Men’s hockey: Canada-Germany live blog

Feschuk: How does Team Canada spell relief: G-E-R-M-A-N-Y

The official Maclean’s liveblog of tonight’s win-or-else-continue-to-be-millionaires-with-no-lasting-repercussions game for members of Team Canada is being written by Yoni Goldstein. Think of him as Batman and me as his boyish ward. If it helps complete the picture in your mind, I’m wearing a mask and tight green shorts. (UPDATE: Jacques Rogge just handed me a robe.)

Note: I’d like to provide you with as much hilarious, never-watched-hockey-before cluelessness as Wells did last week, but alas I am both a Canadian and a guy.

OOPS: Turns out Yoni won’t be liveblogging, so I’m your only Maclean’s-based source for tonight – unless you want to dig up one of Coyne’s old posts and substitute in the word “hockey” wherever it says “equalization.” Which I recommend, by the way.

4:04 p.m. PT A comprehensive compilation of all the important information I have gleaned from tonight’s warmup, which is currently underway: Canada is wearing red.

4:15 Hello Canada, and hockey fans in the United States, including Danny Williams’ mitral valve. I am at Canada Hockey Place, sitting in primo seats reserved for the members of the working press and whatever it is I do. It’s weird being an arena that’s been stripped of corporate logos. The place looks so naked and vulnerable that Robert Pattinson should be along soon to put the moves on it.

4:21 Another bit of weirdness: I sat through the very entertaining Belarus-Switzerland game earlier today and discovered that the bilingual, bipartisan scoreboard cheers for both sides in both official languages. I’m learning a lot of French thanks to the translations it provides. For instance:

Yeah! – Hourra!

Shootout – Tirs de barrage

Highly Ineffective – Brodeur

4:33 Team Canada takes the ice. I’m not saying it’s loud in here but I can hear the noise with my pancreas.

4:35 Fifteen seconds. No goals. Despair.

4:38 The German strategy is already apparent. They’re playing the little used 0-3-2: no forecheckers at all! It’s like the New Jersey Devils, circa 2002 – but boring.

4:41 Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty playing together: I’m predicting a goal tonight from one of them. I’m also predicting it’s splittsville for Bar Rafaeli and Leonardo DiCaprio.

4:43 I’m not gay, but that doesn’t change the fact I want to make out with Shea Weber just a little bit. He, Doughty and Keith are on pace to get twice the minutes of the other D-men. And for good reason (ie. Pronger moves slower than Jason from Friday the 13th).

4:50 Although the arena itself is stripped of corporate signage, the Olympic movement has been slower to eliminate another blight on the hockey landscape: ’80s music. During stoppages we get Van Halen, Scorpions, even Joan Jett. Wow, I’m psyched by all this modern, up-to-date music! I think I speak for all Canadians here when I say: Go John Tonelli!

4:53 Goal! As an Ottawa resident, I hate Dany Heatley with every fibre of my being. But I love him with every fibre of my hypocrisy. (That said, someone is going to need to go down to the Team Canada bench and explain to Dany was an assist is. I believe it’s his first.)

5:01 Pretty entertaining period so far. I’ve especially enjoyed all of Germany’s scoring chance.

5:05 My favourite forward on the ice so far has been Jonathan Toews. He passes as well as Sidney Crosby, but he works even harder and is marginally more able to grow a beard.

5:06 They’re playing Boston’s More Than a Feeling in the arena the now. Why do I feel as though the sound guy is using Juan Antonio Samaranch’s iPod?

5:13 If I were the German coach – and I’m pretty sure I’m not, although it would explain this clipboard and accent – I would emphasize to my team the fact that in hockey most goals are scored by players willing to venture beyond the other team’s blueline.

5:18 I’m on my sixth beer. That probably violates some code of journalistic ethics. But you know what it doesn’t violate? My love of beer.

5:21 Pronger and Seabrook got least amoung of ice time for Canada D in the first. Among forwards, it’s Morrow: He’s big-time in Babcock’s doghouse. (Upside: Milkbones.)

5:23 Couple times now Iginla and Staal have almost stepped on each other on the ice, playing together with Crosby. This line just might be brought to you by Bad Idea jeans.

5:29 Sweet mercy. Shea Weber just shot a puck through the netting. Now I’m going to let him get to second base. (I have never seen that happen: a puck going through the net without leaving a visual tear. Have you ever seen that? Shea Weber is either very awesome or… a witch.)

5:32 Canada leads 3-0 (Iginla). People now wildly cheering the easiest saves by Luongo. I’m telling you: he catches a softie from centre ice and this place is going to erupt.

5:40 Iginla scores again. Just like I said: This Crosby-Staal-Iginla line is the greatest thing ever! (P.S. I would also like to take this opportunity to retract my 2009-10 pre-season Super Bowl pick: The Carolina Panthers.)

5:45 That was a terrible call giving a penalty shot to Canada on the Rick Nash breakaway. But it was awesome to see Rick Nash be Rick Nash. As a goalie, could there be any more terrifying sight coming toward you than Nash on a breakaway? (Answer: Kirstie Alley naked and hungry.)

5:49 Does anyone have bus fare to send Chris Pronger home?

5:51 Here’s the difference: Niedermayer is old but plays smart. Pronger is old but plays senile.

5:54 Hey, Dan Boyle, take it easy out there: Don’t worry about playing your position or anything. Float your way up to the blueline for no apparent reason. Germany probably won’t score. In other news, Germany scores. 4-1 Canada.

5:56 Not to dwell on it but… Shea Weber shot a puck so hard that it passed through the netting leaving no apparent tear. I would like to go on record as saying I would like Shea Weber to do my taxes.

5:58 It’s 4-1 Canada after the second period. My analysis: I need to pee.

6:05 Jon Hamm is here! And he has a beard! I’m going to need a minute to write a Dear John letter to Shea Weber.

6:09 Jerome Iginla 2010 = Joe Sakic 2002. Discuss.

6:12 Most invisible Team Canada player who’s actually playing: Mike Richards. Most invisible Team Canada player who’s not playing: Mike Bossy.

6:14 After two periods, Duncan Keith leads the way in total ice time for Team Canada. Chris Pronger leads the way in total complaints about the weather and kids these days.

6:19 A serious question: Is there a line any player would like to play against less than the Nash-Getzlaf-Perry line for Canada? They’re not scoring but every single one of those guys could give you a grade-three concussion simply by looking at you.

6:21 Welcome to the Olympics, Brenden Morrow. Nice of you to finally show up. (Morrow to Richards: 6-1 Canada.)

6:23 You know how coaches sometimes post “motivational” material in the locker room? If I were Mike Babcock, I might instead post a sign saying: “When the other team’s goalie is falling down, and 90% of the net is open and exposed, that is probably a good time to shoot the puck instead of passing it.” And then I’d print on top of the sign: “Dear Sidney.”

6:29 That was a nice moment: Scott Niedermayer scoring on a breakaway. Like when you show up at your Grampa’s and he remembers your name.

6:39 So Canada wins, and Canada wins easily. The question going forward is this: Can the players in which Mike Babcock has the most confidence – Keith, Niedermayer, Doughty, Crosby, Staal, Iginla, the San Jose line – do what’s needed to stop the Russian attack and mount the kind of offence that will score enough goals to win? Tonight’s game was a false test: no one plays less than like the Russians than the Germans. (People who do play like than Germans: the sedentary, the comatose, various rocks).

6:41 Two minutes to go and the chant begins at Canada Hockey House: “We want Russia!” Hey, you got ‘em.




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Men’s hockey: Canada-Germany live blog

  1. Both Coyne and Wells were unlikely olympic reporters, that's for sure. Wells went quickly to thoughts on ballet in his hockey column and all we have heard from Coyne was something positive about figure skating.

    Come on Canada! I wish I was with my english and scottish relatives at the moment making rude comments about Germans but no such luck.

  2. Reminds me of the best line ever, just before the Germany-England World Cup soccer final, 1960 I believe:

    "If, on the morrow, they should beat us at our national sport, remember: We beat them twice at theirs." To which I feel compelled to add that it's a little rich for the country whose empire once covered 20% of the globe and who twice declared war on Germany, not the other way around, to accuse the Germans of warmongering.

  3. Good game so far for Canada – they're physical and mobile, really working the Germans. Pronger just fell down with no one near him though…

  4. it's all part of the plan. all part of the plan (to get workers' comp)

  5. Six pints in one period? Good work Feschuk, looking forward to your posts in the second and third…..provided you stay upright.

    • Easy now – six beers since 1 p.m. pacific.

      i'm not a baldwin.

  6. did i just here scorpions, van halen, and joan jett in the same sentance? mr feschuck, you have crossed the line> :)

  7. Six beers? Pace yourself, Feschuk…

  8. I am not a fan of slasher flicks, but I thought Jason did not show up until Friday the 13th Part 2. Although perhaps Feschuk is pointing out Pronger is dead to him and missing in action?

  9. Go ahead Germany, stick a fork in them. They're done.

  10. Hey Feschuk…I'm keeping tabs on the game in Phuket Thailand. Thanks for your drunken updates. Keep them coming. So is there any semblance of team play or is it too many cheifs nad not enough indians like the game vs USA?

    • Some lines are playing better than others, but it's a false test of ability in many ways: for the Germans to be playing any more defensively, they'd need to dig a trench around the crease. If Canada advances and plays Russia tomorrow, it'll be a completely different game, one of offence v. offence instead of offence v. five guys clumped together in the neutral zone.

  11. Does anyone have bus fare to send Chris Pronger home

    Fine with me, but you tell him

    • Tell him he's in Edmonton, and he'll leave willingly.

  12. Probably all of you now start to get nervous – but I think we (the team of Russia on hockey) cross with your commando team in the finals – and you lose!

  13. Are we playing better as a team or is it still pretty much an individual effort. do you think we have the want, determination and systems to beat the Russians? The Russians look like they really want it and aren't too polite to drive to the net and shoot the puck.

    • Yes, they're playing better as a team.

      No, they aren't playing well enough to be a sure thing to win tomorrow.

      If there's one thing missing that worries me though, it's that I have yet to see someone step up and play like, "This is the guy we follow and we go over or through the wall for him." Lots of guys are playing well but beating Ovechkin and the Russians, I think, is going to take someone with a killer instinct.

      Tomorrow, that guy better show up. Early in the game would be better.

      • Before the tournament, I thought Rusian offence would be the unstoppable force and Canadian D the immovable object, but now i am less convinced.

      • Thanks James. That is exactly what I was wondering. It seems we need a young gun who is hungry. Hopefully Sidney Crosby will step up so Ovie doesn't make him look bad. Crosby has a lot to lose on this game. It is his opportunity to capture the hearts of Canada here.

  14. I'd taunt you right now, but I find your broken english is adorable (and also, I'm picturing you as a mail-order bride).

  15. Too funny!!! Awesome!!!

  16. Yeah… your ice dancers tanked!!! Take that Russia!

  17. Umm what did you just say about Mike Richards!! Goal!

  18. Did I just see Bossy?

  19. it's not what i'm saying about richards. he played less than eight minutes in the first two periods. it's what babcock is saying about richards.

  20. Not close…to being a positive sign for tomorrow. At least half the team continues to play as poorly as they did in earlier games. Same few guys doing the work, showing energy. Crosby MIA. Pronger what to say… hell, I half expect Babcock to call me to take Pronger's spot.

    I'm not encouraged, not in the least.

    • Can they bring anybody in at this point? I don't imagine they would anyhow…i'd like to see them bring in a fireplug lke Stamkos.

  21. I think the team will do just fine from here on in.

    I will say this: Pronger doesn't belong on this team.

    I don't blame Pronger, I blame those responsible for selecting him.

  22. Scott Feschuk – I'd let you get to second base after reading this blog – pretty much play-by-played my thoughts on the game.

    Weber is the man (how bad ass – shooting the puck through the net?!); Crosby should shoot at the net…all the time; why did they choose Pronger again?; and of course Jon Hamm is bearded awesomeness.

    I think Niedermayer is the coolest – so chill and old-school and definitely showing his experience to calm things down out there on the ice.

    Looking forward to tonight's game!!

    • But how did Weber react to the Dear John letter? Will it affect his game?

      • I'm thinking he'll use that emotion to shoot the puck even harder – maybe take out Ovechkin…good thinking Feschuk!

  23. Richards invisible? He has 2 goals and he was picked as the 13th forward. Seen time on the top line, and pretty much every other line.What team were you watching? And Morrow has been doing exactly what he was brought here to do, wear down the opponents and try and create chances. He's playing 7 minutes a game how much do you want him to do?

  24. We should have played soccer instead :D

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