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.