Neither the U.S. men’s or women’s hockey team will leave Sochi, Russia, with an Olympic gold medal. Still, I think hockey comes away a winner.
The women took silver in a heartbreaking loss Friday. But anyone who’s seen the last five minutes of regulation or the overtime knows how sensational it was. And while the men will be playing for bronze tomorrow morning, if you haven’t heard the name T.J. Oshie in the last week, you haven’t been paying attention. His performance in the shootout against the Russian team last Saturday had everyone talking, even people who aren’t fans. That’s where the gold lies for hockey — the games electrified people.
I think that’s seen in the local daily. It is not unusual for no NHL scores to appear in it and plainly college hockey doesn’t make the cut. In fact, if the paper runs a story about a Minnesota Wild game it’s probably one paragraph in agate type. In the last week, though, there’s been more hockey coverage than there normally is in a month or more.
Sure, I’m an addict (I’ll have watched more than a dozen Olympic hockey games by the time the gold medal game is over). But not only is it nice to see the sport get so much attention, it’s golden.
You’re looking for players whose name on the front of the sweater is more important than the one on the back.
Herb Brooks, Coach, 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey Team