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FAN ZONE

The Aftermath

Thoughts on the Gold Medal Game

Tuesday, 03.02.2010 / 8:57 AM / 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 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 47 27 12 8 143 120 62
6 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
7 WSH 47 24 14 9 140 124 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 40 10 16 -1 26
J. Jagr 43 9 16 -10 25
M. Cammalleri 35 15 6 -3 21
P. Elias 37 6 14 -14 20
M. Zidlicky 47 4 16 -7 20
M. Ryder 42 6 12 -2 18
T. Zajac 39 8 8 -7 16
S. Gomez 23 4 12 -5 16
S. Bernier 32 6 7 1 13
M. Havlat 29 5 7 -10 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 19 4 .920 2.41
K. Kinkaid 1 3 3 .913 2.54