OGDB Final: A nation watches and hopes for gold

Jason Gregor
February 28 2010 11:57AM

Ice Hockey - Men's Semifinal - CAN vs SVK

In case we needed some more incentive for tonight’s game, a win on the ice by Canada will set a new winter Olympic record for most Gold medals in one Olympics: fourteen I guess Own the Podium wasn’t far off after all.

You’ve been captivated the past 15 days by the likes of Alex Bilodeau, Maelle Ricker, Christine Nesbitt, Jon Montgomery, Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue, Ashleigh McIvor, Kaillie Humphries, Heather Moyse, Charles Hamelin (twice), Francois Hamelin, Olivier Jean, Francois-Louis Tremblay, women’s hockey, Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky, Denny Morrison, Jasey Jay Anderson, Kevin Martin, John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert.

Or maybe you shed a tear and felt a great sense of Canadian pride watching Joannie Rochette perform so admirably after her mother’s death en route to a bronze medal, so maybe it is fitting that we get to watch OUR game against the United States.

I don’t believe that hockey has dominated these games, because we’ve witnessed so many other great and inspirational efforts, but it is fitting that today Canada has a chance to win gold in the game we love the most, and finish off the 2010 Olympic Games in style.

Tickets for the game are going for more than a Super Bowl ticket right now. Scalpers, and on-line ticket sites are asking, and getting, four thousand dollars for a ticket.

The Americans can pump their chest all they want about football and baseball being their game, but neither of those sports are in the Olympics, and neither captivates an entire nation like hockey does for Canadians.

THERE IS A “G” an “O” and “D” in GOLD

Before we get any further I think it is fitting, being Sunday and all, that we say a few words. Read them out loud and with some feeling.

Our Father who art in Vancouver, hockey be thy name. Thy will be done, the Gold will be won, on the ice for the men as it was for the women. Give us this day, our hockey wives, and forgive us our penalties as we forgive those who cross check against us. Lead us not into elimination but deliver us to victory. For thine is the Getzlaf, the Toews and the holy Crosby, AMEN...

Reader/listener, Derrick, sent this to me and who knows maybe a little divine intervention can’t hurt.

BREAK DOWN GOLD MEDAL

Even though the States have yet to lose in the tournament I still think Canada is the favourite. Ryan Miller has been spectacular for the USA and he’ll need to do it again if they want to win.

Canada is averaging 40.5 SOG in the tourney, and they had 43 on Miller last Sunday, meanwhile the States have fired an average of 31 shots in their five wins. Miller will be busier than Roberto Luongo and he’ll have to be better to stop Canada from grabbing their record-setting 14th gold.

The PPs are a saw off. Canada has scored on 29.1% of their opportunities while the USA is close at 28.5%. But Canada has a big advantage on the PK, with a tournament best 88.4% efficiency compared to only 76.9% for the States.

The most surprising stat is that these are the two most disciplined teams in the tourney. The States have only been shorthanded 13 times in five games, while Canada has had to kill of 19 penalties in their six games. Both teams have been physical, but neither has run into penalty trouble, excluding the 3rd period last Sunday when Canada took three consecutive penalties.

MILLER OVERHYPED?

It would seem the big advantage the US has is in goal with Ryan Miller. Miller has given up five goals in five games, although his GAA is just below one, because he didn’t play the final eleven minutes v. Finland. And is SV% is a sparkling .952.

But outside of the Canada game has he really been tested.

He faced 15 shots v. the Swiss, 11 v. Norway, 43 v. Canada, then 19 in the quarterfinals against the Swiss, before stopping 18 in the semi-final. He has played well, there is no doubt, but when you consider the bad games we’ve seen from Martin Brodeur, Henrik Lundqvist (Slovakia), Evgeni Nabokov (Canada) and Mikka Kiprusoff in the semis you wonder if it’s Miller’s time to lay an egg?

I hope he plays great and Canada still wins, because then there will be no excuses from south of the border.

HEROS ARE MADE

A big goal in today’s game will make a player famous for years to come. Paul Henderson wasn’t the best player in 1972, but he scored the two most important goals in that series, and he’s famous because of it.

Who will be a star today?

My money is on Ryan Getzlaf. Some questioned if his ankle would allow him to contribute, but those worries have been erased by a clutch performance from Getzlaf. He, along with Corey Perry and Brendan Morrow, has been Canada’s best line the past two games and I expect that to continue today.

Sidney Crosby has been rather quiet the past few games, so you can never count out the Kid, but I have a feeling Getzlaf’s line will be key in Canada’s win.

I haven’t been this excited for a game in years. Even though it was only eight years ago that these two teams met for gold in Salt Lake, this game just seems more hyped and more important. There’s a lot on the line, and I expect the Red and White to come through.

Canada wins 5-3, we set an Olympic record for most gold medals and we show the world this is still OUR game. GO CANADA.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Nate Full of Hate
February 28 2010, 12:02PM
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Dany Heatley will score twice.

Canada wins 4-3

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#2 Ryan
February 28 2010, 12:20PM
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Canada wins 7-3, someone unexpected with a hat rick, maybe Thornton.

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#3 Milli
February 28 2010, 12:20PM
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Oh Man, I can't wait!!!! 40 more minutes!!! This has to be the most anticipated game ever!!!! Vancouver is gonna go off tonight!!! I wish I hadda gone....Go CANADA!!! I'm with you gregor, 5- 3 CANADA!!!!!!

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#4 Petr's Jofa
February 28 2010, 12:28PM
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With Canada finishing with 13 or 14 gold medals I can't wait for TLP's next blog. As Ricky Bobby said "If you ain't first you're last"

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#5 jeanshorts
February 28 2010, 12:31PM
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LET'S GO NOW BOYS!!!!!!!

*crawls back into his bed and prays for death. Thanks for nothing Jack Daniel's!*

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#6 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 12:48PM
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Wearing my Don Cherry signed Team Canada jersey. This kind of situation is the only time it ever gets worn.

GO CANADA!!!!!!!!!

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#7 jake
February 28 2010, 12:51PM
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Re: Miller - he did give up 3 against Canada, most vs. any team, and this is before Canada's forwards started to gel.

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#8 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 01:08PM
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Let's update that medal count. Should be; 13, 7, 5

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#9 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 01:17PM
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SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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#10 Shawn Cronin
February 28 2010, 01:37PM
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First 10 mins, Canada struggling to move pucks, poor passing and good checking from US.

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#11 Lofty
February 28 2010, 01:40PM
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Luongo looks wrose with the puck than Brodeur did.

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#12 Lofty
February 28 2010, 01:41PM
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GOAL!!!!!!!!!

It still bothers me that his name isnt spelt: Taves

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#13 Milli
February 28 2010, 02:05PM
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Anyone catch grapes on NBC? was curious what he had to say, but to lazy to change the channel!

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#14 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 02:18PM
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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

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#15 jake
February 28 2010, 02:31PM
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Canada's stretch pass attempts are getting annoying.

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#16 Crash
February 28 2010, 02:42PM
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Lofty wrote:

GOAL!!!!!!!!!

It still bothers me that his name isnt spelt: Taves

That would be Tays....there's no "v" sound in it

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#17 Milli
February 28 2010, 02:43PM
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WOW!!! what a period! 20 minutes to go boys!!!!

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#18 Wanyes bastard child
February 28 2010, 02:50PM
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"the US with good push back..."

I lol'd at that :P

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#19 baggedmilk
February 28 2010, 02:51PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

LET'S GO NOW BOYS!!!!!!!

*crawls back into his bed and prays for death. Thanks for nothing Jack Daniel's!*

Get onto our website and get in this chat. I'm drinking beer at 5 in the morning alone watching this.

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#20 bingofuel
February 28 2010, 02:51PM
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@Archaeologuy

Yeah, it should be. But I'm in kananaskis with no internet. I'll change it up as soon as I have teh internetz

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#21 baggedmilk
February 28 2010, 03:12PM
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I'm watching this game with an English announcer. It's like a soccer game, but with ice.

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#22 baggedmilk
February 28 2010, 03:15PM
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Can't help but notice that Pouliot isn't playing in this game but Parise is... Weird.

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#23 Rigger
February 28 2010, 03:30PM
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MOTHERF*#K!!!!!!!!!!!

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#24 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 03:32PM
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This is killing me

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#25 jake
February 28 2010, 03:32PM
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You could just feel that comming. I only have 2 fingernails left.

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#26 Milli
February 28 2010, 03:32PM
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I'm with you rigger, that foring sucked. I'm picking Getzlaf with the ot winner.

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#27 Rigger
February 28 2010, 03:34PM
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I could feel it coming too Jake. Frick, couldn't hold on for the last few seconds eh? OT will be a nailbiter.

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#28 DonDon
February 28 2010, 03:35PM
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Ouch! The Canadian team looked like the Oilers in the last minute, allowing the tieing goal. What's wrong with Crosby? Looks like Kane is eating his breakfast, lunch and supper. And Ingla? Looks old, slow and out of his league at this level. In the last half of the third period USA was swarming around the Canadian's zone.

Doesn't look good, our boys look tired and playing on their heels.

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#29 Dan the Man
February 28 2010, 03:36PM
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I think I'm gonna throw up.

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#30 jake
February 28 2010, 03:37PM
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How does Canada recover from that??? I need some beta blockers.

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#31 Rigger
February 28 2010, 03:39PM
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*starts to drown sorrows of the last 24 seconds*

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#32 baggedmilk
February 28 2010, 03:40PM
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That's what I get for making a Parise/Pouliot joke.

My fault.

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#33 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 03:40PM
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jeezus. 20 mins 4 on 4?!

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#34 Rigger
February 28 2010, 03:41PM
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@Archaeologuy

I know! I don't know if I can handle it.

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#35 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 03:41PM
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Toews for the Win. I'm calling it.

*prays to the hockey gods*

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#36 jake
February 28 2010, 03:42PM
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DonDon wrote:

Ouch! The Canadian team looked like the Oilers in the last minute, allowing the tieing goal. What's wrong with Crosby? Looks like Kane is eating his breakfast, lunch and supper. And Ingla? Looks old, slow and out of his league at this level. In the last half of the third period USA was swarming around the Canadian's zone.

Doesn't look good, our boys look tired and playing on their heels.

Yeah, there is little jump in their game right now. No spark. Geez Crosby was in alone...uggh.

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#37 Milli
February 28 2010, 03:44PM
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I love it, did you hear the pannel? Is Jordan Eberle available!!! haha, nice. This is gonna be epic and we will win!!!!!

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#38 Rigger
February 28 2010, 03:46PM
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*chews nails down to nubs*

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#39 Wanyes bastard child
February 28 2010, 03:47PM
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@baggedmilk

Rat bastard...

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#40 Rigger
February 28 2010, 03:52PM
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*says biggest prayer the hockey gods have ever heard*

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#41 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 03:53PM
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SID F*CKING CROSBY!!!!!!!!!!!

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#42 Rigger
February 28 2010, 03:54PM
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OMFG IT WORKED!!!!!!! WOOOOOO!!!! Take that TLP!!!

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#43 Wanyes bastard child
February 28 2010, 03:55PM
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I just came in my pants

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#44 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 03:56PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

I just came in my pants

I just came in your pants too!!

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#45 Heavyd
February 28 2010, 03:57PM
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Hellzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

WHERE'S TLP NOW?

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#46 baggedmilk
February 28 2010, 03:58PM
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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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#47 jeanshorts
February 28 2010, 04:00PM
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Hey Sidney Crosby, have an even more badass life whydontcha?

WWWWWWHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#48 Crash
February 28 2010, 04:04PM
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And now it's 14 gold medals...the most ever by any country at a winter olympic games...

I'd say own the podium is a resounding success

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#49 Rigger
February 28 2010, 04:04PM
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With that we just set the record for most gold medals won at the winter games! Looks like we do own the podium after all.

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#50 baggedmilk
February 28 2010, 04:06PM
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Crosby barely shows up all game and then pots the winner. What a beauty.

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