Can You Say Halak?
Quick update on the Czech v. Latvia game.
Jagr is not on the Czech bench. Could be just an equipment issue though.
Also Josef Vasicek just showed why he is, indeed, Josef Vasicek by somehow taking a complete gift wrapped goal and turning it into a postage stamp.
The referees and their calls have been uneven so far and especially today, and by uneven I mean god awful!!!
There were at least 3 wrestling style takedowns not called in the Canada v. Germany submission match and whoa is it getting even uglier in the Czech game.
I saw 2 tackles, a hogtie, and a full nelson applied and no call on any of them.
Apparently unless you do a horizontal triple toe loop after being mugged, good luck getting a whistle.
I understand it's too much for officials to grasp multi-tasking (defined by being able to know how to call more than one penalty) but could they possibly look for more than a hooking call? Please?
The U.S. better not expect the Swiss to sleepwalk or attempt to donate the game tomorrow as they did earlier today. I fully expect Hiller to be vastly improved tomorrow and I know the Swiss will be looking to crush the U.S. D every single chance they get.
I think the game will be close until the 3rd period.
I had the line pegged at Canada -6.5 today and thought I was sitting pretty at 8-1 until that pesky 2 on 0 break where Germany scored with little time left in the 3rd to make the final score 8-2 Canada.
I hate back door covers.
The crowd chanting We Want Russia may not have been the wisest move at the end of the game.
They are going to get what they asked for, and Crosby better have his head on a swivel all game.
You can count on OV looking to set a definitive tone by lighting everything with a Maple Leaf logo up early and often and look for his team to follow.
Canada's best chance for victory is to get pucks deep and mash the susceptible Russian D faces into the glass until they resemble a wad of dough.
As for what to look for in the upcoming Slovakia v. Norway game, well, if you are a Slovak fan, expect a lot of attacking with Halak playing gatekeeper on the other end, and for fans of Norway, lots of praying would certainly help.
It's no stretch to say Slovakia will win this, but if Slovakia does what is expected tonight, I think they will give Sweden a big time run tomorrow. Actually, I believe Slovakia will pull the upset over Sweden.
You can call me crazy with that thought. I probably am.
I will be updating the game after each period below for all you nightowls.
The postgame discussion cannot begin without mentioning the ugly, nasty, dirty, uncalled for hit on Slovak forward Lubos Bartecko by Norway D-man Ole-Kristian Tollefsen.
Was Ole-Kristian attempting to hit Bartecko in the head on purpose? Debatable.
What was not in question was this being yet another example of a player coming across attempting to make a huge full body check, only to find himself out of position due to the other player either making a move or noticing the big hit is coming, and instead of flying by completely missing and looking foolish, an elbow or knee is stuck out to get some part of the opposing player. In this case, it was both an elbow and a knee.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
As for the rest of the game, Slovakia seemed to suffer a letdown after the initial wave of adrenaline following the dirty hit on Bartecko near the middle to end of the 2nd period.
Norway played Slovakia to a stalemate from that point forward.
The only reason Slovakia had not run away with the game by that point was the excellent goaltending of Paal Grotnes. He was outstanding, as was Tore Vikingstad, who has been a force in the past 2 games for Norway.
For Slovakia, Jaroslav Halak was nowhere near his prior impenetrable self that he had been during the round robin play. Both the 2nd and 3rd goals for Norway where goals he would like to have back, evidenced by his head shaking after each goal.
Miro Satan had the game winner off a perfect setup, and Slovakia held on from there.
If not for that nasty hit and the following lull, I believe Slovakia would have won more comfortably.
The big question for the Slovaks, and really all the teams that won yesterday, save Canada, is can they pick up their play, which they will definitely need to, in a back to back situation?
Normally the answer would lean towards no, but the Olympics have a Red Bull effect on most players.
The real key will be the goaltending. If Halak can return to his top form against Sweden, the Slovaks have a real chance for the upset later tonight.
About the Author
Written by William Brouillette