I know I’ve been overly reliant on bullet points lately, but I don’t care! WOOOOOO! U-S-A! U-S-A!
1. You know you’re all revved up about hockey when you wake up in the morning and the first thought in your head is “CRUNCH-Y! CRUNCH-Y! CRUNCH-Y!” I can’t imagine a more fun introduction to Olympic hockey than this. It’s amazing to feel such ownership of the US team. For the zillionth time, thanks for being awesome, Crunchy.
2. Can you BELIEVE that the win last night set up a probable CAN/RUS non-medal game? One of the two, either Russia or Canada, is going to leave the Olympics with nothing. Hell, it might turn out that Russia was the biggest loser last night. That is MIND BOGGLING.
3. Admittedly, I’m being hugely influenced by Ryan Miller’s participation, but I’ve been surprised by my capacity to cheer for Team USA. Before the Olympics began I was kind of worried about the “Drury Ick” factor. I mean, cheering for my country is one thing, but cheering for Chris Drury and Phil Kessel? Gross! Turns out, it’s no problem whatsoever. In fact, when Drury scored last night I had a long moment of, “OMG…..I love that clutch-y guy.” The only thing saving me from a complete Drury love-fest is his lack of a playoff beard. I’d be toast if he had that beard right now. T-O-A-S-T.
4. As much as I’ve enjoyed my temporary journey into sports-related jingoism, I do think everyone should cool it with the comparisons to the 1980 US team. It’s rare that the USA gets to enjoy being the underdog, but let’s not blow this TOTALLY out of proportion. I mean, our team is composed of NHLers too. Crunchy may look like a homeless high school dropout, but in reality he’s a highly skilled professional who makes $6.25 million a year being a goalie. That said, I love love love love love LOVE that our team is scrappier, hard-working-er, feistier, and heart-i-er. Let’s just enjoy this win for what it is: TOTALLY PHONKING AWESOME on its own merits. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
5. I’ve watched the replay a dozen times and I STILL don’t understand how Ryan Kesler got that puck into the open net. From where I’m sitting it looks like Kesler just magically out-hotted it past Corey Perry.
6. I thought Crunchy’s fresh-off-the-ice postgame interview was incredibly interesting last night. He was so subdued. He seemed overwhelmed and exhausted, but then there were occasional glimmers of child-like excitement in his answers.
I’ve written a bit about how Ryan Miller is interesting to me in my role as a performer (of music), and last night was one of those instances times INFINITY. Last night he was on a huge international stage, he performed like a rockstar, but even when it was all over you could see that he was fighting to stay focused on the bigger goal. This highly cultivated focus is why I’m fascinated by Ryan Miller, but the vulnerability he shows when he lets down his guard is why I adore him. The interview last night had it all.
I am so grateful that Ryan Miller is the guy I get to watch every night playing in goal for the Sabres. He’s always interesting, that guy. Always.