What if Sidney Crosby didn’t score?
What if the 2010 Olympic Winter Games ended with a nationwide heartbreak, as opposed to patriotic jubilation?
What if Ryan Kesler, Brian Rafalski, or Zach Parise joined Mike Eruzione on the guest-speaker for life circuit?
It was a year ago today that Canada won its prized Olympic gold medal; the men’s hockey tournament on home soil in Vancouver. The game and its signature moment, Crosby putting one past Ryan Miller off the Jarome Iginla pass from the corner, sparked a warm, fuzzy feeling that even the most hardened of American hockey fans will admit was truly unique.
History will dictate that no sporting event was as over-hyped, as built-up in the hopes and dreams of hockey fans as that game at Canada Hockey Place. The singular expectation of a gold medal for the host country was assumed years before the event. Little did we know just how memorable one moment, a split second in time, really could be.
When Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Olympic Winter Games back in 2003, the head coach of the Canadian team, Mike Babcock, had just led the Anaheim Ducks to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Steve Yzerman, the mastermind behind selecting the team, was still years from retirement. Jonathan Toews, the tournament’s most outstanding player, hadn’t even been drafted yet. The expectation was gold, without a coach, players, or knowing who would even run the team.
And that was without Canada ever winning an Olympic gold on home soil, failing to take the top spot, in any sport, in Montreal and in Calgary.
The broadcast was the most watched program in the history of Canadian television. Here, NBC’s numbers could only be compared to the ‘Miracle Men’ of 1980. And few even remember that just a week earlier, the first meeting between the U.S. and Canada was relegated to cable, so that the main network could broadcast the finals of the Ice Dancing competition.
It was a game that had a little bit of everything, including Journey. You see, when the horn sounded at the end of regulation, after Parise’s game-tying goal with less than 30 seconds left sent shock waves through Canada Hockey Place, the public address system blasted a song known around the Joe as a sure sign of a Winged Wheel victory.
This time, ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ had duel meanings, both with the Americans mentality, discounted by many from the moment the team was announced at the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park, and the resilience of a Canadian club, who had to dig deep once again to accomplish their ultimate goal.
The debate will linger as to whether or not NHL players should continue to go to the Olympics, but it will be tough to top Vancouver for hockey fans. Just like it will be tough for future Olympic hosts to top the cross-country skiing in Lillehammer, or Athens holding the shot put event at the ancient stadium in Olympia, Greece.
Today was also trade deadline day in the National Hockey League and if there were a singular day to showcase the power of Social Media, this would be it.
While it would be fun to tweet out that we’ve traded our Assistant to the Traveling Secretary to Tyler Chicken, someone actually created a false account for Pierre LeBrun and announced that Brad Richards had been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Incidents like this have happened before, so it is critical to make sure who and where information is coming from. Craig Custance, who is no stranger to Red Wings’ games at the Joe, provided a live blog of the festivities for the Sporting News.
And while the Wings didn’t make any trades, Ken Holland did sign Jimmy Howard to a two-year contract extension. The league leader in wins with 30, would have been an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
- The Triple Deke has a breakdown of the Wings 3-2 shootout win over Buffalo.
- H2H2 is right around the corner with nearly $3,000 in donations already. To get involved, check out their website here.
- The Nightmare on Helm Street notes that teams are making moves after losing games to the Wings.
- Jeff Hancock over at Winging it in Motown gives out his Oscar for the best hockey team of all time.
Which is a perfect transition to this video of our players favorite flicks.