Talk of the Games
The medal standings tell only part of the sports story of what's happening at the Games. For the rest, check out the latest dispatches from The Seattle Times' sports crew of columnists, reporters and producers.
February 28, 2010 at 5:23 PM
Posted by Bob Condotta
One more Olympic event left. And what the heck, if we can chat about Ice Dancing we can chat about the Closing Ceremonies. So away we go. ...
February 28, 2010 at 11:43 AM
Posted by Bob Condotta
WHAT AN AMAZING GAME --- Sorry for some technical issues there but sure you all know by now that Canada pulled it out 3-2 in OT at 7:20 in on a goal by Sidney Crosby.
Said Crosby: "I didn't see it go in the net, I just heard everybody screaming.''
The US players said it didn't make them feel a lot better that they went into OT and played Canada to a standstil.
"We were confident going into it that being an important game going into overtime that we were goinig to win. It just didn't happen.''
STILL NO SCORE SEVEN IN --- Miller a great save on a Nash shot a minute ago as Canada has kept the pressure on.
NO SCORE THROUGH THREE MINUTES --- Of OT. US has the only official shot.
AND REMEMBER --- 4-on-4 in OT to encourage scoring.
WOW --- What a game, huh? Really, US is playing better in this one than it did a week ago, and you wonder if it will have the momentum, and younger legs, to ride out the OT to a win.
And you think back to the breakaway Crosby had with just over three minutes left that he couldn't convert. He lost control of the puck and didn't really get off a good shot against Miller.
He hasn't had a great Olympics and that could be long-remembered here if Canada doesn't pull this out.
CANADA HAS OT EXPERIENCE --- Canada beat Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout earlier in the tournament. That one featured a five-minute OT and then a shootout, which Crosby won on Canada's fourth shot. US has not had any OTs in the tournament.
CROWD STUNNED --- Everyone here on their feet counting down the seconds expecting gold to come. But US was on the attack with the goalie out and wore down Canada.
Canada has a 32-31 edge in shots, indicative of the closeness of this game.
OT --- A 20-minute sudden death OT will follow after a 15-minute intermission.
TO OVERTIME --- US scores at 24.4, Parise on a rebound of a Kane shot with US having pulled the goalie.
FANS ON FEET -- Under a minute.
US PULLS GOALIE --- At about 1:30 and calls timeout at 1:17.
CANADA COUNTING IT DOWN --- Crosby was stopped on a breakaway at about 3:20 keeping US in it. But Canada still leads with under two and fans can feel it now.
DOWN TO SIX MINUTES --- Still 2-1. Canada with 6-5 edge in shots this period.
MORE SLOPPY US PLAY --- TO by Kane in own end led to two good Canada shots, but Miller the sprawling save and game still 2-1 at 9:40.
OFFICIAL SHOTS UPDATE --- Tied 2-2 this period.
STILL 2-1 --- With eight gone in third.
STILL 2-1 CANADA --- Five minutes in. Canada mostly the one putting on the pressure so far this period.
AND ANOTHER OFF THE POST --- By Pronger at about 18:30.
SHOT BY CANADA'S WEBER OFF POST -- Almost a 3-1 lead.
THIRD PERIOD UNDERWAY -- US with an early shot.
ONE THING WE KNOW ABOUT US TEAM --- Is that it won't quit. Canada has had a tendency to lapse at times once ahead in this tournament. That would seem unlikely today, but e.down just 2-1, it would only take one, and then anything is possible.
LUONGO WITH 1.75 GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE IN LAST THREE GAMES --- That's since replacing Broduer following US loss. So if he sticks with that, US in trouble.
LUONGO THE DIFFERENCE --- US has as many shots today through two periods as it had last time in the entire game. But Luongo is making the stops where Broduer struggled last time.
Shots tied 15 in second as it was faster-paced than first period, which was 10-8 Canada.
SECOND PERIOD ENDS CANADA AHEAD 2-1 -- Shot total now is Canada 25-23.
US WITH 22-21 EDGE IN SHOTS FOR GAME --- Canada had 45-23 edge in first game.
MILLER 17 SAVES ON 19 SHOTS --- At the 4:23 mark of second, Canada still up 2-1. US has controlled much of action last five minutes or so.
USA WITH 11-9 EDGE IN SHOTS IN SECOND --- At the 5:42 mark.
GOAL BY KESLER --- Who deflected it in a pass from Kane that Luongo got his body on b
ut the puck rolled in the net. Kesler plays for Canucks.
US GOAL AT 7:16 --- Makes it 2-1.
INTENSE ACTION --- As much pushing and shoving in this game as any throughout the tournament, which makes sense. But players ejected for fighting so everything so far has stopped short of punches. Canada still up 2-0 at 8:24.
CANADA KILLS PENALTY --- Johnson had another good shot but Luongo is playing great. He's the difference from the first game.
US WITH A GOOD SHOT IN FRONT OF NET --- Erik Johnson got it deep but another save by
Luongo. Still 2-0 at 10:11.
CHANCE FOR US --- Penalty on Canada's Toews for tripping at 11:35 of second.
MILLER TIME IS OVER --- That's what a sign reads in the stands, alluding to Ryan Miller's success so far in tourney.
CANADA WITH 2-0 LEAD --- At 12:47 goal comes from Corey Perry.
CANADA KILLS PENALTY --- Fans like that. Intensity in building beginning to pick up.
SHOTS ON GOAL UPDATE --- Officially Canada 10-8 in first and 4-3 through first six of second.
CANADA GOOD AT KILLING PENALTIES --- Canada killed 15 of 17 penalties in tournament.
US KILLS PENALTY --- A couple good shots by Canada but Miller saved it. And now a penalty on Canada's Staal for interference at 15:19. Still 1-0 Canada.
CANADA AGAIN ON POWER PLAY --- Second of game. Penalty on Malone of US. Canada has not had a penalty.
SECOND PERIOD UNDER WAY --- Hard feelings at end of first as US's Johnson and Getzlaf had to be separated, but no punches thrown. US has not been behind until now so we'll see how they respond.
CANADA LEADS 1-0 AT END OF FIRST PERIOD --- And has a 10-7 edge in shots.
CANADA REMAINS AHEAD 1-0 WITH ONE MINUTE LEFT --- Luongo strong in goal for Cat anada fending off a couple good US attempts. Big difference from first game when Broduer didn't play well.
CANADA TAKES 1-0 LEAD --- Goal by Toews at 7:10 when US couldn't clear it out of its own zone. First time US has trailed in the tournament. US then killed a penalty incurred by Bobby Ryauiln so game remains 1-0 with three minutes left.
I have real tough working conditions here so this is going to be a hard one to do to usual standards, but I will chip in as logistics allow and feel free to comment.
CROWD ON ITS HANDS --- Having attended most of the sessions here, can say that so far, really no louder than for any normal game. Crowd waiting for something to happen.
STILL 0-0 NINE MINUTES IN --- US scored in first meeting 41 seconds into the game to put Canadians on their heels. Shots tied at 2.
CANADIANS CHECKING HARD --- A couple hard checks into the boards have drawn the loudest cheers so far.
AND WE'RE OFF --- Three minutes in, US with a 2-1 shot edge. Crowd loud but seemingly nervous, as well.
OFFICIALS TAKE THE ICE --- The four game officials just skated onto the ice. They are assigned by the International Hockey Federation, and word is three of them are Canadian and one is from Finland.
THE GREAT ONE ALSO IN THE HOUSE --- As might be expected, Wayne Gretzky is also here, sitting right behind Donald Sutherland.
February 28, 2010 at 9:19 AM
Posted by Bob Condotta
The streets of Vancouver were already a buzz of activity this morning, seemingly the entire city ---- if not province and country --- anticipating the gold medal hockey game today featuring Canada and the United States.
As I walked through town about 8:20 a.m., there was already a big line of people waiting to get into Smileys, a popular bar and restaurant --- the same place where a few of us found a Husky basketball game on TV a couple weeks ago.
By the way, the plan here is to do a running blog or chat during the game so check back later.
February 27, 2010 at 6:54 PM
Posted by Bob Condotta
One thing they don't do at the Olympics is miss a way to make a buck.
Today's trick is to take advantage of the anticipation for tomorrow's USA-Canada gold medal hockey game with T-shirts rushed into the shops here today at Canada Hockey Place celebrating the event. They go for $30, and when I asked a worker at the shop if they were selling, she shook her head furiously and said "oh, yes.''
Here's what they look like:
And, of course, I couldn't resist.
February 27, 2010 at 5:18 PM
Posted by Bob Condotta
Players, coaches and execs for the United States and Canada hockey teams met with a horde of media here today in aniticipation of tomorrow's gold medal showdown.
And much of it was spent debating the question of which team comes in to the game as an underdog.
Canada has long been perceived as a favorite in this tournament with a roster loaded with NHL all-stars and potential Hall of Famers, and playing on "home soil'' --- a term I'm not sure I'd ever used in my life before coming here and hearing it dozens of times a day.
But Canadian coach Mike Babcock said Friday that maybe the U.S. is now the favorite since it is undefeated, has never trailed, and beat Canada 5-3 last Sunday.
To which American general manager Brian Burke replied today: "You guys should put on some knee-high boots because the manure is piling up in here.''
Burke also reminded everyone that "I defy anyone here to show me a newspaper article of two, three weeks ago that said the US would be playing in the gold medal game, let alone win it.''
Said American coach Ron Wilson: "They are clearly the favorite.''
Players seemed amused by it all, American David Backes saying that if the issue is which team is the biggest underdog "I guess it will be a dog fight.''
February 27, 2010 at 4:38 PM
Posted by Bob Condotta
As Canada has started to rack up the gold medals in recent days --- the host country is now up to 12 --- some have started wondering if that could put it in a position to claim the mantle of being the leading medal winner here.
As I write this, the United States has just nine medals.
So while the US has more overall medals --- 36 --- than any other country (German is next with 29 and then Canada with 24), the Canadians have more golds as does Germany (10).
That led one reporter (I'm presuming Canadian, though I didn't check), to ask US hockey player Jack Johnson today if there would be any pressure on the Americans against Canada tomorrow to win the gold and help boost the US's total in that department.
Johnson, a native of Indianapolis who plays for the Kings, said it's not even an issue.
"I think the US has got that pretty wrapped up,'' he said. "We've got 36 medals Everyone else is far behind.''
When the reporter pressed the issue on Canada, Johnson asked "how many do they have?'' When told, he said "I think they are safely behind us. I don't think anyone else has bragging rights over us for the Olympics.''
Johnson is one of a young group of US hockey players who have made it clear how much they like playing for their country --- Johnson even arranged to take a private plane to Vancouver so he could participate in the Opening Ceremonies (the NHL season was still in play at the time).
And many in that group, including Johnson, haven't been afraid to tweak Canada little bit here.
Asked what he thought of Canada's claim that "hockey is our game,'' Johnson said "it's definitely a world game. The Swedes are the defending gold medalists. The Russians were the defending world champions. That's how (Canada) has always been, and that's fine. The United States has got a lot of things going on besides hockey --- that's the way it is, and we don't get a lot of the attention the Canadians do, and that's fine. However they want to view it, they can say it's their game all they want. I really don't care.''
February 27, 2010 at 1:45 PM
Posted by Bob Condotta
Tomorrow's USA-Canada gold medal hockey game is just about the Super Bowl of the sport, which means that like the Super Bowl, there are all kinds of betting options available.
Bodog.com lists a few, including making Canada a one-goal favorite, and putting an over-under of total goals scored at 5.5.
Here are a few others:
Team to score first in the game
Time of 1st Score
Over 9 ½ minutes Even
Under 9 ½ minutes -130
First Period Line
First Period Goals
Over 1.5 -110
Under 1.5 -120
First to 3 Goals
Canada Total Team Goals
Over 3 Goals -130
Under 3 Goals Even
USA Total Team Goals
Over 2.5 Goals Even
Under 2.5 Goals -130
Margin of Victory
Canada by 1 Goal 9/2
Canada by 2 Goals 5/1
Canada by 3 Goals 6/1
Canada by 4 Goals 10/1
Canada by 5 or more Goals 12/1
USA by 1 Goal 11/2
USA by 2 Goals 8/1
USA by 3 Goals 15/1
USA by 4 Goals 30/1
USA by 5 or more Goals 50/1
Player to Score First Goal in the Game
Patrick Marleau (Canada) 10/1
Jarome Iginla (Canada) 12/1
Pat Kane (USA) 12/1
Zach Parise (USA) 12/1
Corey Perry (Canada) 14/1
Dany Heatley (Canada) 14/1
Rick Nash (Canada) 14/1
Ryan Malone (USA) 14/1
Sidney Crosby (Canada) 14/1
Eric Staal (Canada) 16/1
Ryan Getzlaf (Canada) 16/1
Ryan Kesler (USA) 16/1
Chris Drury (USA) 18/1
Jamie Langenbrunner (USA) 18/1
Joe Thornton (Canada) 18/1
Mike Richards (Canada) 18/1
Paul Stastny (USA) 18/1
Phil Kessel (USA) 18/1
Scott Niedermayer (Canada) 18/1
Shea Webber (Canada) 18/1
Bobby Ryan (USA) 20/1
Brendan Morrow (Canada) 20/1
Brian Rafalski (USA) 22/1
Dan Boyle (Canada) 22/1
Ryan Suter (USA) 28/1
Duncan Keith (Canada) 33/1
Jack Johnson (USA) 33/1
Any Other Player 11/1
Who will score more points?
Jonathan Toews (CAN) -135
Pat Kane (USA) +105
Corey Perry (Canada) -170
Bobby Ryan (USA) +140
Sidney Crosby (Canada) -130
Zach Parise (USA) Even
Jarome Iginla (Canada) -130
Ryan Malone (USA) Even
Shea Webber (Canada) -140
Ryan Suter (USA) +110
Patrick Marleau (Canada) -200
Paul Stastny (USA) +160
Rick Nash (Canada) -190
Phil Kessel (USA) +155
February 27, 2010 at 11:04 AM
Posted by Meri-Jo Borzilleri
Bode Miller missed a gate early in the first run of slalom Saturday at Whistler Creekside, joining teammate Ted Ligety, who also missed a gate, on the sidelines. The Olympics are over for the U.S. alpine team.
"The snow conditions are really difficult and the snow and fog is coming in and out," Miller said to Canadian TV after his run. About half of the first 50 competitors did not finish.
Miller said the team has been skiing on colder, harder snow, which didn't help train for the mush of Whistler.
"Visibility is tough, course conditions are tough" and the course set is tough, Miller said.
Miller hit for the cycle at these Games, winning gold (super-combined), silver (super-G) and bronze (downhill), the most on a U.S. alpine team that won eight total medals, a record for American skiers.
"It was awesome," said Miller of the Games in general. "I leave here feeling like I really accomplished something.
"To have huge expectations...I couldn't have been more happy."
SeaTimesOly -Talk of the Games
The Olympics are over. And so, probably, is this Twitter page. Glad so many followed. I will now return to regular progamming at bcondotta.8:24 PM Feb 28 from web
Chatting about the closing ceremonies: http://tinyurl.com/yaoyj8e6:47 PM Feb 28 from web