Oh no Canada! USA wins 5-3

USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

Oh Yes…USA 5, Canada 3!

One night shy of the 30th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, Team USA again took to the ice and came away with a stunning victory against highly-favored opponent. This time, the team wearing the red jerseys who were supposed to win the game was Canada…not the Soviet Union. And it wasn’t played in front of a highly supportive home crowd as was in case in Lake Placid, NY in 1980…this one was in Vancouver, BC.

USA's Jamie Langenbrunner celebrates his third period goal against Canada during men's Olympic ice hockey action between Canada and the U.S.A. at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver, British Columbia,  Sunday, Feb.  21, 2010 at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Scott Gardner)

USA's Jamie Langenbrunner celebrates his third period goal against Canada (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Scott Gardner)

To listen to all the pundits, this wasn’t supposed to happen. Team Canada was stacked…the preliminary rounds were merely a necessary formality to the real games scheduled for the second week of the Olympic games. But something has happened so far on the way to the Canadian’s gold medal coronation…instead of taking all three Group A games in easy fashion, they have actually only won one time in regulation. They took care of Norway 8-0 in the first game, but then required a shootout to defeat the Swiss 3-2.

Now…this.

tsk..tsk…tsk

Now, obviously they can still win the gold…they’ve certainly got the talent. But the highly favored Candians are going to have to play one more game then they had expected to…a play-in game Tuesday. USA get’s to sit and watch as they wound up winning Group A with all 9 possible points, outscoring their opposition 14-5.

Pending the Finland – Sweden game later tonight, they are so far the only team to win all three group games in regulation.

Ya now…I was chatting with my favorite Sabres fans Joyel over at TJ’s Sunday night about Ryan Miller. I told her that every time I watch Buffalo play I come down with a serious case of goalie envy. Of course, for the past week I’ve been able to enjoy watching him perform his magic between the pipes for my team…Team USA!

And on this winning evening, Miller was again the man as he and his American teammates downed the mighty Canadians, turning aside 42 of 45 shots in the win…team USA got away 23. Marty Brodeur stopped 18 of the 22 he faced.

Brian Rafalski scored twice for Team USA, both in the second period. Chris Drury and Jamie Langenbrunner also got one past Brodeur. Ryan Kesler, a Vancouver Canuck, iced it with an empty-netter with 45 seconds remaining in the third period.

“We know we can beat anybody now”, Rafalski said afterwards.

Eric Staal, Dany Heatly and Sidney Crosby scored Canada’s goals.

Belkin to Cough Up $2 Million

In case you missed this, the AJC’s Kristi E. Swartz reported last Friday that Steve Belkin has been ordered by the court to pony up $2 million by Thursday…or he’ll be at rick of losing his stake as part owner of the Thrashers, Hawks and Philips Arena.

According to Belkin’s attorney, he will indeed come up with the money by the date set.

The payment is part of the $25.8 million owed to remain in the partnership according to the courts ruling last year, as Swartz tells us…

To stay in the group as a minority owner, Belkin is required to pay his partners $25.8 million, according to court documents. That represents his 30 percent share of so-called capital or cash calls made during litigation.

Belkin filed his notice to appeal the judge’s decision last fall. At the time, he also asked the judge to stay his decision pending the appeal.

The judge earlier this month asked Belkin to put up $2 million, which he must do by Thursday. This basically buys Belkin time; no action can be taken on the judge’s order if Belkin pays the money.

The case likely won’t be heard at the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis until the summer, said attorney Steven Estep, who is representing Atlanta-based owner Michael Gearon and Washington, D.C.-based Spirit part-owners Bruce Levenson and Ed Peskowitz.

134 comments Add your comment

Andrew

February 22nd, 2010
12:48 am

Hockey Biltong

February 22nd, 2010
1:02 am

That was one helluva game. Glad we made the trip to TJ’s to enjoy it with y’all!!!!

August

February 22nd, 2010
1:09 am

Didn’t they beat the Swiss 3-2?

Tony C.

February 22nd, 2010
1:12 am

Is it “Miller Time” now IOC/IIHF???

IMO he deserved the first and second stars… Anyone watching this game could tell the guys in the white sweaters were “playing over their head(s)”;but like so many hockey games come down to, the team that wanted it more came away with the ‘W’.

Huge win for this team and for Team USA hockey in the future…. Canada simply didn’t get the job done-even with Miller’s heroics there were far too many opportunities that Canada couldn’t (or wouldn’t) take advantage of-case in point the back-to-back PPs they had at the end of the 3rd. Our guys were dead, legs heavy as sin but somehow, through an awesome combination of desire, luck and discipline our boys were able to get that crucial clear when it was most desperately needed.

I think Canada got a little too confident after getting it back to within one; who wouldn’t? It seemed like they played on our end of the rink exclusively for the majority of the second half of the game. -Go ahead and lie to me and tell me you felt that the game was salted away at ANY point up until Kessler’s hustle got that ENG. I loved the heart and dedication shown by Team USA-it surely didn’t feel like a “preliminary” did it?

Although he didn’t receive any fanfare during the game, #88 white really stood out to me, he was everywhere, and it seemed like Wilson had very un-Wilson like confidence in a kid, I mean Kane is what, 20?, 21? I don’t know if he showed up on the scoresheet, but I came away very impressed with his play.

Big win, and I hope we can see our boys do it some more.

on a side note, perhaps a bit mean-spirited, but I bet you there’s an incredible spike in domestic violence tonight throughout Canada as a whole if you go against same-date statistics from the past four years… Just go read what our cousins to the north have to say on tsn’s boards for example….

World Be Free

February 22nd, 2010
5:36 am

I still say the problem with Canada is they have too many stars and no role players. Stars are used to playing alot every night. I think some of these guys cannot transition smoothly into playing less.

One proud Sabres fan this morning. Let’s hope he can keep it going. Shades of Hasek last night. Hasek was SO good, he’d get into the heads of opposing teams. We will see.

If we do nothing else in this Olympics, at least we beat Canada.

World Be Free

February 22nd, 2010
6:24 am

Do you know what “Sabre Luck” is?
Miller will lead the USA to gold and the Sabres will lose in the first round of the playoffs (or not make it at all)

Mr. Heat Miser

February 22nd, 2010
7:42 am

Ryan Milla da Team Canada Killa

World Be Free

February 22nd, 2010
7:45 am

How stupid does NBC look now?
They should never be allowed to broadcast the Olympics again

Zoomo

February 22nd, 2010
7:46 am

That was as good as a game 7 Stanley Cup Finals! What a fun game to watch. Patrick Kane was insane. What player. Dustin Brown was another one of the unsung heroes.

Lots of old NJ Devils mojo – Rafalski, Langenbruner, Parise…but not Broduer.

DWTOO

February 22nd, 2010
8:00 am

Just an awesome game, especially coming on the heels of the 30th anniversary of the 1980 win over the Soviets. And Borduer did not look sharp. Anyone notice his stick is made in the US? Yeah, it was stamped “USA”. The crowd at Firebird found this quite amusing.

Now we have to keep up the momentum.

AGAIN!

rob

February 22nd, 2010
8:06 am

Kane, Brown, and Drury all had amazing games…. expected it out of Kane and Brown, but it was good to see Drury out there playing hard and in crucial moments…. I hope it continues for him outside the olympics because I like his style of play. Great team effort there were bodies everywhere, both teams went after each other hard. Great to see such intensity, makes me even more ready for the playoffs this year!!! Hope some of the guys don’t have a letdown coming from the olympics back to the “job”.

BG33Brown

February 22nd, 2010
8:17 am

Wow….check out the medal round. USA, Finland, Swizt, and Czech up top. USA got the #1 Seed!!!

Canada, Russia, Sweeden, and Slovkia on the bottom. Those are going to be the most epic quarterfinals ever.

BG33Brown

February 22nd, 2010
8:17 am

DWTOO

February 22nd, 2010
8:23 am

Be sure to peruse the TSN website. The comments range from the hilarious to just ludicous (need a spell checker). They all think they outplayed us and would win 9/10. Wake up and smell the coffee – you guys got whipped!

Bill – was Eccelstone present? Where were his rooting interests? We were at Firebird’s and it was a very partisan US crowd.

EA

February 22nd, 2010
8:34 am

Huge win! Huge smile on my face last night! It makes one very thankful we have a hockey team in Atlanta. Without a doubt the most exciting sport in the world. As the Thrashers return this week to practice, I hope they are well supported in their “march to the playoffs”. The USA has accomplished more than was expected. Let’s hope the Thrashers can do the same.

Rawhide

February 22nd, 2010
8:34 am

August – Yes…that score was 3-2 in a shootout. Sorry…my bad. Late night, very tired.

Hockey Biltong - So good to see you and the lovely Mrs. Biltong last night!

DWTOO – I spoke with Tim before the game, didn’t ask what his rooting interest was. There was a couple sitting at one of the tables behind us that was obvioulsy pulling for Canada…the guy argued the slashing call in the 3rd.

Dude…the stick was snapped in half for cryin’ out loud!!! :lol:

They left after we went up 4-3.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 22nd, 2010
8:40 am

How great is hockey? Do you think the MLB players would have played as hard for their country? How about rh NBA gangsters who made of habit of being talented stars that lose the lesser teams? Hockey pride reigned surpreme last night. Not playing for the money, they are playing for their country.

DWTOO-same Canadian reaction after the World Junior loss this year. The stupidity is lead by Don Cherry, the resident clown.

I am not into this pro-US, anti-Canadian (or in reverse) stuff. when it’s all said and done, it’s just a game that does not effect the world order. I still had to come to work today. Turn the page; here comes the medal round.

Hockey Biltong

February 22nd, 2010
8:42 am

DWTOO – where is Firebirds???

kracker

February 22nd, 2010
8:51 am

That was great! Now those Olympic suits know what “Miller Time” means! All those guys played so hard, it was a very deserved win. Not quite like Lake Placid 1980 but pretty darned close. Now go get a medal, hopefully gold.

ChippersLoveChild

February 22nd, 2010
9:08 am

Outstanding game, best hockey game I’ve seen in a long time. Simply Amazing! I hope people who don’t normally watch hockey caught that last night because we might have gained some new fans! Great job, boys!

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 22nd, 2010
9:11 am

I’d love to have the Klennex concessions in Canada right now

Red Light

February 22nd, 2010
9:22 am

Steve Yzerman made a huge mistake with his selections. The USA victory last night proves that you must have guys in the lineup that are willing to do the dirty work, like Drury, Pavelski and Callahan sprawling all over the ice to block shots. Miller pointed out that the USA “D” did a nice job of creating a perimeter around him even though he was fabulous again last night (nice kid, too!). But, Canada is an offensive all-star team, not a hockey team yet. I couldn’t find the blocked shot stats but outside of Brendan Morrow, I didn’t see a whole lot of defensive hustle by their forwards last night.

By no means was this game a must-win, but for Canada it casts a pall over their ability to dominate their opponents, similar to the Slovakia win over Russia. Now, Canada must beat Germany tomorrow, then face Russia Thursday, while the good ole USA gets an extra day off and faces the Belarus-Swiss winner.

On the other side of the bracket, when will Lundqvist give up a goal?

Spud Webb

February 22nd, 2010
9:30 am

Lundqvist is awesome…WOW and WBF, “Do you know what “Sabre Luck” is?
Miller will lead the USA to gold and the Sabres will lose in the first round of the playoffs (or not make it at all)”
no kidding brother!!!!! I was thinking the exact same thing on like save number 38 last night!!! We will fizzle for sure now in the 1st round!!! That said, what a freaking game, GREAT job team USA!!! I loved the fact that wilson sent the 4th line out after the 4th goal for us, they went out BANGING folks!!!! Great job!! So proud!!

World Be Free

February 22nd, 2010
10:03 am

Spud-shades of Hasek winning gold in ‘98. Sabres have a great goalie and a bunch of 3rd liners. All Darcy’s fault.

Red Light-I agree with your post, but what choice did he have? Canadian public wanted the best players on the ice, not necessarily the best team. Canada would never select Drury or Callahan but both plaeyrs are invaluable to the U.S. team.

Bob

February 22nd, 2010
10:27 am

Let me guess, Waddell had no hand in Team USA and the selection of players this year, right? Didn’t he leave Miller off the last squad?

I agree with the correct assessment that the better “team” won. Canada doesn’t have the proper role players and won’t win gold. Team USA is assembled well and has great role players. How many times has Drury scored a clutch goal?!?

Russ

February 22nd, 2010
10:30 am

Has Heatley requested a trade from Team Canada yet?

Russ

February 22nd, 2010
10:31 am

I loved Kesler’s hustle diving past the Canadian player for the empty net goal to put it away.

Matt

February 22nd, 2010
10:33 am

Glorious, absolutely glorious win. The sound of all those Canadiens falling silent at the end of that game was ALMOST as good as winning the Gold medal.

That monkey on Team Canada’s back has got to be getting very, very heavy.

That said, the Swiss scare the crap out of me after watching them play Canada. They made Canada look very slow. Team USA cannot afford to relax, let down, or look past their next opponent. Got to play with the same intensity for 60 minutes.

World Be Free

February 22nd, 2010
10:40 am

Bob, yes he did leave Miller off the last squad. Burke had the guts to cut ties with the old guard and give the younger players a chance.

We need to win this for Brian Burke. He’s been through alot

DWTOO

February 22nd, 2010
10:41 am

HB -Firebirds is in the Walmart SHopping Center on Ashford Dunwoody. A little north of Perimeter Mall.

Badger Bob

February 22nd, 2010
10:48 am

Unbelievable game! One of the best in memory, no doubt. Huge kudos for the heart and grit of the Americans.

You can question Stevie Y’s selection of players, but I would question the selection of coaches – I don’t see how you have four strong and different personalities like Babcock, Lemaire, Ruff and Hitchcock behind the bench able to make instant, cohesive decisions.

Case in point one: Brodeur staying in the net when he’s having one of his wacky games (Goal #2, after playing a little baseball on the dump in that threw off the entire CDN defence, he makes a two footed slide that knocked the wide shot into the net; Goal #3, after getting distracted and giving the American a shove, he makes a silly, unnecessary dive after a loose puck that leaves the net empty). Lemaire pulled Brodeur after a shaky first period against our Thrashers here in December. He would have done that in this game if he were making the calls.

Case in point two: What the heck is Perry doing on the ice with one minute left? It was his lazy version of backchecking that gave the US its powerplay for the GWG. So you send his lazy A$$ out there to drift into his own zone to chase down the puck? Bad coaching – bad decisions. Pirate, my relatives report no tears, just raw anger in Canada, so consider a Smith and Wesson rather than Kleenex concession.

Bob

February 22nd, 2010
10:50 am

lol, Burke is the GM of this club? Oh, I love me that irony. Where o’ where is Sara? ranallo?

Red Light

February 22nd, 2010
10:53 am

Why pick Ryan Miller when Mike Dunham was available?

Red Light

February 22nd, 2010
10:55 am

Actually, Robert Esche was one of the choices.

Red Light

February 22nd, 2010
10:59 am

And, John Grahame with Rick DiPietro.

Here’s the complete roster
Defensemen: Chris Chelios, Red Wings; Derian Hatcher, Stars; Jordan Leopold, Flames; John-Michael Liles, Avalanche; Aaron Miller, Kings; Brian Rafalski, Devils; Mathieu Schneider, Red Wings.

Forwards: Jason Blake, Islanders; Erik Cole, Hurricanes; Craig Conroy, Kings; Chris Drury, Sabres; Brian Gionta, Devils; Scott Gomez, Devils; Bill Guerin, Stars; Mike Knuble, Flyers; Mike Modano, Stars; Mark Parrish, Islanders; Brian Rolston, Wild; Keith Tkachuk, Blues; Doug Weight, Blues.

A total of two returnees from Waddell’s choices four years later (snicker)!

moriler

February 22nd, 2010
11:27 am

You know Joyel too? Hah. Small world, man. :)

moriler

February 22nd, 2010
11:31 am

as far as the game goes — that was a _very_ hard fought game on both sides. canada’s definitely stacked as far as the talent goes, but it was really interesting to see a puck-possession team go up against a scrappy scrambling team. Normally the scrambling teams are short enough on talent that it really is a foregone conclusion, but the USA isn’t exactly shy of big names itself… it just isn’t 23 players’ worth of big names.

Not that you’d _want_ to play every night like that, but it sure disrupts the other side when you bend, don’t break, and come back harder. I hope the Thrashers are watching this and learning from it — they have the same talent disadvantage right now vs. the top half of the conference, but if they play this same way, they’ll have a lot of success.

FlamesFan

February 22nd, 2010
11:52 am

What a great game. Listening to Bettmen’s comments after the game, I hope they are able to work it out so NHL players do compete in Sochi Russia, 2014.

stendec

February 22nd, 2010
11:57 am

Morning Bill. I am one proud American this fine morn. Getting primed to watch USA women in a few short hours. USA men surprised me. In a wonderful way! I never bought into that hype about Team Canada being so much better than everyone this side of Heaven. Knows what generally happens to invincible teams? They lose! Usually in embarassing fashion. Remember the 1969 BALTIMORE Colts? Uh huh! I underestimated TEAM USA. I felt like the Americans would either lose by a goal in regulation or in overtime or a shootout. Regulation victory really shocked me. I personally prefer teams of workers over teams of stars. That is why I was so happy to see Ilya “Wasting Russian Roster Spot” Kovalchoke shipped to the toxic wasteland of New Jersey. Thrashers are now a TEAM! Not by choice so much as by necessity. But I digress. I believed Team USA would lose then fight its way back to a rematch which the guys would win to clinch gold. What I am fearful of now is that Canada will take that route. I am not saying Team USA cannot defeat the unbeatables twice but I am saying it would be unlikely in the extreme. Think Team USA would have whipped the Soviets twice in 1980? Need an ice maker in the Arctic? No! My fondest hope is that Canada gets eliminated before the gold medal matchup. Even if the damn Russians have to be the eliminators! As long as Ilya Notworthabuck (apologies to originator for using previously used name but I really like it) is not a decisive factor. Anyone else recall that 1980 Team USA goaltender Jim Craig was pegged as an Atlanta Flame? Man of destiny on team of destiny? Russians must have clanked iron over a dozen times in that historic matchup. Close does not count. Just ask a certain Russian who now skates figure eights for the Devils! One more thing. Russians had officials in their pockets in their last game! Even announcers noticed. Thought Olympic officials are supposed to be inpartial. That is a joke folks! Oh well. Drop the puck already! ++STENDEC++

POTF

February 22nd, 2010
12:00 pm

Just love all the crying coming out of Canada this morning. Time to start rumors about Canadian NHL teams moving to the superior hockey lands of the USA!

World Be Free

February 22nd, 2010
12:15 pm

Stendec-I have been waiting for your post all morning-’bout time!
These guys actually remind me of the 1988 LA Dodgers.

Midfield

February 22nd, 2010
1:05 pm

Rafalski will really need the day off. I thought he’d not survive the second period after all this visious hitting he’s been subjected to. I can’t believe the game he and Miller have played.

Sharon

February 22nd, 2010
1:52 pm

Wow, that was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever seen! Go Team USA!

R. Stroz

February 22nd, 2010
2:03 pm

Would anyone like to guess what Atlanta native attended Jim Craig’s debut game with the Atlanta Flames?

Yes, thumping my chest, I did. The Flames won 4 to 1 against the Colorodo Rockies. The OMNI was sold out and the place was electric.

I actually bought the tickets for me (I was 15 at the time) and my father, who didn’t want to pay for lower level tickets. We had seats in the lower bowl diagonal to the ice, similar to the seats I currently have for Thrasher games.

Now, this is the cool part. When it was time for the National Anthem, I stood up and started singing the words loudly with pride. At first, my father and the people around us looked at me like a knucklehead, but soon, everyone around me joined in, and after the Anthem, a USA chant broke out.

Some moments, you never forget.

alex

February 22nd, 2010
2:28 pm

disagree with most of bloggers complaining not enought roll players on canada team. my point completely oppozite where stamkos and st louis from tampa, why perry and morrow here. it’s stupid selection by yserman (just my privat opinion)

MB

February 22nd, 2010
2:48 pm

Stroz, I was at that game as well…one of my favorite moments in Atlanta sports history. I’d have to look it up, but in my memory Craig faced a ton of shots that night and came up big time after time. The Omni was indeed electric that night.

Unfortunately, that was one of the few highlights of his professional career. Then again, he gets to say, “Hi, I’m gold medal winner Jim Craig, one of the heroes of the 1980 Miracle on Ice.” So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

Lee

February 22nd, 2010
3:02 pm

Man, I was really disapointed last night. Even though I live here, I grew up in Canada…so it’s a bitter-sweet type loss.

Lee

February 22nd, 2010
3:27 pm

Drury was a BEAST. So was Miller. Personally….Miller was their best player.

I heard that Russia and Canada will be playing at midnight, but if Canada beats Germany it will be played at 7:00. NOW THAT’S A HELLUVA GAME TO WATCH!!!

GaVaHokie

February 22nd, 2010
3:28 pm

Interesting… don’t know if anyone pointed this out before, but Toby Enstrom has a sister that plays for Team Sweden’s womens team.

http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=12572/index.html

Midfield

February 22nd, 2010
3:33 pm

And she is bigger than her brother too.