August 30, 2004

The 2004 World Cup of Hockey: starts today. Of course, Team Canada is the favorite, but they better heed Wayne Gretzky's word: "It's not a cakewalk for anyone,..." For sure this will be an exciting tournament and my DVR will be set to full record.

posted by NoMich to hockey at 09:11 AM - 29 comments

Thank you, oh merciful Lord, for giving us these two weeks. Without much of anything to look forward to beyond that, I am a grateful soul. I can't wait.

posted by 86 at 10:06 AM on August 30, 2004

I'll be at next Tuesday's quarterfinal game in St. Paul. I can't wait!

posted by emoeby at 10:21 AM on August 30, 2004

What 86 said. Stock up and gorge yourselves on this great feast, people. It could be a long, long winter.

posted by chicobangs at 10:35 AM on August 30, 2004

We had all better get our fix now.... Anyone want to pick a winner? While I figure that Team Canada should win this thing I must say after watching highlights from the exhibition games I'm concerned with just how well they are going to do. I really wish that the organizers would let all the teams play on the larger ice-surface instead of just the European pool. I'll bet the most entertaining games will be played on the larger ice-surface. It seems like a disadvantage to me that all the teams in the European pool play on the larger ice surface and then have to play the final on the small (NHL) sized ice. Kind of stacking the deck again them, eh.

posted by camcanuck at 11:02 AM on August 30, 2004

agreed, cam. there should be standardization within the realm of a single tournament. And let me third the 'get it while you can' sentiment. talk over at offwingopinion of disbanding the league altogether from the owners is disheartening, even with the knowledge that its merely posturing at this point.

posted by garfield at 11:15 AM on August 30, 2004

Well, I have to say Canada is the favorite for three reasons: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo and Jose Theodore. Goaltending as always will be the difference and no one else has that kind of depth and proven experience. Sweden will be interesting to watch since their last international was considered a national shame and they have a shitload of firepower and grit (but Salo and Telqvist?) and the Czechs and Slovaks will be good to watch as well. I see Sweden and Canada in the finals.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:58 AM on August 30, 2004

I'm watching CZE-FIN right now. God, I missed this.

posted by Samsonov14 at 01:31 PM on August 30, 2004

Do you have beer? Tell us about the beer and hockey Samsonov. Tell us about the old times, when things were good, people cheered, and hockey ruled nine channels a night. Work sucks.

posted by 86 at 01:44 PM on August 30, 2004

And give us spoiler alerts. I'm DVRing this game right now.

posted by NoMich at 01:46 PM on August 30, 2004

It's freakin August people. Unless this is being played below the equator it is too damn hot ;)

posted by scully at 02:01 PM on August 30, 2004

The beer is cold, the hockey is good. Life is okay again.

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:11 PM on August 30, 2004

Everyone should join the hockey pool, by the way. Go to the lockerroom.

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:18 PM on August 30, 2004

I'm thinking Canada will make it to the finals, lead by Lemieux, but I'm not sure who they'll face. Maybe Finland, but of course anything is possible. I can't wait until tomorrow when I can actually catch a game or two. It should be great watching Canada play the U.S. in their 1920 throwback jerseys.

posted by Stan Fields at 03:15 PM on August 30, 2004

Sweden brought Salo? Tommy "6-Hole" Salo? Well, if they play him they will lose, and they will deserve it. I am cheering for Canada, of course, but I am not especially hopeful, given their performance in the exhibition games. They looked pretty flat against Slovakia, although they did wake up somewhat in the third.

posted by alex_reno at 04:24 PM on August 30, 2004

FWIW the CBC coverage of today's game suggested that in Europe they were doing everything the NHL way - NHL rules and NHL rink sizes - and that the European players were excited about it. I think Finland stands a good chance of being a team to beat. I mean, arguably, they pressed Canada harder than the States did at the Olympics. And they have some kid named Kiprusoff in net. FIN v CZE result

posted by gspm at 04:49 PM on August 30, 2004

My understanding was the rules will be standard NHL rules (with touch icing etc.), but the European pool will play on the larger ice surface. Watching hightlights from the FIN v. CZE game it was clearly on a larger ice surface. News today that Nabokov has withdrawn from the World Cup. Nothing like leaving your teammates high and dry at the last minute.

posted by camcanuck at 10:05 AM on August 31, 2004

It seems to me that population base is the most significant factor in medal count, although the Aussies pretty consistantly beat expectations in that department. It seems to me that an enlighted immigration policy is often helpful, in track and field, anyway, so Canada should do a little better in summer stuff. I think worrying about it is silly, though. Worry about who has the most stylin' uniforms for the opening and closing ceremonies if you have to worry about something-- Canada has had a historic over-reliance on cowboy hats, and something should be done about that.

posted by outside counsel at 11:34 AM on August 31, 2004

this is OT, but this is required reading for any NHL fan.

posted by garfield at 02:29 PM on August 31, 2004

Nice article garfield. Certainly explains the brazen stance of the League, proposing six different salary cap systems in full knowledge that they'd all be rejected. Bunch of conniving bastards.

posted by Succa at 03:06 PM on August 31, 2004

thank 86. but yeah, kinda scary how all the press releases by the league have so many regurgitating the 'greedy players' bit, huh?

posted by garfield at 03:47 PM on August 31, 2004

I love those 1920 jerseys. If only I looked good in yellow. Hard colour to pull off. Naturally I'll be rooting for Canada, but I also cheer on Germany. Home team first, then I root for the underdog.

posted by Salmonberry at 05:37 PM on August 31, 2004

Despite hysterical press releases that more resemble the worst (or best) political attack ads than they reflect reality The tactic works for the asswipes we call politicians so why shouldn't the owners go for it? They don't care about their own image.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:43 PM on August 31, 2004

They don't care about their own image. They should. Public perception (read: pressure) is usually what wins the stand off in the end. And we the public should be able to see through their ruse. It's not that the players aren't trying to get theirs. It's just that the owners aren't even prepared or willing to comprise. And that is down right dirty dealing. The game last night bodes well for the rest of the tournie, and hopefully we'll get to see an elimination game between Canada and the States. Esche was awesome in the first. So was the entire Canadian side. Then of course we sat on the 2-0 lead, and let them back into it. But that made the game a game again. So in conclusion, I missed you, hockey. I know our time together now will be brief, but lets make the moment last. And hopefully you'll be back soon.

posted by garfield at 08:42 AM on September 01, 2004

Great game last night! Tons of action, and emotions running high. Mario going after Konawalchuk was just classic. Canada/USA is turning into a pretty nice rivalry. The Americans have three of my least favourite players ever (Guerin, Thachuk, Chelios), and the traitorous Hull, so I have an easy time rooting against them. What was with the siren sounding after the Americans scored, anyway? Or was that some guy in the crowd? Is the NHL trying to make the Americans the "home" team in every rink?

posted by Succa at 10:07 AM on September 01, 2004

Only saw the first period but that was some intense action, no doubt. Owners and players are fools if they screw up this NHL season.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:11 AM on September 01, 2004

I love any team that can use Joe Thorton as a 4th line centre. Canada is something else to watch.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:45 PM on September 01, 2004

Again with the siren when the other team scores. What. the. fuck. Montreal?

posted by Succa at 11:42 AM on September 02, 2004

did they change one of the camera positions in Montreal? i remember a whole lot of this: and i didn't see that in the two games at the Bell centre. maybe they sold that seat to a shorter guy.

posted by gspm at 04:24 PM on September 02, 2004

Whoo-hoo, the USAians finally won a game! It was a pretty decisive victory as well. Still, hyva Suomi!

posted by NoMich at 12:46 AM on September 04, 2004

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