Olympic rant!

February 25th, 2010 by Burgundy Leave a reply »

The Men’s Olympic Hockey Semi-Finals are set to get underway on Friday after the Quarter-Finals wrapped up last night. I’m not going to review the stomping Canada laid on the Russians because I’m sure every other blog and web site has already touched on it. I’m not sure I can offer any new insight either. Evgeni Nabokov easily played the worst game of his career and the Russian forwards were dreadful in the neutral zone. Full marks to Canada for their effort though. They played one of the best first periods I’ve ever seen.

Instead of game reviews today, I’m going to rant about some of the things that have really ticked me off over the last few days in the Olympics. Feel free to add yours below – I can’t be the only one with issues about the Olympics!

  • Luongo’s familiarity with Canada Hockey Place – I keep hearing TV analysts and people online citing Roberto Luongo’s familiarity with the ice, boards, etc… of Canada Hockey Place (or GM Place). I think that’s ridiculous. Do you have any idea how much work went into this arena prior to the Olympics? The glass isn’t the same glass used in Vancouver Canucks games. The boards have basically been rebuilt. The ice is getting chewed up faster than free desert at a Britney Spears dinner. Very little of Canada Hockey Place should be familiar to Luongo or any other Canuck. In fact, the only the thing that’s the same is the doorway to enter the building. Luongo is a great goalie and has been solid for Team Canada, but this isn’t one of the reasons why!
  • Christian Ehrhoff’s Team Canada Comments – Following Germany’s Quarter-Final loss to Canada, Christian Ehrhoff reportedly said he wasn’t very impressed with Team Canada. He went on to say “[The Russians] bring skill, but they also play very hard and physical. They have a great goalie and I think they have the complete package to pull it off here”. According to Chris Stevenson of Sun Meda, Ehrhoff agreed Canada isn’t yet at the level of team play the Russians and Americans have shown so far. Here’s my question: Was Ehrhoff watching the same tournament as the rest of us? The Russians didn’t look very impressive at any point in this tournament. Team USA looked extremely disjointed, prior to the great game they played against Canada. And Ehrhoff’s quotes came after the Germans were soundly beaten by Canada in a fairly dominant Canadian performance. Sounds like someone is bitter…
  • Skates in Faceoffs – As everyone knows, one of the subtle differences between international hockey and the NHL is rules about using skates on faceoffs. In the NHL, it’s perfectly fine. In international hockey, it’s not. Having said that, I can’t tell you how many faceoffs I’ve seen won with skates. In yesterday’s Quarter-Final games alone there were 4 or 5 instances. I don’t really care for the rule, personally, but rules are rules, right?
  • Evgeni Plushenko – OK, this one isn’t so much about hockey, but I found it hilarious. Following a great opening skate last week, the Russian Figure skater took a verbal jab at his competition saying “Without a quad it’s not men’s figure skating”. In other words, you aren’t a man if you aren’t pushing the figure skating boundaries. Uhh, Evgeni, you are still wearing tights, make up and glittery costumes that only Lady Gaga would wear… pretty sure that’s not considered “manly” either.
  • Another Pierre McGuire Quote – No international hockey tournament is complete without at least one eye rolling Pierre McGuire quote. This one was pulled from Tuesday’s Canada-Germany game when McGuire discussed the infamous “Luuuuu” chants for Roberto Luongo. During the telecast, McGuire said the following: “A lot of kids cry, they don’t understand why people are booing Luongo… that needs to be explained to a lot of people”. *Sigh*  Yeah, another great McGuire quote. When I heard him say this, I got the distinct feeling that millions of other hockey fans around the world were rolling their eyes just like I was. It was powerful! I anticipate more great quotes later this week given the size of his current Shea Weber man-crush.
  • Terrible Reffing – I didn’t think the Olympic refereeing would be more inconsistent than the NHL, but wow, it is! How wrong I was. It’s everything, too. From penalties called (hitting, interference, holding or tripping – like last night’s Marian Gaborik penalty), faceoffs and even stopping play when goalies are hit in the head with pucks. There’s been several times this tournament where the play has been blown down and I’ve been completely lost as to why.
  • Olympic Brackets – I realize this isn’t anyone’s fault, but prior to the Quarter-Final games yesterday, you could split the tournament brackets into two groups: top and bottom, with one team from each group making it to the Gold Medal game. The top brackets featured USA, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Finland while the bottom brackets featured Canada, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden. With all due respect to each Country/Team, the bottom bracket’s seemed way tougher. Than again, both Russia and Sweden looked pretty average all tournament… I’m completely confused why. This tournament has been weird…
  • 2010 Miracle on Ice – This one drive me crazy. When you look at the American Men’s Hockey team, it’s a solid NHL team. On paper, perhaps it lacks the big names Canada and Russia boast, but it’s a very strong hockey team. Calling this team the “2010 Miracle on Ice” or even making the comparison is downright insulting to the quality players on the team. Although Team USA wasn’t considered the top team in this tournament, their success so far is hardly a surprise. TV broadcasters need to stop with all the “Ryan Miller played well because Jim Craig was watching” nonsense. Ryan Miller played (and is playing) well because he’s one of the best goalies in the world. End of story!

Stay classy, Olympic hockey.

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  1. Sens19 says:

    Great read.
    Wait Ehrhoff actually said that? Holy bitterness and unclassiness , Russians bring skill AND physical play? If I’m not mistaken it was Canada who scored 4 goals in the opening period and added some of the best bone crushing hitting to that. Ha so we’ve proved the Russians and Germans wrong in one night eh.
    Miller is really one of the best atm but I truly believe if we play the US again (which we probab will) we can beat him, not easily but we can beat him)

  2. Burgundy says:

    He did say that, but in fairness to Ehrhoff, it was said after the CAN-GER game and before the CAN-RUS game. Still… rather unfounded comments. I wonder if he’ll get any kind of reaction from the Vancouver fans after the Olympics ends.

    RE: CAN-USA final. It’s certainly setting up that way. I’m all for it. I think Canada can beat them with stable goaltending and better forechecking (like the GER and RUS) games. USA are pretty good though. And they’ll have to shut down that Rafalski-sniper guy ;)

  3. metricjulie says:

    Grrrr. I like it when you get all mad.

    And I have nothing more to say than what Sens19 has said already.

    Oh! I hate the ugly color the Olympics brings out in people bashing other countries. Honestly it is ridiculous. I somehow managed to get into an argument about Quebec WITH A FELLOW CANADIAN. We are on the same side! And this person said “Quebec should have separated” and “Habs shouldn’t even be Canadian”. WHAT THE

    All the attacks on people, culture, ethnicity… SHEESH. People are either crazy or insecure or both or I don’t even know. I’ve seen some sickening comments.

  4. Nock4Six says:

    You’re kinda turning me on Kev.

  5. Mantooth says:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha Nice comment Nock4Six!

  6. Burgundy says:

    Wow, maybe I should rant more? Right Kym? :)

    @ Julie – I’ve heard some of those arguments too. Olympics are funny that way. People get so caught up in it all.

  7. Champ says:

    LOL love the Plashenko comment. I’m thinking maybe we need to add a recuring rant for you monsieur Burgundy

  8. metricjulie says:


    This does not affect most of you but here in Québec, it has almost driven me to stab myself in the face with a spoon just to focus on something else.

  9. Sens19 says:

    After the success of this rant I think Mr.Burgundy will have more angry mornings from now on haha

    lool @ Nock4Six!

  10. Carl Peelash says:

    Another McGuire beaut: during the GER-BEL game, a German player came out of the box and after the play, he said something along the lines of, “The Belarussian fans saw the German player step out of the box and call for a pass, but they cheered louder so the player with the puck couldn’t hear him calling for it.” A new low.

  11. Fantana says:

    Funny read indeed.

    I have a topic to add here concerning the Canadian women. Two things, actually.

    First, I was shocked to see them celebrating their gold medal tonight well before the final buzzer went off. Of all people, it was Wickenheiser, the captain, who was the first to turn her back on the play with 8 seconds to go… this is her 4th Olympic medal and 3rd gold medal. Could she not wait another 8 seconds to celebrate? Not very classy. It was also quite dangerous because they all threw their helmets off before the game ended – you could actually see a puck that was a last minute American shot just miss some of the Canadian women.

    Second point – When you’re winning a game 14-1 and you’re actually trying to score the 15th goal (which is pretty over-the-top if you ask me), don’t go nuts when you actually do score it. I thought the Canadian women were terrible about this all tournament long. It’s like they were all individually trying to out-do Ovechkin’s hot stick dance in every one of their preliminary games.

  12. SLC says:

    Your rants are improving, grasshopper. You have learned well.

    I keed, I keed…

    And +many on Plushenko. I wonder if anyone has ever explained “repression” to him?

  13. The Fly says:

    Great post. Couldn’t agree more.

    However, Pierre is right, whenever Luongo makes a save inside GM Place, it’s like a scene taken out from a screening of The Exorcist. Anyone under 13 starts screaming and running out of the building. True story.

  14. Burgundy says:

    @ Fly – Really? So its not completely bullshit?

    @ SLC – I’m guessing not. Then again, we’re talking about a sport that also includes Johnny Weir, so who the hell really knows? BTW, love your writing – I learn from the best (everyone- do yourself a favour and check out FiveforSmiting.com).

    @ Fantana – Yeah, not a big fan of that either. But hey, it’s all acceptable according to the IOC. What really dislike is celebrations! I wonder what they’d think of Ovechkin’s hot stick? (I smell another blog coming).

    @ Carl – Good catch. That’s a great one. I actually laughed out loud at that. Thanks for putting that in your comment. Made my day.

    @ Sens19 – You are the definition of classy. You and Joannie Rochette. That’s some high company!! Oh, and I’ll throw Kym in there too (nock4six).

  15. Nock4Six says:

    I had to come back for round 2.

    *lights a smoke*

  16. GelatinousMutantCoconut says:

    Yet another great McGuire quote “I want you to look at his eyes”. Said while the replay was a shot of of Keith FROM BEHIND.

  17. BZA says:

    Mcguire called weber an “Adonis on skates” after smoking someone into the net tonight

  18. Sens19 says:

    wow you put me, Joannie Rochette and the word classy all in one sentence….and this blog keeps getting better and better hehe ;)

  19. Sens19 says:

    Also as for the girls (sorry if this is going to be long): I’m not saying there was absolutely nothing wrong regarding the celebrations especially the underage drinking but people seem to forget a few things:
    a) these girls have been in camp since August, gave up their lives, moved their families and dedicated themselves 100% to Team Canada so give them a break if they want to enjoy every single goal they score (even if it’s the record breaking 18th goal). Also excuse them for getting overly excited with 8 secs left, this is 6 months and 55 games of training worth a wait.

    b) these may be the last olympics for women’s hockey for a while. So these girls wanted to soak every second of the experience and probably didnt have the energy to think about being classy to the public. These girls dare I say have probably put in more effort into this than the boys even though they knew they’d be facing off much weaker teams, let them show off a bit and enjoy the moment it’s the only time people give them any credit anyways!

  20. Burgundy says:

    Yes, this is a highly classy blog. We’re only scraping the surface here…

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