Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.
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Great game, great atmosphere, great storylines today as the US beats Canada, 5-3, in men's hockey to advance to the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
US general manager Brian Burke defiantly built a roster shunning star power and coveting role players, and today he looks like a genius. The Americans scored five gritty goals - three with captain Jamie Langenbrunner of Cloquet screening Canada goalie Marty Brodeur - and survived Canada's onslaughts.
American goalie Ryan Miller was the star, but Minnesotans figured in all of the goals. Langenbrunner screened Brodeur on both of Brian Rafalski's goals and tipped one in himself. Blaine's David Backes, maybe the best American forward all tournament, hassled Brodeur on Chris Drury's score off a rebound. And Zach Parise assisted on Ryan Kesler's empty-netter.
The Americans were gritty and composed throughout, and Miller was spectacular, turning away a bunch of breakaways by players like Sidney Crosby and Rick Nash.
The loss means the Americans are into the quarterfinals on Wednesday. The Canadians will play the Germans in an elimination game, with the winner facing talented Russia in the quarters.
This sets up a very interesting week of hockey.
Sweden and Finland play next at Canada Hockey Place. I'll be watching that game with Mike Russo. You can follow me on Twitter at Souhanstrib and Mike at Russostrib. (We're very creative.)
Tomorrow, I"ll be on am-1500 with Mr. Phunnnnnn at 8:05 a.m. That's 6:05 my time. I'll get up at 3 a.m. my time to prep for the show, because Mr. Phun can be very incisive with his questions.
The American women are down 3-2 to Sweden in curling. The Americans just took a break and noshed on fruit and Rice Krispie treats. I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere, but I just wrote on deadline and can't think anymore. (Hold your jokes, that's just too easy.)
I'm back. It's been a rough week since I blew out my back. Yesterday I was able to put on socks for the first time this week, was able to sit for more than a minute, and today I'm walking without a pronounced limp for the first time thsi week.
Thanks to everyone who sent along kind words and home remedies. My keys to recovery were chiropractic appointments, lots of ice, and spending Friday off my feet. If you have anyone in your life with lower back problems, be kind to them. I had trouble this week getting out of bed without screaming.
Today will be a good test for my back - I'm covering hockey with Russo and planning to sit and watch three great games. The Russians and Czechs just started, and Alex Ovechkin just buried a Czech defenseman with a check. The Americans will feel the full wrath of Canada and its fans in a few hours. Then the Swedes and Finns play later tonight in a remach of the 2006 gold medal game.
For some strange reason, the media has tremendous seats in Canada Hockey Place. Russo and I are sitting close to center ice, not far behind the penalty boxes. This is a treat. Just got to see consecutive breakaways from Ovechkin and Jagr. Both failed to score.
-Had Brian Duensing, David Kahn and Russo on the radio show this morning. As I told Kahn, I think the right approach to last year's draft, in retrospect, would have been to take Rubio (I still like the pick) and Steph Curry, and then I would have kept Ty Lawson. That would have given the Wolves a good young point guard (Lawson), a good shooting guard (Curry) and, in Rubio, either a tradeable asset or a guy who would have played well with Curry.
Jonny Flynn has talent, but I'm not sure he's a true point guard. He's more like a shooting guard who's too small to play the 2.
-I'll be doing Olympic updates at 8:05 a.m. Monday through Friday on am-1500. I'll also be on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:45ish each morning.
-I'll be updating the blog more often now that I'm up to speed. Be back later this afternoon. Enjoy the hockey.
I would not want to be sitting behind the Czech fans. The flags they are waving are huge.
Thanks to all the kind emails and free advice I've received since writing about my blown-out back. I've had three chiropractice adjustments in the last 24 hours, and it's getting better.
The problem is, I still can't sit down, not without relapsing, and you have to sit to ride the buses, and you have to ride the buses to get to the alpine and snowboard and sliding venues, so I've had to let Rachel Blount and Michael Russo do the tough sledding so far.
If I'm better in the morning, I"ll head to Whistler to see Lindsey Vonn. If not, I'll try to find a venue I can reach by train (they let you stand on the trains, not on the buses) and where I can write standing up. Maybe Shani Davis in speedskating will be my target.
But enough about me.
I'm covering hockey today, writing about the intense expectations facing Team Canada. I thought the US looked pretty cohesive in their 3-1 victory over the Swiss earlier. The US has lots of speed up front and a hot goalie in Ryan Miller. I'm not sure about their D or their depth, but USA GM Brian Burke keeps saying he put this roster together to work like a good NHL team - with grinders and penalty-killers and checkers - not like an All-Star team.
Gotta love Burkie.
Canada is an All-Star team. Canada should win this tournament, and if it doesn't, it will probably be because the players wilted under the pressure.
I'll have more on that in the Wednesday paper.
I love covering hockey with Russo. I haven't gotten out to the Wild much this year because I was so busy with the Vikings and then took some time off before the Olympics. Being here reminds me how much fun it is to sit next to him in the press box and pick his brain.
Norway looks like its wearing iron-on jerseys.
-Love the odd translation. Want extra cheese on your nachos at Canada Hockey Place? That'd be ``supplement du fromage.'' Why do I see Steve Martin when I read that?
-Russo and I may stick around to watch Russia play tonight. Crosby may be a better player in some ways, but Ovechkin is one of those ``can't-look-away'' athletes, and there aren't many of those.
-I'll probably check in later after a full day of hockey. I'll be on am-1500 at 6:05 am. You can follow me on twitter at Souhanstrib.
Johnny Spillane of the US won silver in the Nordic Combined - ski jumping and cross-country skiing - this afternoon. It was the USA's first medal in the event.
Seems to me the USA is doing even better than expected in the medal count.
I expected to spend much of my time in Vancouver covering either Lindsey Vonn or hockey, but Vonn hasn't started yet and we haven't had a meaningful hockey game yet.
The USA women just whipped China, whose goalie may not have earned the nickname ``The Great Wall.'' After Canada beat Slovakia 18-0, the USA beat China 12-1 today. The USA can only hope that allowing a goal to the Chinese isn't grounds for dismissing them from medal contention.
-The sun is shining! It's a beautiful day here, which means that more delays in the Alpine events are inevitable. People are walking around Vancouver wearing t-shirts and sunglasses. I'm wearing a sweater and sunglasses. I've said it before, but what does it say about our state that I had to travel to the Winter Olympics to warm up?
-Slow day in terms of interesting events, so I'm heading to press conferences for Ladies Moguls gold medal winner Hannah Kearney, 1500-meter shorttrack speedskating bronze medalist J.R. Celski and Team USA hockey czar Brian Burke, whose son died recently in an auto accident.
-I'll be on KSTP am-1500 at 8:05 a.m. Monday through Friday to provide Olympic updates. You can follow me on Twitter at Souhanstrib.
-Got to watch a bit of the Wild-Canucks game here. It's not exactly hard to find a TV set with hockey playing. Through two periods, the Wild were dominating play and leading 3-0.
-Today on Sunday Sports Talk we had Rick Anderson, Myron Medcalf and John Randle on as guests. All three were outstanding, and Randle told the tale of rising from a small town where he had to hitchhike home from football practice to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I'll check back in later.
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