Friday, February 19, 2010

If you like great hockey...

I know that sitting up late watching hockey is not for everyone, but these games from the Olympic tournament are fantastic. The past two nights Slovakia - which has Marian Gaborik, Pavol Demitra, Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara, among others - has been involved in two great games, both of which started after 11 p.m., Central time.

Wednesday night they lost 3-1 to the Czechs, then rebounded last night to beat tournament favorite Russia 2-1 in a seven-round shootout. Amazing hockey game, even if it left me going to bed around 2 a.m.

Some people complain that the long grind of an 82-game NHL season leads to dull, boring hockey. I don't necessarily agree with that, but if you feel that way, you should be watching the Olympics to see hockey at its very best, played with speed and passion and excitement.

Case in point: Gaborik, whom I love watching (see posts from last April), normally takes the night off if he has almost any kind of injury or soreness. But the last two nights he's been out on the ice, playing with 21 stitches just above his knee because it's that important to him to play for his country.

Sunday is the end of the preliminary round, a day they are calling "Rivalry Sunday." The U.S. will face Canada, the Russians play the Czechs (with a rejuvenated Jaromir Jagr), and we also have the Scandinavian Super Bowl as the Finns (with three members of the Wild) take on the defending gold medalists from Sweden. It will be a great day of hockey, and THEN we get to the elimination rounds for the medals.

And for those of you who aren't hockey fans, tune in for some of Sunday's action, and you may begin to understand why some of us love this game.

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