GAME TIME: 4:30 PM PST
STARTING CANADIAN GOALIE: Roberto Luongo
Ah yes, it's time to put aside the hatred for some of these Canadian players (ahem Crosby) and find it within myself to cheer them on. It's not a tough transition really. When Mario Lemieux (who I usually can't stand) lifted his skate to let the Pronger pass go to Kariya who then scored on Mike Richter in Salt Lake City I found myself almost worshiping the guy for his brilliance (see the video after the jump). Brilliance that I could care less about when he was a Pittsburgh Penguin. The same rule applied in the 1987 Canada Cup when Mario scored the winner there against the "evil" Russians.
This time around it's all about cheering for a guy named Sidney Crosby. See the similarity there? Another Penguin. Doesn't matter. He plays for us now. And I really want this Canadian team to win gold in Vancouver. Crosby can lead the team in scoring and I will love it. But that's it. As soon as he puts on a Penguins jersey the love "dies" in a sense, immediately.
More after the jump..
Expect a route in this one. Goals-for applies in international play. Nice how there is immediate familiarity with some of the guys right off the hop:
Team Norway's roster can be seen here. You may recognize a few names there.
It's easy to be cocky in these preliminary rounds, but gold is far from guaranteed in these Olympics, especially with the continued emergence of USA, Russia and Sweden mostly.
Enjoy the game! Here is a clip to get you into the groove...like you needed it (oh Burnaby Joe you were so damned good).