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Five thoughts from U.S.-Russia…which was a good game

Feb 15, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

1. Jonathan Quick may not have a pulse. Here was his response when asked how he stayed “even” during such a wild shootout: “You go through shootouts during the regular season. You get put into situations like that a lot. You know what to expect.” Yep, just another shootout at the ol’ Bolshoy Ice Dome. Ho-hum. No different than a Tuesday night in Columbus. I guess there’s a reason he plays well under pressure. Anyway, Quick’s obviously the man for the United States going forward. Dan Bylsma called his performance “exceptional,” though the coach did leave the door open to giving Ryan Miller the start tomorrow versus Slovenia.

2. Yes, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov could really scratch Alexander Radulov. I don’t think it was an empty threat. The “among other things” was. Probably. But Russia plays the disaster that is Slovakia tomorrow. If it were an elimination game, maybe it would be different. But when a player takes two needless penalties that result in the only two goals the other team scores in regulation, on a stage like the Olympics, well, his coach is going to be upset. Maybe Bilyaletdinov will reconsider after sleeping on it, but then how would that look after what he said?

VIDEO: Watch OT and the shootout again

3. The crowd is a factor. “For sure, for sure. Definitely,” said Sergei Bobrovsky when asked if the home fans gave his team a lift. “I’m obviously focused on the game, but it’s easy to hear the crowd,” he said. “They were great. They support us very well, so thanks.” On the other side of the coin, here was Ryan McDonagh on the atmosphere: “We knew it was going to be loud with that crowd. We talked about controlling our emotions, and discipline. I think we did a good job of that, not falling into a run-and-gun style of game.” I’ve been in loud North American rinks during the playoffs, and what I heard tonight was just as loud, if not louder. When Russia scored, the sound was physically jarring. Pretty impressive given it’s a smaller rink than the ones in the NHL. Tonight’s attendance was 11,678. (Though I’m not sure that counted Putin. Does he need a ticket? I feel like he doesn’t.)

4. They may have lost, but the Russians were good. “I think our team played great tonight, but our result was not good,” is how Pavel Datsyuk put it. I admit I was skeptical that the Russians were good enough to win gold — I think a lot of people were (and some still will be) — but my opinion of them went up tonight. One thing Bilyaletdinov mentioned is that the power play needs to be better. It scored once tonight, but with all that talent out there, it maybe should’ve done better with the 8:18 it had to work with.

VIDEO: Al Michaels, Doc Emrick discuss game’s historical impact

5. I’m fine with how that game ended. Regular readers will know I care little for NHL shootouts, but it’s never been because shootouts, in and of themselves, aren’t entertaining. I just don’t think it’s a fair way to decide so many games. Tonight was something else. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Zach Parise. And neither have I. It was fantastic drama. Ultimately, tonight’s result isn’t going to cost anyone a medal. It may mean the Russians will have to play an extra game, but that may not be such a bad thing for them anyway. Worked for Canada in 2010.

  1. lowenni - Feb 15, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    During the NBC intermission of Sweden-Latvia, Dan Patrick was interviewing Oshie and he kept asking him questions about his goals. Oshie was hesitant to talk about himself and instead kept giving credit to his team for supporting him and his “partner” out there in Quick. Epitome of class and humbleness. This is why I love the American team, and America.

    • puregreed - Feb 15, 2014 at 7:17 PM

      Just make sure you do not wear your American gear outside of the Olympic village. That’s what you government said anyway, probably because everyone will run up to you and want to learn about class and humbleness. Unfortunately the Canadians don’t have to deal with that and can proudly fly their colors anywhere.

      • c9castine - Feb 16, 2014 at 8:00 PM

        sometimes the leader of the pack has a target on his back.

    • blomfeld - Feb 15, 2014 at 10:05 PM

      - Jonathan Quick may not have a pulse ?

      - Yep, just another shootout at the ol’ Bolshoy Ice Dome.

      - Quick’s obviously the man for the United States going forward !

      Friends, at this juncture of my existence, I’m left quite ‘positively’ at a loss for words ! :) :) :) :) :) :)

      ____________________________________________________________

      Judge: would counsel for the Truth like to add anything further ?

      Blomfeld: not at this time your honor

      Judge: very well then, the court deems Jonathan Quick to be the NHL’s best keeper !

      The People: Hurray ! .. Hurray ! .. Hurray !

      • c9castine - Feb 16, 2014 at 12:19 AM

        I’m right there with you thumbs up on quick from the start

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 16, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        Me too.

  2. silversun60 - Feb 15, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    After that game I almost feel bad that both those teams are going to watch canada win gold. Almost.

    • pastabelly - Feb 15, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Doesn’t TSN have a comments section for you Canadians to play in.

      • dueman - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        Yes it does, but right now it’s flooded by Americans bragging about how they are going to destroy the Canadians and all others that stand in their way of gold….you know, the epitome of class and humbleness! lol

    • badgerhockey77 - Feb 15, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      C’mon…you can do better then that! I expect more from you Canadian trolls. That was weak. Anyways, Canada sure looked scary after beating MIGHTY Norway and Austria!

      • dueman - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        Now, now buddy. the US had the MIGHTY Slovakia, and tomorrow they have the MIGHTY Slovenia. I’d expect more from you American trolls.

      • puregreed - Feb 15, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        Not scarier than you guys looked when you won the gold a few Olympics ago, you know the one in 1980.

  3. pastabelly - Feb 15, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    I agree that home ice helps. The USA is a better team than Russia, but it’s tough winning on the road at any level, especially in the Olympics. I think it certainly helped put Canada over the top four years ago.

    • chanceoffleury - Feb 15, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      Any decent American hockey fan should know the first rule of Olympic hockey is to respect any sort of talent of EVERY opponent. And when you’re playing on their home ice, the crowd IS part of their “talent”. I bet you Vladislav Tretiak would tell you the same thing. The only indication anybody had of who iced the “better team” today was by taking a look at the final score. Today Team USA and Team Russia were pretty evenly matched. Remains to be seen whether that loss will deflate Russia or light a fire under their butt, but I’m sorta hoping somebody takes care of them before Team USA has to deal with them again. Nonetheless: big, big win by the stars and stripes. I hope they take it and keep on rollin’! Slovenia awaits! (on a high of their own, should be a good game!)

  4. buffalo65 - Feb 15, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    As I wrote before where were the fights? As all the old school thugs write, fighting is an essential part of the game. How can this game be a classic without such a key element??

  5. buffalo65 - Feb 15, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Because America and humble go hand in hand. Lol…not.

    • therooneyskilledwebster - Feb 15, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      We definitely know that Buffalo and wide right go hand in hand.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 16, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        Buffalo and chicken wings.

    • blomfeld - Feb 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      It’s called ‘patriotic pride’ pal … something which we Canadians could use a lot more of !

  6. General37 - Feb 15, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Il. Say one thing, I hope Patrick Kane and Dustin brown get their heads out of their butts, these are 2 of our most important players and they were our worse players on the ice today, take away the pretty assist from Kane and he was a negative all day

    • jhaegs - Feb 15, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      Exactly. Kane is trying to do way too much. He’s surrounded by some of the best players in the world, and he needs to use them. Brown… well he’s playing exactly how I thought he would- stupid penalties and poor play. Going knee on knee against my boy, Tarasenko??? Way to let the Russians tie it up, DB. Backes probably had some words with him in the locker room after that. Brown needs to be scratched…

    • hockeyflow33 - Feb 15, 2014 at 11:46 PM

      So if you take away Kane’s positive plays, he played bad?

      • jhaegs - Feb 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        Kane is a great player. I’m sure he’ll get it figured out. Not only is he playing with some of the elite players, but he’s playing against them, too.

    • comeonnowguys - Feb 16, 2014 at 8:35 AM

      Kane already has three assists on a line with Dustin Brown. Only so much you can do. Despite this, I like how he and Kesler play off of each other so far.

      Still, there’s room for improvement from him.

  7. csilojohnson - Feb 15, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    You are an idiot buffalo65.

  8. dumbassgreg - Feb 15, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    hockey may actually make nbc prime time. when nbc turns this it a reality show airs next wednesday or thursday night. lol. yes good game but remember sweden was easily best team in early games in 2002. one bad goal in elimination game they were out. also is there a more overrated dirty player then dustin brown. still him out play stepen.

  9. flyersfan67 - Feb 15, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Yeah, great, humble respectful team. Lol . Getting decimated in their own zone, and only thing they can do is knock the net off the stop pressure . Classless, but I guess that’s why everyone thinks quick is so good lol

    • patthehockeyfan - Feb 15, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      I don’t see Steve Mason or Sugar Ray Emery on anyone’s Olympic roster.

      P.S. Quick won the Conn Smyth. THAT’s why everyone thinks he’s so good.

    • cybernetikghost - Feb 15, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Quick isn’t THAT good. No way would he be able to win a Cup if he were on the Flyers.

      • therooneyskilledwebster - Feb 15, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        Ken Dryden couldn’t win a Cup with these Flyers.

  10. schusters3 - Feb 15, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Patriotism ain’t what it used to be. Until Shark and Blues fans get a cup they will be senselessly bitter. An Olympic win against a Russian home side and we get shots at Quick and Brown. Must suck to lead the miserable lives that keep you from enjoying this moment with the rest of us. I’ll cheer for Pavelski Backes and Oshie all tourney! Who cares about NHL affiliation this month?

    • jhaegs - Feb 15, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      It’s about Brown being a tool… not him playing for LA.

    • comeonnowguys - Feb 16, 2014 at 8:37 AM

      The Quick shot was undeserved, but Dustin Brown deserves it.

  11. jkaflagg - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    Before the game we kept hearing about how Datysuk was not healthy, but if that was not healthy the whole Russian team should visit the doctor….what a warrior. The Russians showed their great skills, but on the PP he was really the only guy I worried about – Ovie might get a big slapper through or Malkin might make a power move to the net, but Datysuk seemed to be the only guy who really utilized his teammates….

    Yes, the US was lucky on that disallowed goal – no doubt about it. But the hockey gods owed Jonathan Quick one after that disgraceful tying goal off the netting in Detroit, and this was a nice time to pay it off….and Quick certainly earned the win in the shoutout.

    • patthehockeyfan - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      Amen! Jeez! You’re absolutely right about the hockey gods owing Quick for that shameful goal in Detroit (shameful being the word that Darryl Sutter used)! Payback was just lovely!

  12. drez146 - Feb 15, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Trying to b objective here…but I honestly thought Brown was the worst player on the ice…and somehow it seems he always hits knee on knee….

    • hockeyflow33 - Feb 15, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      You’re not being objective. Look at the ice time reports and claiming anyone other than Radulov was the worst player on, and off, the ice is ridiculous

  13. hockeywizardbill - Feb 16, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    oshie vs toews for the gold medal, calling it!

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