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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U.S. VS. CANADA: THE BIG DAY

Posted by: Michael Russo under Olympic hockey Updated: February 27, 2010 - 7:44 PM

Well, the last two practices of these Olympics are over, and Sunday's 2:15 p.m. CT dream gold-medal matchup is a few hours away.

Like they did against Finland, look for the Americans to go right after the Canadians. Said coach Ron Wilson, "If Canada comes at us really hard, we'll have counter measures. But we're not going to survive if we hide in a foxhole, I can tell you that. We're not going to sit in a foxhole like we've seen some teams do in this tournament and wait for Canada to make a mistake (see Germany, Slovakia)."

Check out Sunday's paper for all the preview and advance material for the game.

From the NHL, here’s a closer look at the opponents -- a game which features the NHL’s brightest
stars on the world’s largest hockey stage.

CANADA; USA

Avg. Height : 74.1" (6'2"); 72.7" (6'½")

Avg. Weight: 208.6 lbs.; 203.7 lbs.

Avg. Age: 28.0; 27.0

GP (skaters): 11,155; 7,602

Goals (skaters): 3,148; 1,609

Assists (skaters): 5,284; 2,765

Points (skaters:) 8,432 ;4,374

Hat Tricks: 47; 13

Stanley Cups: 14; 7

LUONGO' MILLER

Height :6'3"; 6'2"

Weight: 207 lbs.' 174 lbs.

Age: 30; 29

Hometown: Montreal, Que.; East Lansing, Mich.

GP: 596; 316

Wins: 261; 176

Shutouts: 51; 17

GAA: 2.55; 2.58

Save Pct.: .919; .914

 

* The average age of both rosters combined (27.5 -- Canada 28.0, USA 27.0)
is younger than that of the NHL League-wide (27.6)

* 70% of the players on both rosters are under 30 (32 of 46)

* 90% of the players on both rosters are under 35 (41 of 46)

* There are eight players aged 23 and under (Drew Doughty, Patrick Kane,
Jonathan Toews, Erik Johnson, Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby, Bobby Ryan, Jack
Johnson), all of whom were picked among the top five their respective draft
years (Crosby-Ryan-J. Johnson went 1-2-3 in 2005; E. Johnson, Toews and
Kessel went 1-3-5 in 2006; Kane went 1st in 2007 and Doughty went 2nd in
2008)

* Only one player on the Team USA roster ranks among the top 50 U.S.-born
players for career NHL games (captain Jamie Langenbrunner is 37th with 945)

* There are only three Team USA players among the top 150 U.S.-born players
for career NHL games (Langenbrunner, Chris Drury, Brian Rafalski)

* The average age of the gold medal finalists from the USA and Canada at
the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City was 31.55 (USA 31.7, Canada
31.4)

 

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