That US-Canada hockey game last night was captivating from start to finish. Not just because the Americans won it, either. Because it was simply an excellent hockey game, a treasure of a night if you’re a hockey fan. However, a word of caution. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Canada outshot the US by almost a margin of double, pouring roughly 45 shots on Ryan Miller, the US goaltender. It also shouldn’t be forgotten that Canada dominated the game at certain points. I mean, the way the US team was manhandled in the last ten minutes of the third period should be evidence enough. By no means should the US get too high and I don’t even have to say that next week, Canada will be in the thick of the medal hunt. Though I guess I just did say it, didn’t I?
But sometimes a game transcends who you are cheering for. When you see a game like the one last night, it becomes more of a deep appreciation for the game. If the Americans had lost, I’d still be just as blown away by the quality of the game, the intensity and the constant back-and-forth breathlessness of it all. A showcase, indeed. I’d even venture to say that there was only one single truly dirty play in the game – and that would Scott Neidermayer’s hold-and-throw of an American player as the second period ended. What a great night.
Oh, and Ryan Miller? Good god, man. Ryan Miller! He coolly handled everything the Great White North threw at him last night. His disposition was that of a second string goaltender playing an AHL game. What a performance. It’s rather obvious that he is the reason the US won the game last night, but that’s why he’s there. To put the team on his back if he has to – and last night he had to.