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Fired up about hockey yet?



A confession: I don't know how I got in here. It's dark, it's dingy, you could be attacked by a rat the size of a Chihuahua on the way to the men's room. Yep, my kind of place.

All I know is, Connolly threw me the keys and about 30 unpaid bar tabs and said: "Keep the joint humming -- I'm outta here for a few weeks."

No one serves up drinks and scintillating conversation like Danno, but we'll give it a shot.

Today's question: how do you feel about hockey now? Does the stunning 5-3 U.S. win over Canada in the Winter Olympics Sunday change your mind about the sport?

If you didn't much care for the sport but tuned in just to see what the fuss was all about, did that thrilling win make you want to watch more?

And if you already love hockey, do you love it even more now? And why?

Me, I always found the game great to watch in person, hard to watch on TV. But Sunday's game even got me all tingly.

Hey, some people are calling this the biggest U.S. hockey win since the "Miracle on Ice" upset of the Soviet Union in 1980.

The last time the U.S. beat Canada in the Olympics was back in Squaw Valley, California in 1960. That's 50 years ago. Heck, Connolly's Corner Sports Bar wasn't even open back then. (Although the men's room looks like it's about 50 years old right now.)

So give us your impressions of hockey in the wake of the big win. Love it? Hate it? Still indifferent to it? Will you keep watching the U.S. team now as it advance past the quarterfinals?

I'll even have Connolly buy you a beer when he gets back -- although he's pretty tight when it comes to that stuff. Maybe it's all the unpaid bar tabs ...

Daily Think Special: Are you fired up about hockey?

Comments

Hockey is a better video game than real-life sport.

Even with the prospect of another Orioles losing season, I'm far more excited about the O's spring training than I am about the USA beating Canada. From what I understand, the Caps have one of the best young hockey players in decades playing just 30+ miles down the road, a decent brewing rivalry with Crosby in the 'Burg of the Pits, and yet it would be hard for me to care less.

It's just not a sport that has ever resonated with me. Wish it did. Seems like it would be fun to be a fan.

So is this considered one of those celebrity bartender things to drum up business? Just pour me my Dos Equis like DC and keep the peanut bowls full. He did tell you every other beer I order goes on CSB Jack's tab, right?

Heck yes, I'm fired up. Those damn Canadians think they own hockey. Beating them was not quite as much fun as beating the vaunted CCCP back in 1980 but it was fun watching the game last night. Even my wife watched it. A rematch in the Gold Medal game would be nice but we gotta beat the Germans first and they need to beat the Rooskies. Or could we have a classic USA vs USSR rematch? NBC is licking it's chops.

Pass me the peanuts....

That was a really exciting game, and it definitely made me more interested in hockey.

Forget what Rob said about who's paying for whose drinks. But did Dan tell you that he still owes me a couple freebies?

When I saw the headlines I thought you were talking about the Caps amazing win streak that was stopped shortly before the Olympic break. The USA beating Canada in bracket play hardly qualifies as a big deal to me, though of course I am happy that my country's team won. But it's not as if Canada can't still win the gold, or the USA finish without a medal. I was just as happy to see the Russian team with three members of the Capitals playing key roles beat the Czech Republic.

If it came down to USA vs. Russia I'm sure I would root for my country's team. But otherwise I am rooting for the Caps. Not that I really follow the NHL until the playoffs, but Ovie, Semin & Co. are pretty good.

The facts with which hockey has always had to deal include:
1)It's a Canadian farm boy sport, only played in the winter above the Arctic circle.
2)It's an all white sport.
3)It's played by a bunch of mouth breathing, knuckle dragging brutes who all day long do nothing but beat each other up with their sticks, and in the case of the Broad Street Bullies of the mid-70s, that wasn't far off.
4)All the players do is fight. As the great Rodney Dangerfield once said, "I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out."
5)The puck is hard to see on TV; it's so fast, no one can understand it; not many people spend their lives on skates; yada, yada, yada.

Having grown up in Chicago(though born here), I played a ton of hockey and as a junior mite, got pretty good at it. But moving back here as a ten year old pretty much killed my hockey chances. So I've followed it since the early 70s and I can tell you the NHL went through its share of problems.

It expanded at a 300 percent rate at the end of the sixties and beginning of the 70s, had many franchises either move, fold, or consolidate. The expansion out- paced the talent level, and guys who could do nothing but fight populated the league.

But the influx of European players, namely Swedes and Fins, in the late 70s changed the way the game was played, from the bump and grind to a more free flow. And of course, Gretzky got the NHL in the mainstream.

Today, the NHL is as strong, if not stronger, than its more heralded cousins, MLB, NFL, NBA. NHL recovered from its ill-advised strike of a few years ago to become stronger than ever. And its talent base has grown more than any other sport. Ovechkin, Crosby, Semin, Kane, Toews, Tavares, Stamkos, etc are spread through out the league and the recent expansions into traditional non-hockey markets(did you know that there are more minor hockey teams in Florida than baseball?) means more and more people are exposed to it and play it. It is estimated that over 500,000 people in the USA play hockey at some level and not all of them in Minnesota.

IMO, hockey is the perfect American sport. It's fast, has hitting, action, hitting, skill, hitting, speed, scoring, hitting and passing and being a non-stop game, tension builds, emotions spill over and people go nuts. Yeah, football has hitting, but hockey has hitting.

It's great, you should try it.


I've been in love with the game since a little kid. I played for years. It's an amazing game and I'm not sure why more Americans don't pick it up. Like Ken stated, hockey is fast-paced, has hitting, is action-packed, the play goes up and down the ice incredibly quick, it's emotional, and play goes on continuously, unlike football or baseball. Hockey is an incredible game.

Like I said, I've loved the game since I was a kid. I loved Peter Bondra, Adam Oates and Joe Juneau. John LeClair was the player who I modeled my game after, though: tough-nosed play in front of the net.

Now, I'm hooked onto the Ovechkin era of the Capitals. I've been to 15 games this year.

GO CAPS, GO USA

I'm a diehard passionate O's and baseball fan, and I do love the Ravens and the NFL, but that where my sports love tapers off. If Baltimore had a hockey team, I would no doubt root for them, too. But we don't and I don't like to go to DC.

But I will admit I did not sit down during the 3rd period for the USA - Canada hockey game. I actually was shouting, shaking my head when Miller made save after save. That game was intense.

However, I'll leave the hockey love to an occasional game with my sister, who is an avid, season ticket holder of the Caps...

Go USA!


Here's the deal:

The NHL is difficult to follow because it just isn't an American sport or league since there are too many teams and players/coaches from outside the US.

Team USA Olympic hockey is great to follow because it feels as American as apple pie. You can relate to the players. They are from places you know or have driven through.

Here it is in a nutshell: Ryan Kesler of Team USA was great to watch last night. However, in the NHL he plays for a team called the Vancouver Canucks. What is a Canuck, why would I ever care about beating a team from Vancouver, and why is a guy from Livonia, Michigan playing for them?

pour me a cold draft, no
i cannot get to excited about
the usa beating canada...

yes it was a big upset, but
how big???? canada struggled
against sweden and i just
don't think they are a hockey
powerhouse as they believe they
are...

the old canadien teams
with esposito, orr and sittler,
now they were some players....

I am excited about USA Hockey, Its awesome to once in a blue moon check out something other than Ravens/Orioles, makes me feel like I'm expanding my herizons ....which is a pretty sad statement really.
I am enjoying the heck out of the Caps and the Terps too.
..... Hope we trade for Vincent Jackson!

Here's the deal:

If you don't want to follow an American league because there are too many foreign players, then you don't deserve to call yourself a sports fan; turn in your man card.

The world has changed since 1980, so people need to stop comparing this to the Miracle on Ice. Hockey has changed, and this is the closest thing there will be to a World Cup.

Here it is in a nutshell: People don't always play for professional teams in the town they grew up in, be it Michigan, Vancouver, Europe or Miami. Isn't that right, Ray Lewis?

Also, this is why Baltimore will be a second-rate sports town. They don't embrace hockey, as the rest of the country has already done for four years. The NFL is about to go on lockout, the NBA will be joining them fresh off of it's match-fixing cover-up, and baseball has more and more steroid allegations, coupled with the fact that Selig was discovered to be fixing rosters himself.

Pros in the Hockey Olympics, possibly setting the stage for a international league?
It certainly has grab the attention of people . despite the fact NBC has been a failure at coverage. Then we have ESPN360.com covering the KHL All Star game. Note they have also added some KHL games to that schedule. I guess they have figured out they made the wrong decision after the NHL lockout. Just a theory! wncpuckdrop@twitter

Those who say hockey isn't an American sport are probably the same people who follow baseball religiously... How many non-USA folks are on your team? Sure I understand my argument has many holes, but you get the point.

Those who are lucky enough to watch a game live, there isn't anything like it (and I'm talking pre-OV Crosby). Ask the scores of NFL players who attend NHL games and have become fans

The thing that makes hockey the most refreshing is the fact that you can approach 95% of the players outside of the rink, whether its to get an auto or have a beer (try that with other sports stars). They are blue collar guys making white collar money. They don't take plays off, and the top stars throw their bodies in front of rubber disks flying 100mph just to save a shot on goal.

SORRY NEIL BUT hockey is canada's sport and you know what? america just called and said they can have it. later, eh.

btw NEIL, can you help me find an NHL game on tv? ESPN (aka the worldwide leader in sports) doesn't seem to carry their games). thanks for the help, eh.

Down four channels to channel number two, that would be Versus. If you can't find it, you're not looking. You sure you even have cable, or is "pop" a euphemism for "too old with rabbit ears on my TV?"

And I believe the US just told Canada that its our game now.

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