Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Great Day For Hockey

You couldn't ask for more: that great Canadian anthem playing as the home team stood wearing shiny gold medals.

I suspect people will be talking about the 2010 Winter Olympic hockey competition for many years, and the gold-medal game was a classic. The gritty Team USA hung around long enough to force overtime by scoring with less than 30 seconds left in regulation. US goaltender Ryan Miller continued his superhuman play until the best player in the sport, Sidney Crosby, scored the overtime winner.

It's a cliche', but nobody lost in this one. Team USA served notice that American-born hockey players have achieved parity with the world's best. The home team gave Canada a final bit of sweetness to wrap up the Olympic fortnight. And we all got to see some pretty good hockey.

At its best, hockey is a game of awe-inspiring speed, balance, and toughness. When it degenerates into the kind of thuggishness that all too often prevails in the NHL, we might want to dust off our memories of Vancouver 2010. Hats off to the winners, and to the team that pushed Team Canada to the limit.

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