Sochi Watch: Malkin’s Russia Flops, Crosby’s Canada Flails

But Bylsma’s Team USA keeps rolling on.




Sochi Bear is sad.

 

Before the Sochi games began, it was said that one outcome would brand Russia a winner or a loser in its host campaign: the men’s hockey gold medal. If Malkin, Ovechkin and the rest of the Russian squad could capture the gold, Russia would feel like winners in Sochi. Anything else would be a disappointment.

Apparently, Russia didn’t count on Finland.

With goals from Juhamatti Aaltonen, Teemu Selanne and Mikael Granlund, the Finns knocked Russia out of the tournament in the quarterfinals, ending a run notable primarily for a thrilling shootout loss to the United States in the preliminary round. Superstars like Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin failed to meaningfully contribute to the Russian effort, allowing a clearly-formidable Finnish team (featuring Malkin’s teammates Olli Maatta and Jussi Jokinen) to advance to the semifinals.

The rest of the quarterfinals went pretty much as anticipated, with Sweden, the U.S. and Canada advancing to the semis. Sweden beat Slovenia 5-0 and will play Finland in a rematch of the 2006 gold medal game; the United States bested the Czech Republic 5-2. (And for the vengeful: Jaromir Jagr notched no points and only one shot on goal in the loss.)

There would be unexpected drama in the Canada-Latvia match, as the lowly Latvians — a team that hasn’t met up with the mighty Canadians at the Olympics since 1936, when they lost 11-0 — tied things at 1 in the first period and held that line until the 54th minute of play. Shea Weber’s game-winning goal didn’t steady the nerves of Crosby, Kunitz and company, as Latvia kept fighting until the final horn sounded.

Nevertheless, taking Canada to the limit is a huge victory for Latvia, regardless of the outcome. They’ll be talking about this game in Riga for quite a while. (And yes, I did have to look up the capital of Latvia to write that sentence.)

Finland and Sweden will play for entry into the gold-medal game at 7 a.m. Friday. Canada will meet Team USA — a rematch of the gold-medal game from Vancouver in 2010 — at noon Friday.

The end of the women’s bobsled competition was bittersweet for Lauryn Williams. It’s hard to be disappointed with a silver medal, particularly for a competitor that only took up the sport half a year ago. Williams’ achievement in medaling can’t be understated; she’s only the fifth person to hold medals from both the summer and winter games — a feat that many athletes attempt and almost invariably fail to achieve.

But Williams and partner Elana Meyers came so very close to the gold that some degree of disappointment is unavoidable. The pair led the competition through three of four heats, although the defending gold medalists, Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse from Canada, had very nearly eliminated that lead after the third run. But in a heartbreaking fourth trip down the track, Williams and Meyers recorded their worst time (58.13 seconds) of the competition. They missed the gold by one-tenth of a second.

Let’s put the color of the medal aside, though, and simply congratulate Williams on one of the most unlikely trips to the podium of any athlete in Olympic history. Her journey was one for Olympic history, and we couldn’t be more proud.

Remember: the gold medal game in the women’s hockey tournament is scheduled for tomorrow at noon. Take a long lunch and head to the bar — here’s hoping you’ll get to see Team USA take home another medal. (Here’s really hoping that the U.S. can beat Canada two days in a row.)

 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2017

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2017

Pittsburgh’s medical lifesavers rated by their peers, including anesthesiologists, cardiologists, dermatologists, neurologists, ophthalmologists, pediatricians, psychiatrists, surgeons, urologists & many more.
Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Innovations in Postpartum Depression Treatment, First-Aid Training and Food Security.
Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

With a little work, the Strip District restaurant could become a Pittsburgh classic.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

Pittsburgh ties with one other city for having the worst drivers in the nation.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Brandon Blumenfeld introduces an American gastropub menu at the Troy Hill bar.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Five Essential May Events

Five Essential May Events

Comics (the kind on paper), comics (the kind with microphones), cats and more upcoming delights.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
‘Use Him Like ‘Troy Polamalu’ – Steelers Should Jump on This Pick

‘Use Him Like ‘Troy Polamalu’ – Steelers Should Jump on This Pick

If Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers is still available, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be wise to make him their first-round pick in the NFL draft.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Pittsburgh on a Plate

Pittsburgh on a Plate

The way to a beer lover’s heart is mapped out on notNeutral’s plate, which highlights Pittsburgh breweries (and other points of interest) across the city.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Sink Into a Trippy High School at Row House Cinema

Sink Into a Trippy High School at Row House Cinema

The Pittsburgh premiere of offbeat cartoon "My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea" is the local film event of the week.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Beautiful Blooms: Twists on the Traditional Bouquet

Beautiful Blooms: Twists on the Traditional Bouquet

You’ll definitely want the story behind these stunning wedding flowers.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Hosted by the Penn State Master Gardeners, the free event, which includes the local daffodil society’s annual show, features exclusive and hard-to-find flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetable plants and other garden accessories from a variety of vendors.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

Considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Alex Rodriguez also is one of the league's more controversial stars.

Comments

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags