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Monday, March 1, 2010

Long Live Hockey

Congratulations to Team Canada for keeping the gold above the border. Although finishing in second, Team USA may have saved hockey.

USA shocked the world by defeating Canada in an earlier round match-up, 5-3. Suddenly Team USA, led by the supreme goaltending of Ryan Miller, goaltender of the Buffalo Sabres, had become the team to beat in the 2010 Winter Olympics. With all the confidence and momentum on their side, USA could taste the gold!

Unfortunately our hopes and dreams of winning gold were dashed yesterday, as Canada won in overtime, 3-2. Both teams, filled with the NHL’s very best, played their hardest, putting it all on the line for Olympic glory and pride. These two teams played as if their country depended on the outcome.

The average to below average hockey fan will probably only know of two, maybe three active hockey players; those being Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, and….does Wayne Gretzky still count? My point being, hockey is not an American sport. Not everyone has access to an ice rink or a frozen pond, let alone knows how to skate. Hockey is not a TV watch. Most of the time, you can’t find a game on TV unless you mistakenly come across VS Network.

But through the spirit of the Olympics, America became a hockey country for two weeks. The sports talk captivating a country, consumed with football and its original national pastime of baseball, was talking hockey. We as a nation truly appreciated and loved every moment.

Right now hockey is hot, and it will cool off, but this could just be what the NHL and the game needed. As a nation, we welcome hockey back to prominence as one of the major sports. The NHL must capitalize now. They have been blessed from higher powers with a second chance. With all due respect to Al Michaels, do you believe in miracles?

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