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The Aftermath

Thoughts on the Gold Medal Game

Tuesday, 03.2.2010 / 8:57 AM ET / Fan Zone
By Anthony Oliva
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The Aftermath

Canada's gold medal in hockey will go down as one of the greatest moments in hockey history, maybe sports history. I've been in transit for the past 24 hours, so sorry for the lack of updates. I had a quick post-game beer with my new Vancouverian friends, then hopped a flight to LA, followed by the red eye to New York. I'm back in Jersey but aching to be back in Vancouver, despite telling myself its worse for them as that party has suddenly ended.

But what a party it was!

When Zach Parise tied that game at two with 24 seconds left on the clock, three things happened:

1. 34 million mild heart attacks gripped all of Canada
2. I lost my voice in an otherwise silent arena. It was like watching your brother tie the game.  Who wasn't happy to see a Devil do it?

Then the Midas touch of Sidney Crosby ended all my hoopla. A Stanley Cup in June followed by a gold medal less than a year later? That's some hardware you got there, Sid. For the gold medal goal to come off his stick... I'm shaking my head. As depressed as I was amid the celebration of a nation, this is exactly how that story should have been told. The country's new favorite son etching his name alongside Wayne Gretzky's in the mythos of their game. Canada beating the USA on its home turf for a gold medal.

In overtime.

To break the Olympic record of 13 gold medals for any country to win during a single Olympics.

At the final event of the Games. Geez. This is how storybooks are written.

I cried the entire way back to my condo on the corner of Seymour and Davie, and got a few taunts along the way (I was draped in American apparel – not American Apparel), but mostly people either didn't notice the lone American shuffling through the crowd, or – and to Canadians' credit – offered their condolences. When I came here almost three weeks ago, the answer to the question, "Who will you root for?" would garner a resounding, "Le duh." I'm an American. But after going through the entire tournament in "enemy territory," and seeing Team USA come so close... God, that Crosby goal hurt so much more than I ever would have imagined. I guess at the end of the day, that just really means I was a part of it. If had been watching on TV for two weeks, I'd probably let out a sigh and flip the channel.  But this was more like the Devils losing in the playoffs.  So painful to watch.

The two guys that appeared to take it the hardest were Parise, and captain Jamie Langenbrunner. By now, I hope its settling in that they performed admirably, and honestly, this may be a partly homer thing to say, but other than goalie Ryan Miller, this team doesn't come close to silver without Parise and Langenbrunner leading the charge with their tenacity and nose for the net. I'm so happy these guys are Devils.

There's a long-held belief in hockey circles that some championship teams suffer from "Stanley Cup hangover," that they struggled the following year because of a potent recipe of the previous season's prolonged schedule and an inability to get up for a Tuesday night tilt vs. Insert Bottom Feeding Team Here in mid-December. I never really put much stock in that, but I'm pretty sure I have Olympic hangover, and I did was have the privilege to watch. It's back to the NHL grind for me, and I don't know how I'm going to make it to through the next 45 days until the playoffs...

What a ride. Thanks for tuning in, people!

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 52 15 23 7 38
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
K. Palmieri 52 20 15 3 35
A. Henrique 50 16 16 14 32
T. Zajac 44 7 17 6 24
D. Schlemko 44 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 52 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 50 1 12 0 13
A. Greene 52 4 6 2 10
J. Moore 44 3 7 -1 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 23 15 5 .929 2.03
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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