Yes, we’re still talking about the U.S. shootout classic against Russia on Saturday. It’s worth all the hype, having just become the most watched hockey game in the NBC Sports Network’s history.
And some players, even though they might not be taking part in the Sochi Olympics, still can’t help but marvel at the competitive juices that were flowing between the two hockey powers in a game decided by T.J. Oshie’s superb shootout performance, giving the U.S. a victory in the highly anticipated preliminary game.
“What a game,” Brian Boyle of the New York Rangers wrote for The Record.
“You listen to the game and you can hear the noise and the physicality the guys playing had and the hate they had for each other. Obviously, they respect each other but they don’t like each other out there.”
For the U.S., it will move right into the quarter-final round. It will wait to play the winner of the qualification match-up between Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The winner of that quarter-final game will advance to the semifinal to play the winner of the other quarter-final between Canada, the third seed, and Switzerland or Latvia.
Now, if the U.S. and Canada meet in the semifinal – remember, they met back in the gold-medal game at the Vancouver Olympics four years ago with Canada coming away victorious – then you’ll see two hockey nations that respect each other but also really don’t like each other, either.