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Monday, March 1, 2010

Crosby Leaves Me Uncomfortably Numb

I sincerely hope that yesterday's gold medal game and really, the entire Olympic hockey tournament will bring a new wave of fans to the sport.

For as great as last year's NHL playoffs were, I think this two week exhibition was some of the best hockey we have ever seen.

Outside of die-hard hockey fans and maybe some gamers of EA's NHL series, who had ever heard of guys like Tore Vikingstad and Hnat Domenichelli before?

Who knew Belarus had a hockey team that could actually put a scare into some of the world powers?

Who knew the USA would actually get the easiest road to the gold medal game by beating their rivals to the north in the round-robin?

Here's the thing, no one could have predicted the United States coming together as well as they did.

I will say that some of my prognosticating was spot on.

First off, Ryan Miller was what kept this team alive for the entire tournament except for the semifinal game against Finland where an orange cone in net would have done the job after the Americans jumped out to a 6-0 lead early.

Against Canada, Miller sparkled and made two or three game-changing saves in the third period to keep USA within striking distance.

Would he love to have the overtime goal by Sidney Crosby back?


Can anyone really place any blame on Miller for giving it up?

Hell no and if you're of that mentality, you need electroshock therapy.

Which brings me to why I have no emotions about the game other than a vast appreciation for how great the game was.

Had anyone else scored the game-winner I'd be sitting here right now ripping someone apart (Ryan Whitney most likely) about the loss.

But it was Crosby.

The same kid who delivered a Stanley Cup to Pittsburgh this past June. The kid who is the captain of my beloved Penguins.

How can I hate him for realizing a childhood dream?

My captain beat my country and I am left uncomfortably numb. I'm in hockey fan purgatory like I was when the Red Wings pasted the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Crosby's goal robbed me of elation or depression and I think this feeling might be worse, but I still like the guy.

I feel like I'm being torn apart inside. I really wanted to jump off my couch screaming like an idiot as the boys in blue piled on top of Miller as the hushed Canadian crowd looks on.

If that couldn't happen, let me be pissed off when someone like Jarome Iginla scores to knock us off.

Had Jeff Carter scored, I might have needed a new television, but at least I'd have closure.

Maybe this numbness will wear off tomorrow when Sid's back in the black and gold and I no longer have to root for Zach Parise to put the team I'm rooting for on his back.

All I can say is thankfully Martin Brodeur wasn't in net and that I can be happy that I said Canada won't win gold with him in net.

If he was in net yesterday, this whole post becomes a thank you letter to the aging wonder.

Nothing made me happier than seeing the look on his face while sitting on the bench sulking. He looked like someone told him crepes were outlawed and that Quebec's official language was being changed to English.

I will say that I feel lucky enough to have witnessed this display and can only hope that yesterday's game helped to grow the game in the country.

Everything that is good and great about the game was on display for two weeks. Hopefully someone took notice.