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Sports Then and Now



Vancouver 2010 Olympic Mens Hockey : Last Games of the Seeding Round 88

Posted on February 21, 2010 by Scott Weldon
Ice Hockey - Day 9 -Russia v Slovakia

The  top six teams in the men’s Olympic hockey tournament play each other today in the final game of the seeding round.  The winners today and the loser with the best record will grab the four tournament byes into the quarterfinals. Win the quarter final game and you’re guaranteed to play for a medal.

The match-ups feature the countries that met in the last three olympic gold medal games. Group A features the USA versus Canada game a reprise of Salt Lake City. The Czech versus Russian gold medal game from Nagano is also the final match-up in group B. Group C is a game  between Turin’s gold and silver medalists Sweden and Finland.

The point system for this olympics has a bureaucratic complexity that makes one fear the NHL will be adopting it for their regular season immediately.

The Russians have lost a shoot-out game to the Slovaks already.  A loss to the Czechs will drop them behind Slovakia to be seventh seed in the tournament. Canada with their overtime win over Switzerland garnering them only two points will not  get a bye without a victory over the Americans.

Hopefully it won’t come down to goal differentials to determine final seeding. Then the complexities will grade into byzantine ones. Read the rest of this entry →

2010 U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team: No Miracle Needed 8

Posted on February 05, 2010 by Scott Weldon
The US men's hockey team will look to earn gold in Vancouver.

The US men's hockey team will look to earn gold in Vancouver.

The US men’s team has actually had a good record historically in international hockey. The two gold, seven silvers and one bronze medal the US has won at the Olympics puts them third in Olympic men’s hockey medals behind only Canada and the Russian/Soviet/CIS teams. They’re ahead of such perennially successful hockey powers Sweden and Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic. This historical international success hasn’t generally translated in the ability to produce top quality NHL players. It generally speaking, hasn’t correlated with America’s ability as a hockey playing nation.

Despite amateur international success the US was producing very few hockey players in general and much fewer good enough to play in the original six NHL. Despite four franchises in the United States the NHL was dominated by Canadian born players. There were a few great American players at the time. Frank Brimsek the hall of fame Bruin goalie comes to mind.

Major Frederic McLaughlin the first owner of the Chicago Blackhawks was famous for a variety of things he did with his new franchise. One of the more bizarre things though was to ice a starting lineup of all American born players towards the end of the 1936-37 season. It wasn’t really an indication of how good American players had become and in fact had a side-show promotional feel to it. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Dale Murphy: A Hallmark of Excellence
      July 2, 2024 | 1:53 pm
      Dale Murphy

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a standout player of the 1980s, remembered not only for his exceptional skills on the field but also for his exemplary character and sportsmanship.

      Born on March 12, 1956, in Portland, Oregon, Dale Murphy’s journey to becoming one of the most respected players in baseball history is a testament to dedication, perseverance, and a genuine love for the game.

      Early Career and Rise to Prominence

      Murphy was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the 1974 MLB Draft. He made his Major League debut on September 13, 1976, at the age of 20. Initially a catcher, Murphy transitioned to the outfield early in his career, where he would solidify his place as one of the premier outfielders of his era.

      Read more »

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