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Olympic Gold Medal Open Thread – Canada vs. U.S.




Canada vs. United States

Canada Hockey Place

1:15 PM MT



So, after all the drama, this. The Americans really have been full value for their spot in the final, territorially dominating every game but the first between these teams. Their forwards have used forecheck pressure to force the opposition defence into mistakes, and when they’ve faced adversity, Ryan Miller has been there to bail them out. Nice formula if you have that kind of stopper behind you. On attack, 20 Cent awoke in the semi-final, which shouldn’t have been a surprise, at least to Flames fans. He’s spent the last couple of seasons eating Kipper for lunch. Zach Parise has been the tournament leader for the U.S. otherwise, collecting 7 points in the first 5 outings, and their defence has been acceptable, with Ryan Suter leading a balanced group in TOI.


Canada’s route has been a bit more circuitous, of course. They looked like they were on cruise control through about the first 52 minutes on Friday, but when the Slovaks flipped the switch late in the third there were a few hairy moments, not the least of which was Pavol Demitra‘s chance at the death. Good job by Roberto Luongo to stop that one, since he was caught cheating on the Visnovsky goal. If there’s been any Achilles heel on this team it’s clearly been the goaltending to this point, with neither Brodeur or Luongo inspiring much confidence.

The rest of the team has been pretty good, to be honest. They’ve had the measure of every team they’ve faced territorially, including the Americans on the first go-round, and the games haven’t been close by that measure. It’s often the depth that shows as tournaments like this progress, and the Canadians have used all but Seabrook and Bergeron to full effect. Jonathan Toews has been a surprise to some, I guess, but again, as a Flames fan, his quality is no surprise to me, and the excellence of Duncan Keith clearly falls into that category as well.


All that said, I find it hard to believe that it won't simply be a matter of who's goalie is better. Ryan Miller has been the best in the game this year and in this Olympiad as well. If Luongo can break even with his opposition, Canada should be in good shape given that they appear to be the superior squad otherwise.   


Game time is 1:15 MT on CTV. It might be easier to measure the ratings today by counting who isn't watching.

by Robert Cleave