Monday, February 22, 2010

A higher, faster, stronger Plus/Minus

Last week I actually wondered how I'd review a week with no Canadiens. Turns out it was much easier than expected, especially since last night the team I cheered for got beat by Ryan Miller and his ugly helmet, and I woke up to find out that other fans were whining about goalies. ("Luongo" was a Twitter trending topic the day after Brodeur started. My days of no goalie conflicts were good while they lasted.)


+ for the superfans: the Vancouver Green Men who've been having their fun at the Olympics, and to the "He Shoots He Scores" gentleman who never misses a chance to cheer on Canadian hockey at an international level. (King blogger Dennis Kane mentioned him earlier this week, before I got the chance to, and I'm glad to know I'm not the only fan.) Does anyone know anything about this man? Should we give him a nickname? I'm thinking Mr. Canada, unless you think Hayley Wickenheiser wouldn't mind sharing the title of Captain Canada.
+ Our Hamilton Bulldogs for their 5-0 win on home ice at the Bell Centre. Yes, I said home ice.
+ for our medallists, for their hard work and their sheer glee at making it to the podium, and to the athletes who didn't win medals but gave it their all and just happened to be outdone by stronger/luckier contenders.
+ to the silver and bronze medallists in women's snowboard cross, who instead of being disappointed that they couldn't catch up to Maelle Ricker, acted like they were too happy to share the podium with her and share a happy moment with Canadians. It was a fantastic display of sportsmanship.
+ James Duthie has won me over during these Games. He's been relaxed and affable and he holds nothing back, from his burns on Michael Landsberg to his WTF face at the atrocity that is MuchMusic's ski cabin.
+ An enemy plus goes to Shaun White, who's ridiculously good and so fun to watch on the halfpipe. He makes me want to try snowboarding, even though I know it's not as easy as he makes it look.


- Can anyone else believe the horrible taste that the Globe and Mail and Chartered Accountants displayed by running this ad mere days after the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili?
- to all the people who can't make up their mind about these Olympic Games. They say that our women's hockey team is too arrogant by finishing games with such high scores, and that the Own the Podium program is un-Canadian, and yet the very same media outlets will bitch and moan when a medal hopeful doesn't pick up any hardware. You can't complain about having one of the best teams in the world in one sport, and then picking on other Canadian athletes and calling them "disappointing"or saying they "choked" when they place fifth. How can anyone possibly be disappointed that their country raised and trained one of the best athletes in the world, even if they're not the number-one best? The shame shouldn't lie on the drooping shoulders of an exhausted, medal-less athlete, but on every un-patriotic countryman stupid enough to criticize them from the comfort of a couch or an office chair.
- to the genius who wrote to the Gazette this week and said that un-firing Georges Laraque would solve all of the Canadiens' problems (which he listed, by the way). Sure, having a little extra muscle might help during a time when all pucks seem to be directed at Habs' heads, but it's quite clear that Laraque was let go because things just weren't working out with him. I don't see how his return would change everything for this team, especially since the same end could be met by different means: finding another fighter before the trade deadline, begging Tom Kostopoulos to come back, reversing Greg Stewart's waiver situation, calling up Eric Neilson, or giving Travis Moen and Maxim Lapierre a slap in the face and a whole lot of Red Bull to get them good and angry. But I doubt that a fight here or there is what's keeping this team from the Cup finals. (I know I just played armchair GM after criticizing someone else for doing just that, and I'm sorry.)
- on a more serious note, our condolences go out to figure skater Joannie Rochette, who as of this writing has chosen to compete on Tuesday despite her mother's passing. It's not the kind of emotional situation that anyone should have to go through.

Well, it's been another week of ups and downs (mostly downs if you're anyone but me) but there's hope for our Olympians yet. And once the Olympics are over, there will be hockey.

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