(Credit to: http://deke.me/lS)
No matter what I was going to be excited for the Slovakia v. Czech game last night. As a fouth generation Slavo-Hungarian American hockey fan the fact I was seeing one of the most medal eligable rosters for Slovakia in my short Olympic hockey life had me pratically bouncing out of my seat all day in anticipation of watching them on ice for the first time is a bit of an understatment. I was also not only going to see some favorite NHL-ers like Kopecky of the Blackhawks and Milan Jurcina, on the same team, but also some former favorite NHL-ers now playing in Europe like Richard Zednik. (And, of course I was hoping that if anyone from Czech had to dominate it would at least be Flash.)
So those the other hardy souls and I who stayed up to the start time of midnight were not disapointed wether Slovensko, Czech fan or neurtal saw was arguably the best game of the Olympics yet. It was competitive, it was evenly matched and there was an air of rivilary in between the parts of the former country Czechoslovakia.
There was also a surprising amount of fans for both teams in the stands and they were arguably louder than the fans at any of the other matches thus far. The fans whistling from the stands was a constant through out.
So while I know games like Russia v. Latvia yesterday managed to draw more than usual midnight crowd those who couldn’t say up to see the game last night you definatly missed out on some great hockey.
And, even though Slovensko lost 3-1 they played very hard. They had a LOT of good chances though they just couldn’t get the puck in the net. And, too many stupid penalties that even Slovensko’s great PK couldn’t fight off even against Czech’s faltering PP. I am encouraged by what I saw but they have to get that straightened out because Russia has addressed their PP concerns on their off day and it’s going to be a uphill fight tomorow.
For my Caps (and Blue Jackets) buddies here’s what I know you’re most interested for; Flash was surprisingly quiet. He was pretty nonexistent. I was hoping for more from him in such a big rivalry game. Jurcina seemed to have a good game and did really well on the PK.
Slovakia vs Russia is at 12:15 am on the east coast. I expect quite a few fans will be on Twitter chatting up the game despite the time slot. (I’ll try not to get in any arguements with the insane amount of Cap turned Russia fans)
And, I am BEYOND glad the Hockey Gods smiled upon my schedule and caused the “snowmagedon” to make the roof of the place I go to every week day at six thirty in the morning to be “structually unsound” giving me the whole week of prelims off so I am able to stay up for the midnight games and sleep in until the afternoon games. Best. Timing. Ever.