Well, here we go again. Canada is attempting to take the hard route to the medal round at the Olympics. It didn't work out so well in Torino. I'd like to say they ran into another hot goalie that stole the game (as was the case with Jonas Hiller of Switzerland), but honestly I wasn't all that impressed with Ryan Miller's play. He really didn't make an exceptional save (maybe once while spread eagle on his back in the third period). Miller simply seemed to have terrific postition making the Canadians seemingly hit him in the crest with most shots. The true difference was Martin Brodeur, he was definitely not up to par.
Brodeur's puck-handling, usually one of his strong suits, was atrocious. On the second goal, he seemed to forget everything he has learned about the butterfly style of goaltending and opted for a 1979 style Mike Palmateer "two-pad stack". His baseball-style bat of the puck directly to Rafalski was highly uncharacteristic, and highly ill-advised. As well, in the third period he decided to dive headlong for a puck on a poorly controlled rebound. I would not be averse to playing Roberto Luongo against the Germans in the Qualification game and hopefully again against the Russians in the Quarterfinals and on.
Canada's powerplay was inadequate once again, and their two best players on the night Crosby and Nash actually ended up minus three each on the evening. Nash played some nice physical hockey and Crosby seemed to long for a consistent third on their line. On the plus side, Drew Doughty was impressive once again and seems to have moved up to the first powerplay unit. He actually played ten minutes more than Dan Boyle on the night after playing six minutes less than him against the Swiss.
Having attended the Germany/ Finland game on Friday (pictured above), I'm fairly confident that Canada will beat the Germans on Tuesday. Germany will lean heavily on defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Dennis Seidenberg who are leading them in ice-time by a wide margin. Our old friend, Sven Felski is actually topping Germany with a plus one rating through three games. For Canada, playing Russia with no rest on Wednesday will obviously be extremely difficult.
One of the cool things about being at the Germany vs Finland game was getting to witness Teemu Selanne besting the All-Time Olympic point scoring mark. Selanne notched his 37th point, one more than Russian Valeri Kharlamov, Czech Vlastimil Bubnik and Canadian Harry Watson. However, I have seen from a few sources differing numbers for Harry Watson's 1924 totals. Hockey-reference.com has Watson scoring 37 goals as well as 9 assists, and another site I've found him with 37 goals and no assists. I'm not sure if assists were an official olympic stat in 1924, but it looks like Selanne would at the very most be merely tied with Watsons 37 goals. I will however on this matter defer to the IIHF and IOC.