Friday, February 26, 2010

Well, that was easy...

Team USA is heading into the Olympic gold medal game on Sunday after absolutely demolishing Finland this afternoon. They scored six goals in the first 13 minutes of the game. After number four went in, Finnish goalie Miikka Kiprusoff (the same guy who said he wouldn't play on the team if he wasn't the starter) took himself out of the game, something I've never seen before in a hockey game. The goal went in, USA celebrated and Kiprusoff skated directly to his team's bench and left the ice. That's about as bad as it gets for the Calgary Flames' stalwart netminder.

Team USA's opponent in the gold medal game will be determined tonight at 6:30 PST when Canada and Slovakia face off. I correctly predicted that Slovakia would upset defending gold-medalist Sweden and now they face an amped-up and avenging Canadian team that pounded Russia in its last game. In my first post about these Olympics, I made it clear that I really have faith in this Slovak team even though they've been overlooked from the very beginning. They have alot of skill on offense with Marian Gaborik, Marian Hossa, Pavol Demitra, Michael Handzus, and even the ageless Ziggy Palffy; their defense is solid and led by the enormous Zdeno Chara; and the goaltending of Jaroslav Halak has been solid throughout the tournament.

I almost don't want to pick a winner for this one because I'm really going to be rooting for Slovakia and I think they definitely have a chance in this game, one in which they are huge underdogs (the Vegas line has Canada winning by 2.5 goals), but Canada is just too scary right now. With Roberto Luongo in net, I don't know if anyone can beat them but we'll see what happens in the gold medal game.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hockey Heaven

Well, two out of three ain't bad...

In my predictions for hockey's "Super Sunday," I chose Russia to beat team Czech because of "the Ovechkin Factor" and boy was I right:
The score was 2-1 in favor of the Russians when Jaromir Jagr, who's had a pretty exciting return to hockey in the United States so far, skated up the middle of the ice with the puck. He spotted a lurking Alexander Ovechkin and decided to turn back in the other direction and regroup, i.e. get the fuck away from Ovechkin. Instead, the scud-missile-on-skates prepared momentum, waiting for Jagr to try and cross into the Russian zone again and then absolutely annihilated him which set the puck loose and led directly to a Russian goal and a 3-1 score which put the game away.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hockey Gods of Mount Olympics

Clash of the Titans Sunday
The men's Olympic hockey tournament has been great so far in its first three games but...none of the top 6 projected teams have played against each other yet. Tomorrow they all come together in a day of 3 headline match-ups. Let's look at 'em.

Russia vs Czech Republic (12 PM Pacific Time)

It's not the headliner on Sunday's slate of great games but this is the one I'm most excited about.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book Review: "The Years of Bloom"

Last night I finished reading John McCourt's "The Years of Bloom: James Joyce in Trieste 1904-1920" and, before I dive head first into my new book (which I'm sure will prompt some blog posts in the future), I'd like to put out a few thoughts on this engaging and informative book.

Overall it was a stimulating and engaging read and I was able to get through it pretty quickly (two weeks) without ever being bored by it except for a few passages listing all the operas that Joyce was attending. The book tells the story of James Joyce's time spent in Italy beginning with his leaving Dublin in 1904 at the age of twenty-two with 20-year-old girlfriend and future wife Nora Barnacle, four months after they'd met and it ends with the onset of World War I and the Joyces having to leave Trieste, at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as the city's multi-cultured populace plunges into chaos. In between, he...