Who could be more anxious for Olympic Gold than the 2010 silver medalists?
Team USA wants to de-throne Canada pretty bad, and they just might. They have a sassy, young team with some great goalies and a solid offence but here are a few extra tidbits so you can make up your own mind.
Let’s start with Patrick Kane. I mentioned him in my team Canada post because he will will playing against his Blackhawk team mate and BFF Jonathon Toews, but his interest does not just lie in his cross-border friendship. Kane has a fairly awful/amazing tendency to make an ‘air heart’ after each goal and then sort of punch through it. He should probably trademark it soon. It’s all very Brett Hart – both his trademark and his mullet.
Kane is originally from Buffalo and still has a descent fan base there. In fact, when he went back to Boston for the first time as a professional hockey player to play against the Bruins, they still cheered for him.
Less so when he was arrested for punching a taxi driver in 2009 after there was an argument about change. Apparently the taxi was $14.80 and Kane paid $15 so obviously assault was necessary. In his defence, we don’t really know what went on…other than he definitely punched a taxi driver…But he does love hockey. During the 2013 lock out, he was not content sitting and waiting for contracts to be negotiated. He went and played for the a Swiss Club EHC Biel.
Moving right along, we’ve got Phil Kessel who plays for Toronto in the regular season. He comes from a big hockey family with a cousin and brother in the NHL and best of all, his sister is on the Team USA woman’s team so they get to be siblings in Sochi.
Kessel gets some major heart points for overcoming testicular cancer. He was only 19 and a rookie with the Bruins when he was diagnosed and underwent a successful removal surgery. I should also note that this is his official Team USA picture. They must have been in a hurry. Anyway, he has done a great job at the Olympics this year, scoring a hat trick in their game against Slovenia – but don’t get too excited! In a 2012 Sports Illustrated NHL Player Poll he was voted the ‘Easiest Player to Intimidate in the League.” He’s just very sensitive I suppose.
T.J. Oshie is not so easily intimidated. You probably recognize his name because earlier this week in an intense sudden death shoot out against Russia he was sent repeatedly onto the ice. He made four of the SIX shots he was sent out to make and won the game in the overtime. This is his first Olympics and he came with two team mates from St. Louis. Unfortunately his fiance couldn’t make it because she’s 32 weeks pregnant with their first child. It’s all very exciting, I’m excited for them and look, here they are dressed up as Roger and Jessica Rabbit.
I highly suggest you google them some more and check out some of their other halloween costumes. They get major points for being so festive.
James Van Riemsdyk also plays for Toronto and also has a pretty bad team picture. While he’s a very good hockey player that we are sure to see and hear about over the next week, I could only find two interesting things about him. 1. He’s a movie star – James made a cameo in ‘This is 40.’ And he nailed it. 2. His family and friends were incredibly relieved when he was traded to the Maple Leafs. Previously he had played for the Philadelphia Flyers and as his parents were die hard Islanders fans, this was apparently not a comfortable situation which the league had put them in. They’re probably okay with him playing for his country though. I’ll have to check.
Lastly I want to talk about Ryan Miller, previously named ‘Leaf Killer Ryan Miller.’ When he first started playing hockey he played forward and only tried goalie because he was frustrated with his team mate in the net. He also comes from a big hockey family with a brother and three cousins in the NHL. He has been the only saving grace of the Buffalo Sabres this year, who are quickly taking the title for worst team in hockey. He was a huge part of team USA’s success at the last Olympics, In fact he won MVP for the whole tournament.
As a team they are young, fast and offensively very strong AND they just happen to be playing Team Canada on Friday at 12!
Watch long enough and you may see this
By the way this is Phil Kessel’s babe of a sister.