It’s Olympics time, which means this will be the last of the Weekly Wrap-up until the NHL comes back. Keep an eye out for anything else we may be posting between now and then, but for the most part, it’s no-sleep-must-watch-Olympics.
Okay, yes, I talk about the Olympics in here.
10. Jay and Dan Take America
I should have talked about this last week, but it slipped my mine. I was watching the Super Bowl with probably ten other people and when this commercial came on, at least half of them knew who Jay and Dan are. “They’re hilarious,” was the common consensus, and then there was some discussion about how they’re Canadians who did a lot of hockey and are now in America. My contribution is I’m glad we stole them for our own, and I wish I could watch them. (Also, the end of that commercial reveals how huge the height difference is between those guys and I cracked up.)
9. Marc-Andre Fleury is a Shootout Wizard
This infographic, posted to reddit, is sure to give Hannah the warm fuzzies. It details Marc-Andre Fleury’s success at the shootout, which may be startling to people who are only familiar with his playoff problems. This seems like a good time to post this clip from 24/7 with him chirping the heck out of the Penguins during their shootout drill.
8. Finnish Goalies are Pretty Good
A New York Times article discussed the sudden dominance of Finnish goaltending, which I find particularly poignant today after watching Noora Räty shut down the Canadian women’s offense for much of their game. The “Räty Wall,” as one BBC announcer dubbed her, may have presided over a 0-3 loss, but she still had a .928 SV%. The male team’s goalie core is insane, and that’s without bringing Pekka Rinne. The Finnish goalie program may seem kind of insane — and it is, but it’s hard to deny the results it brings.
My favorite quote:
…Rask’s emotional side sets him apart from his goaltending countrymen. Lehtonen described Rask as “the wild man.” To understand why, Bruins Coach Claude Julien said with a twinkle in his eye, “Go to YouTube.”
7. Olympic Village Housing Situation
I’m not sure if these are just the athletes center or the housing, but excuse me?? Why is Canada so much bigger than the US? We have more people there than you. Get out of here, Canada, and take your moose with you.
6. Even in Defeat, Women’s Goalies Have Been Great
Sure, Florence Schelling took one hell of a beating today at the hands of the Americans, but for the most part the defeated goalies have not been awful even in games where the rink was pretty tilted. I was most impressed with Nana Fujimoto in the game versus Sweden, which I managed to watch one period of before giving in to the siren call of sleep, mostly because the Japanese team is probably an average of six inches shorter than the Swedish team. The one goal was a powerplay goal and her total save percentage was .956. Not shabby.
5. Chara is the Most Popular Athlete
Weirdly, it seems like Zdeno Chara is one of the most fascinating athletes at the Olympics. I am a huge fan of Chara generally — it’s hard not to like someone who speaks nine languages, climbs mountains for fun, and basically went “screw you if you think I’m too tall for hockey” and became the tallest person to ever raise the Stanley Cup, probably.
“He’s a big lad, isn’t he?” – BBC Announcer Hazel Irving
Hilariously, Chara seems to be a constant source of interest, at least until the rest of the NHL-ers arrive. Here we learn how he sleeps on those teeny twin beds:
It also seems like all of the Olympians are doing some sort of scavenger hunt where they must take photos with him, because there are a bunch of photos of him making people look tiny. My favorite is Alex Shibutani, American ice dancer, who was born in Boston and is a huge Bruins fan:
Can we agree that, if we complain about the Olympics, we’ll instead complain about the people displaced by the Olympics? About the bureaucratic corruption surrounding the building of it? Posting pictures of small beds is pointless. There are a lot bigger issues surrounding them than some Olympians sleeping three to a room.
3. #lumbus Goes to Venice Beach
2. Kris Letang
As a Penguins fan, I had spent most of the last week wondering what was going on with Kris Letang, who had some kind of illness that was not disclosed. On Friday, the club announced that he’d had a stroke.
I was very pleased and gratified to see the outpouring of well-wishes for him in the aftermath of the announcement. Remembering last year, when Sidney Crosby broke his jaw, and the number of crude, insulting, and downright nasty comments I saw in the days following that, I was pleasantly surprised to see people who weren’t fans of Letang still hoping he would be all right. Sports can be a nasty and toxic atmosphere; I’m convinced this is part of the reason women find it a difficult arena to enter. It can be intimidating to enter a world where fans will wish physical harm upon players they dislike.
In any event, we at High Heels & High Sticks wish Letang and his family the very best and hope he does whatever is best for his health.
1. The Olympics Have Begun
The NHL players have arrived in Sochi, bringing with them even more media attention. Some early Sochi moments:
As usual, TJ Oshie looks ready to party. (source)
- Teemu Selanne is great:
- So is Bob Suter, who pulls no punches.
- Dallas Eakins has a sense of humor about his own food policies.
- Shea Weber is already taking out members of Team USA. Reminder: this is the guy who notched a 106 mph slapshot.
That’s it for now! Enjoy the Olympics, we’ll see you on the flip side.