defensemen. Tomas Kopecky was a different player. Only Brent Seabrook’s performance could be classified as a tad disappointing. Plus, everyone is coming home with all their limbs in tact. Not too shabby.
*On the Farm*
Saturday: Rockford 2, Peoria Rivermen 1 (SO) — The IceHogs went into the final minute of the game trailing 1-0. With Rockford on the power play, they pulled their goalie to get the 6-on-4 advantage. Bracken Kearns scored with 12 seconds left to tie the game and send it to overtime. Jack Skille and Matt Keith got the assists.
After a scoreless overtime, Akim Aliu and Matt Keith scored goals in the shootout and it was all Corey Crawford would need to help give the IceHogs the shootout win. Crawford made 22 saves in the game.
Sunday: Chicago 4, Rockford 2 — The IceHogs played catch-up all game during their afternoon tilt with the Wolves. Jack Skille tied it early in the second period with his 20th goal of the season. Brian Connelly and Bracken Kearns had the assists. After the Wolves took the lead a few minutes later, Bryan Bickell tied the game with another assist from Connelly. It was as close as they would get. The Wolves scored once late in the second period and halfway through the third to give them an important divisional win.
Corey Crawford stopped 29 of 33 shots.
—Shawn Lalonde had no points and was a -2 in Belleville’s weekend.
—Kyle Beach had a goal and three assists in two games this weekend.
—Byron Froese was scoreless on Friday night, but had a goal and an assist on Saturday.
—Dylan Olsen didn’t have a point during UMD’s weekend split with Minnesota but he was a +2. Nick Leddy had an assist on Friday night for Minnesota and was a +1 on the weekend. Dan DeLisle did not dress in either game.
—Brandon Pirri had an assist in Friday’s 3-2 loss to Colgate. Saturday, he was held pointless in a 1-1 tie with Colgate.
—Billy Sweatt had one assist this weekend as Colorado College was swept by North Dakota.