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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Posts about Olympic hockey

Back in the saddle in Vancouver

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: February 21, 2010 - 2:20 PM

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.

 

Checking in from Canada Hockey Place

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: February 16, 2010 - 7:56 PM

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.

 

Saturday at the Olympics

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: February 13, 2010 - 9:54 PM

-The Canada women's hockey team just beat Slovakia 18-0. At some point, when your opponent is that overmatched, shouldn't you tell your players to control the puck but not shoot so much? Slovakia has about 12 female hockey players in the country. It's one thing to knock your opponent down - it's another to punch them in the head a dozen times just for fun.

When you're up 18-0, you should really bring in Jedd Fisch to run your offense to keep from running up the score.

-I watched Chad Hedrick finish 11th and Shani Davis 12th in the 5000 meter speedskating. Hedrick won the gold in this event in Turin, but was never in contention here. He complained of sticky ice, but Sven Kramer of the Netherlands broke the Olympic record while winning gold.

Davis and Hedrick were both affable and diplomatic, quite a departure from Turin, when they tore into each other publicly. Davis is a sprinter, so finishing 12th was no disgrace.

Kramer, who has dominated the event for the past three years, sprinted to the stands, climbed up, hugged his parents and then almost knocked over his girlfriend in his jubilation. He's also favored to win the 10,000 and his team is favored to win the Team Pursuit.

The Dutch love their speedskating. They pack the oval wearing goofy costumes, including huge orange top hats, and cheer for just about everyone.

-Rachel Blount wrote three stories for the Sunday paper, and Michael Russo spent the day at Whistler covering Tony Benshoof and luge. I wrote a column on the problematic start of the Olympics for Canada, despite the country and Vancouver's obvious efforts to make this a first-class event.

They're succeeding as far as I'm concerned. Great city, great food, good beer, and I'll take rain over freezing cold anytime.

I walked down Granville Ave. tonight to see how much damage the protesters caused, and the department store that got damaged, Hudson Bay, was already putting in new windows, and the line outside their building to buy Olympic gear was a block long.

-Apolo Anton Ono just took silver in the 1500 short-track speedskating, giving him six medals, the most of any male American speedskater ever. Eric Heiden won five in one Olympics. Ono is now tied with Bonnie Blaire for most medals by any American speedskater.

-Things will start picking up when Lindsey Vonn actually gets to compete and the men's hockey starts.

Tomorrow morning, I should be able to co-host Sunday Sports talk with Brad Lane on am-1500, from 10-noon. We hope to have on John Randle, Rick Anderson and Strib Gophers basketball writer Myron Medcalf. You can follow me on Twitter at Souhanstrib.

 

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