Sports And The City

It was 4-1.

It could have been worse

with 12 comments

As a Maple Leafs fan, I was well prepared for what we witnessed during Wednesday night’s third period between Canada and Russia. A blown lead? Spotty goaltending? A timeout taken too late? Been there, done that. I remember watching years ago when Toronto blew a 5-0 third period lead to St. Louis at home, and lost 6-5 in overtime. The only difference between last night’s game and a Leafs game was that the stakes were much higher. Much, much higher.

While it certainly was a Canadian collapse of BIBLICAL proportions, ensuring silver — or not gold — medals for Canada in back-to-back years, I’m all for healthy competition. The rivalries between Canada and the U.S., and Canada and Russia, are only getting better. And Sweden’s desperate attempts to get noticed are kind of charming. Because let’s be honest, if Canada’s running the table and winning every year without the likes of Matt Duchene, Taylor Hall, and Evander Kane, among others, the tournament’s too bloody easy.

I take nothing away from the Russians, of course. What an unbelievable comeback. Comebacks. They did it all tournament. I watched them do it against both Finland and Sweden yet, heading into the third period, didn’t give them a prayer versus Canada. Scandinavian countries blow third period leads. Canada doesn’t. The National Post’s Bruce Arthur nailed it with his column: How Russia did it, and where they did it, led by their injured captain, was utterly ridiculous. The late comebacks couldn’t have been drawn up. Because that’s just too dangerous a game plan. That’s the opposite of a goddamn game plan. Even with Canada on the losing end, the skilled Russians were captivating to watch.

I won’t say Canada had trouble getting up for the Russians. They dominated the first period, and were up 3-0 with 20 minutes to play; they were ready. But to a man, Canada looked a lot hungrier against the Americans. Against the U.S., Canada didn’t let up. The Americans were never in the hockey game, not for a minute. It was the U.S. Canada wanted. That was their gold medal game. Mine too, I think.

Yeah, I’ve decided I prefer Canada lose 5-3 to the Russians in the gold medal game, in absurd fashion, blowing a 3-0 third period lead in the process, than lose to the Americans, any which way, in the semifinal.

Image courtesy this isn’t happiness.

Written by Navin Vaswani

January 6th, 2011 at 3:59 am

12 Responses to 'It could have been worse'

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  1. I have to agree. If you’re going to lose, lose to the Russians. At least we avenged the US loss last year.

    Also, I was hoping for an entertaining final, not a lopsided result. I think it might have had something to do with the fact that Canada already won the Olympic Gold, that took just a little bit away from this tournament.

    Escaped Lab Rat

    6 Jan 11 at 10:51 am

  2. We’re on the exact same page, Ryan.

    Make sure you read Jeff Blair’s article in The Globe about the loss. It’s spot on. It’s hard to believe what has become of a tournament featuring teenagers.

    Navin Vaswani

    7 Jan 11 at 12:43 am

  3. The maple leafs suck.


    10 Jan 11 at 9:19 pm

  4. Toronto gets blanked by quick tonite. Then we will see how you
    Run your mouth about u.s.a. Hockey


    10 Jan 11 at 9:25 pm

  5. How about them Leafs, Paul?

    Navin Vaswani

    11 Jan 11 at 11:22 am

  6. They have talent. The rookie looks good between the pipes. But they obviously caught L.A. @ the right time. Good luck against the Sharks and Niemi tonite. Pavelski might return so your boys will sucking wind for 60 minutes.


    11 Jan 11 at 8:48 pm

  7. I’ll be following your game coverage on the score tonite. Last time I followed one of your Leafs broadcasts they got crushed by the Penguins. Every fickle Leaf fan wanted Komisarek’s head that night. Hell they were critical of every player. Loved how all the critics vanished during the Atlanta blowout. Just can’t tolerate two faced fans or so called fans. Good luck tonite. You will need it.


    11 Jan 11 at 9:00 pm

  8. That would be Joe Pavelski, Navin. Formerly of Team U.S.A.
    5-1 Sharks due for a breakout. And the Leafs just don’t play well in their own end which makes this rookie look all the more remarkable. But, he won’t start back to back nights and that bad news for The Monster. Make that 6-1 Sharks. See you @ 10:30. Just don’t encourage your followers to abandon ship when it gets ugly tonite. Again good luck in the Shark Tank. I mean that


    11 Jan 11 at 9:18 pm

  9. Well played game last night. Reimer kept his team in the game and should stick with the team. They play better in front of him . Thought the monster would start the back of of the west coast doubleheader and get rocked.


    12 Jan 11 at 9:01 am

  10. Reimer was outstanding
    they ay better in front of him.
    I’d not send him down and give him the start against Phoenix. He’s earned it. great game last nite. Expected to see the monster in goal on the backend of the west coast doubleheader, and was sure he’s get rocked . Good luck going forward


    12 Jan 11 at 9:19 am

  11. Paul, thanks for the clarification re: Pavelski. And James Reimer is the truth. Any predictions for the Phoenix game? You’re on a roll.

    Navin Vaswani

    13 Jan 11 at 1:27 am

  12. Reimer let me down last nite against Phoenix. Things were looking promising through two periods. Wasn’t expecting a collapse in the 3rd. Maybe he gets another shot against Calgary tomorrow night . Hopefully Ottawa wears down the Flames tonite and they are show up flat
    Got my eye on Varlamov tonite
    Speaking of which, back to your coverage of Washington + Vancouver on the score
    1-1 @ the moment after the Edler goal . Good luck to your Leafs against Calgary Saturday
    I’d give Reimer another shot


    14 Jan 11 at 7:48 pm

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