In praise of Bobby Ryan

In praise of Bobby Ryan
"The biggest thing is just his poise and his hands are unbelievable. I played with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, and those guys are probably the two best in the league. Bobby's hands are right with those guys... He's a superstar in the making, it seems."
---Ryan Whitney, former Ducks defenseman

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Team Finland vs Team Slovakia for bronze

Yours truly is home in time for this game, and ready to live blog.

I don't know what's wrong with Team Finland, but the commentators are right. There's no urgency, no desperacy, no passion in their play.

And it seems to be translating into a lack of goals on the ice.

At the first intermission, the score stands 1-0 Finland.

On the power play in the 2nd, it starts to look like Team Slovakia want that bronze (it would be their first team medal ever) a little bit more. Nobody's watching Marian Gaborik and he sneaks into the defensive borders of the Finns. From there, he's able to wrist the puck straight in past Miikka Kiprusoff.

The Fins get a couple of power play chances to retake the lead, but are unable to capitalize. Instead, the Slovaks take advantage of some Finnish recklessness and pull ahead with a goal on a 5-on-3.

And again on a short-handed breakaway.

At the second intermission, things are looking bleak for Finland as they trail 1-3.

Yours truly is feeling absolutely bummed. The last Olympic games for Saku and Teemu, and this is how they're going to go out? Please no!

As the 3rd begins, the commentators are pointing out that Teemu has only had eight minutes of ice time. He's also spending the Finland power plays on the bench! If yours truly was the Finnish coach, I'd have my number one goal scorer out there on each and every power play. Don't worry about him, he wants to play!

On a Finnish 5-on-3, Suomi closes the gap with a deflected goal off of Niklas Hagman. Mere minutes later, Olli Jokinen nets another. The score is tied 3-3 with 13 minutes left in regulation.

Finland finds themselves on another power play, courtesy Hossa. Who should grab the puck and get on a breakaway but Jokinen again. He shoots and it's in!

Suomi has just now taken the lead, 4-3. Unbelieavable rally! Three goals in barely over three and a half minutes. Slovakia is reeling. Finns need to keep up the pressure.

Talk about keeping the fans on the edge of their seats, Team Finland has to fight through a penalty kill before the game ends. At one point, the equalizer is right at the Slovak fingertips, but Zednik can't pull the trigger.

In these final minutes, Kipper has GOT to come up huge. The Slovak net is empty with a minute left...

Kimmo sets up Valteri Filpula for the empty netter... and it's in!

Yours truly is just elated to watch the Finnish boys on the bench jumping and cheering and yelling at Filpula as he converges on the empty net. Watching them hug and clap each other on the back, I can't help but feel so good for Teemu as the cameras cut to him jumping up and down like a little boy, a huge smile on his face. The excitement just pours out of him.

Teemu, Saku, and SUOMI with the bronze! Way to go, guys! The big gold medal game is tomorrow, Team USA and Team Canada.

No matter who wins and who loses, Ducks came out winners these Olympics. They'll be bringing seven medals home to Anaheim!


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