From the Canada Hockey Place, where the Switzerland beat Belarus in a shootout and Canada crushed Germany. Slovakia-Norway fans are flooding the arena now. Czechs and Latvians are playing at a different venue.
The USA will play the Swiss at 2 p.m. CT Wednesday live on NBC. The Swiss needed a shootout to beat a scrappy Belarus team this afternoon, and the Swiss plays the US tough in the tournament's first game and took Canada to a shootout. So they won't be a cakewalk, especially with Jonas Hiller in net and former Wild players Hnat Domenichelli (three points) and Julien Sprunger (two goals) playing well. Roman Wick leads the Swiss with five points. Hiller's played four games and has a .897 save percentage and 2.80 goals against average, but that's bogus because shootouts count in there.
The Americans were loose today and heard Brian Burke's honest words Tuesday loud and clear. Coach Ron Wilson informed them Burke wasn't pleased at Tuesday's practice, then informed them that no No. 1 seed's won gold since 1988.
You can read the article in the paper, but lots of good stuff from today's availability. Lots of real good quotes on the US side, from David Backes to Brooks Orpik to Patrick Kane to Erik Johnson to Bobby Ryan and on and on and on.
Now Chuck Fletcher's just got to trade for two of them and I'll be a happy beat writer. It's all about the quote for moi.
The Germans might have awoken a sleeping giant tonight with Canada. The red and white just trounced 'em. Even when it was 1-0, it felt like 10. When it was 3-0, it felt like 30.
Roberto Luongo was barely tested, no matter was the "Louuuuuuuuuuuuuuu" birds would have you think.
Canada outshot Germany 39-23, with Jarome Iginla scoring two more goals (hat trick early in the tourney), Eric Staal having three assists, Duncan Keith playing great (two assists) and Sid the Kid scoring one. The Iginla-Staal-Crosby line (newly assembled) looked great.
Shea Weber, who's got the hardest shot maybe in the NHL, took a howitzer tonight that went through the netting and out so fast, nobody seemed to realize until they went to video review. Well, NBC's Eddie Olczyk noticed. He saw it with the naked eye because as he told me during the second intermission, "I ate a pound of carrots last night."
Now Canada faces powerhouse Russia with one going home. You can read the article on that, focusing on Sid the Kid vs. Alex the Ovechkin.
Couple good quotes:
Babcock on starting Luongo over Brodeur: "I think his bank account shows he’s a pretty good goalie. I know every time we play him, he puts up this wall.”
On picking Sidney Crosby to take a penalty shot over Rick Nash, who was hauled down (Olympics you can pick anyone to take penalty shot): "It's just math. The stats show Crosby has a better chance to score than Nash."
Luongo on replacing Brodeur: "Twenty years from now, if we win, nobody will remember who played goal, but they will remember that we won."
Iginla on Russia: "We can play rough and tough style, too. I'm not worried about that. We imagine it'll be physical and intense. I can't wait."
Wild owner Craig Leipold is in the house, and he doesn't look stressed. No rolled up game notes at least. The NHL's brought in all the Board of Governors for an all-expenses trip here (except food and nightcaps, I think).
Wild resume practice Wednesday. What's the Wild? Vikings scribe Chip Scoggins will be there to cover for me.
OK, that's it for me. Talk to you Wednesday.