Waking up this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder if last night really happened. 30 years ago the US hockey team beat the Russians in Lake Placid, cut to 2010 and the US hockey beat Canada 5-3 in a huge upset.
During talks with the media prior to last night’s game, both teams were doing whatever they could to keep the rivalry alive. Team USA biggest pot stirrer was Vancouver Canuck, Ryan Kesler, who flat-out said he hated Team Canada and wanted to do whatever he could to make sure Team USA won. Bringing the hate paid off last night for Team USA.
Team Canada got schooled on their own sport and it was embarrassing. There was no reason why USA should have won and after Team Canada barely won in a shoot out against Switzerland on Thursday, the same team that Team USA pulled off their first win against, you would have thought Babcock and the rest of his staff would do whatever they could to find the right line combination to battle and beat Team USA.
Now Team USA is hardly a rag tag group of guys – excuse the term, they’re the best that money can buy. The Bad News Bears, they’re not (although, I would like to nominate Kesler for the Tanner Boyle award for being the biggest shit starter). But unlike Team Canada, Team USA just seemed click together better. Maybe Brian Burke had them do extra trust falls or they had a slumber party during try-outs, where they shared their inner most secrets. I don’t know.Whatever they did, it’s working.
I mean look at Brian Rafalsky – he’s suddenly the King of the Stars & Bars and you know Mike Babcock is wondering what the hell is going on and probably recommending he gets tested by Olympic officials. Rafalsky has scored 4 goals so far in Vancouver, which is also the same amount of goals he’s scored in 57 games this season. I guess with the right teammates, anyone can be a superstar.
Team Canada plays against Germany next. If they beat Germany, they’ll take on Russia in the quarterfinals and if you think Sunday night’s game was intense, you ain’t seen nothing yet.