Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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(updated) USA! USA! USA!; Luongo vs. Germany?

Posted by: Michael Russo under Olympic hockey Updated: February 22, 2010 - 1:23 AM

So like I said, U.S. will win.

Man, what a game! NHL superstars in an Olympic setting, that was an amazing hockey game as the undermanned, underestimated, undereverything U.S. beat the Canadians in enemy territory.

Just a gritty, gritty performance, and yes, one that needed a marvelous goaltending performance from Ryan Miller. He was sensational, especially in an opening period when the Americans were outshot 19-6 and a final 3 minute in which he was peppered.

Jamie Langenbrunner, from Cloquet, scored the winning goal by deflecting Brian Rafalski's shot by Devils teammate Marty Brodeur and screened Brodeur on two Rafalski goals. Zach Parise great game. Ryan Kesler, so good, Wild fans might actually grow to love him -- until that first Canucks-Wild game again.

Chris Drury, the guy Brian Burke was so heavily criticized for taking, scored a huge goal and was terrific on the penalty kill.

"Ever since I was a Sabre fan, Drury scored big goals," said Patrick Kane. 

Mike Babcock said after the game that the Canada's goaltending had to be better, which opens the door for Roberto Luongo starting Tuesday against Germany.

Indirectly (a turnover led to a faceoff and Rafalski’s first goal) or directly (second and third goals), Brodeur’s puck-handling played a part in the United States’ first three goals. Remember, Brodeur partially got the start over Luongo because Luongo is one of the NHL’s weakest puck-handling goalies.

With Sweden beating Finland, the U.S. will play the winner of Switzerland-Belarus on Wednesday

Winner of Canada-Germany plays ... Russia Wednesday. U.S would avoid Canada or Russia until a possible gold-medal game. Basically, Canada, Russia, Sweden will get to all beat each other up. How about possibly Sid vs. Alex in the quarters with one going home?

Antti Miettinen didn't play a shift tonight. I'll tell you why in Tuesday's paper -- or you can go to my twitter to find out.

OK, that's it. You can read the game story and notebook in Monday's paper for tons more info/quotes on the U.S. victory and Russia's win over the Czechs.

 
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