Yesterday, while watching the gold medal hockey game between, the US and Canada, I knew I’d be proud of the Americans win or lose. I was and am.
For a team that not much was expected of, they played extremely well and overachieved.
Ryan Miller, was a household name to die hard hockey fans such as myself. Now, he will be, to even the casual fan. He has been the best goalie in the league all season. Playing in Buffalo doesn’t get him as much exposure as he could get somewhere else.
He is a virtual lock, for the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the best goalie in the league, and in the discussion for the Hart Trophy for MVP of the league. The only thing I don’t like about him, is he doesn’t play for the Capitals.
When Sidney Crosby scored the gold medal winning goal, my heart broke the most for Miller.
On a team with not much in the way of scoring depth, he did everything he could to get team USA to the gold medal game. Then kept them in it long enough, for Zach Parise to tie the game with under 30 seconds left in regulation. Parise is the leading American born goal scorer in the NHL this season. He ranks tenth with 28 goals.
Team USA, needed Miller to be unflappable throughout the tournament, he delivered that in spades. Deservedly so, he was named MVP of the tournament.
This game didn’t rank up there with the 1980 Miracle on Ice game, but I thought it was a great game. I say that for two reasons.
First, that game was the day after my ninth birthday and is what caused me to fall in love with the sport. Second, this team is made up entirely of NHL players (many of whom weren’t even born in 1980), as opposed to college kids.
I don’t know if this game will spark interest for a new generation of fans for the NHL. I, for one, hope it does. Maybe the fact that young guys like Patrick Kane, and Jack Johnson played well, will help to draw some younger fans. I’m doing my part with my six year old son.