Archive for February, 2010


At The Games – Thu. Feb.25th

In At the Games Baby on February 28, 2010 by geespotting

Thirteen games now through the chute…and the final few days upon us. Here is a run-down of the Wednesday:


– Like Cindy Klassen before her, Hughes was supposed to be at these Games to provide some experience and support for our other long-track skaters. Despite the fact that she is a former medallist, many were predicting some of the younger guard to pick up some of the hardware, but, in the ladies 5,000, it was Hughes who surprised all, and was able to snag a bronze. Her accomplishments leave her as the only Olympian to ever medal TWICE in both the Summer and Winter Games. One of the great Canadians of all time? Scratch that. One of the great Olympians of all time!


– It was the two woman event, and it was the 2 medal event for Canadians. What a performance as Kallie Humphries & Heather Moyse were the quickest through 4 heats and delivered a Golden finish for Canada. Many thought that the threat for Canada would be from German and American sleds…but, it was another Canadian tandem that had that shot. For Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown, an expected podium finish in the form of Silver!


– For Canada’s short-track relay team, a Silver lining to up and down week or so. For the most part, these Games were disappointing for Kalyna Roberge, who was supposed to snag a medal at some point individually, but, that did not happen. On the flip side, a surprise medal for Marianne St. Gelais, a member of the team who many figured wouldn’t be a factor for another 4 years and the Russian Games. To place second, and pick up Silver, was a nice end for these ladies, especially considering that it would take a miracle to knock off the South Koreans. The miracle here was that the Chinese were disqualified for an early bump, and that bumped up Canada from Bronze to Silver!


– The quarter final round, like qualifying the day before, provided a couple of surprises. Let’s review:


– This game was an odd one for sure. Jonas Hiller once again stood on his head, and a mistake of his nearly cost the Swiss a 1-0 deficit in the last second of the second period. The goal didn’t count, but, then a puck had a mind of it’s own, and turned 90 degrees to give the Yanks a third period lead…and the win.

STARS 1. Zach Parise, U.S. (2 goals)

2. Brian Rafalski, U.S. (1 assist)

3. Jonas Hiller, SWI. (42 saves)


– This was the game everyone was talking about, and afterwards, they were still talking about it. Canada’s pressure on the Russians was relentless from the get-go, and proved to be a lopsided win, and provided a momentary sense of calm and relief across the Nation! As for the Sid the Kid – Alex the Great 8 showdown…it was a non factor as both players were almost invisible.

STARS 1. Dan Boyle, CAN. (goal and 2 assists)

2. Ryan Getzlaf, CAN. (1 goal and 2 assists)

3. Corey Perry, CAN. (2 goals)


– Like the U.S./Swiss game, this was one was scoreless and tight, but, obviously a little more evenly played. In the end, the Finns struck with under 10 minutes to go, and bounced the Czechs.

STARS 1. Miikka Kiprusoff, FIN. (31 saves, shutout)

2. Niklas Hagman, FIN. (game winning goal, 7 shots)

3. Tomas Vokoun, CZE. (29 saves)


– The stunner of the quarters as the Slovaks discarded the defending Gold medal champions. The shocking part was that Slovakia connected for 4 goals on just 14 shots! Jaroslav Halak proving to be on the stories of the tourny so far in leading Slovakia to their first ever medal chance, and top 4 finish.

STARS 1. Pavol Demitra, SLO. (goal and 2 assists)

2. Henrik Zetterberg, SWE. (1 goal)

3. Jaroslav Halak, SLO. (26 saves)

The semi-final showdowns:

1. United States vs. 4. Finland

6. Canada vs. 7. Slovakia

– Could another Canada / U.S. showdown be on it’s way?


– Still a two horse race, as the U.S. is ahead of Germany in the total medal count 28-24.


Medal expectations so far: 20

Medals: 15

– A great day for our athletes, as we picked up bonus, and suprise medals in the ladies 2 woman bobsled, and the Clara Hughes bronze in long track!

…Today, another U.S. Canada battle in ladies hockey, and a Canadian medal guaranteed! That’s Geespotting at the Games!



At The Games – Wed. Feb.24th

In At the Games Baby on February 24, 2010 by geespotting

A dozen days now in the past, the Winter Games move into the home stretch. Just as you think you have heard Nikki Yanofsky’s “I Believe” a thousand too many times…you yearn to hear it again with the slow motion depictions of a Canadian celebrating a medal win. Here is how we saw things:


– The playoff round is next, and between our 2 Canadian rinks, just one loss. Is it possible to win Gold on both counts? Based on how many close games there were, it won’t be easy, but, it is near! Hurry hard!


– First of all…when it comes to the darlings, the sweethearts, the hotties of the games…shut it down! For Lindsey Vonn lovers, please give me Ashley! She is a cross between Rebecca De Mornay, Jewel and a 21 year old Janet Jones. Oh yeah…she can ski cross too! She dominated from qualifying and through all her races, finishing with the Gold Medal. Number 6 too!


– With Summerland having Kristi Richards and Justin Kripps, and Penticton laying claim to Duncan Keith, Kelsey is from down the road in Kelowna. She performed admirably in ski-cross, and should have been in the final, and standing along Ashley McIvor for a medal. It was just another, in a long line of too close for comfort for finishes…meaning utter discomfort for Canadians everywhere.


– After the short program, this is the one time where Canadians won’t care so much about a medal contender winning. In an already emotionally packed coliseum, and in a sport that demands so much of it’s competitors, the tears that followed Joannie’s skate were tears of joy, tears of relief, tears of grief, tears that every Canadian felt. For this young lady to keep it together almost the entire time, and to skate with such grace and maturity, it was a moment for the Games, and not just Canada.


– She is young, and early in what will be a great figure skating career, but, it may be safe to say that she could go on to be the best ever? This girl doesn’t make mistakes, and isn’t fazed by anything. Who is Brian Boitano coaching these days? No Brian Battle this time.


– 4 qualifying games and surprises every game but one. For Canadians, hope that the one game is the start of no more suprises!


– Actually, despite Belarus losing in a shootout to the favored Swiss, this one played out close, and close to what a lot of people had predicted. Instead of Jonas Hiller stealing the show, it was Andrei Mezin for Belarus.

STARS 1. Andrei Mezin, BEL. (40 saves)

2. Romano Lemm, SWI. (Shootout winner)

3. Jonas Hiller, SWI. (2o saves)


– For Canada, a big win, and big because they were able to take hold of the game early, and then focus on gel-ling, coming together, and putting forward some much needed momentum for the Russians, and hopefully, the rest of the tourny!

STARS 1. Eric Staal, CAN. (3 assists)

2. Jarome Iginla, CAN. (2 goals)

3. Mike Richards, CAN. (goal and assist)


– The Czechs had the early lead, then lost Jaromir Jagr, and their good buddy ‘mo’. The Latvians hung around and hung around, and scored, and scored again, and almost pulled off another Olympic miracle before David Krejci ended it in OT.

STARS 1. Edgars Masalskis, LAT. (47 saves)

2. David Krejci, CZE. (goal, assist, ot winner, 7 shots)

3. Thomas Fleischman, CZE. (goal and assist)


– This game started on an ugly note as Slovak Lubo Bartecko was nailed by Norway’s Ole Kristian Tollefson with a vicious elbow. Bartecko fell to the ice, and with his helmet already knocked off, he hit his head on the ice, and was lying in his own pool of blood. It was a game misconduct for Tollefson, and for Bartecko, a probable end to this tourny. On the ensuing 5 minute PP, the Slovaks scored twice, and looked to be on their way to a whitewash. Not the case, as another unheard of goalie almost stole another game. Not to be.

STARS 1. Marian Gaborik, SLO. (goal, assist, 9 shots)

2. Pal Grotnes, NOR. (36 saves)

3. Richard Zednik, SLO. (goal, assist)

– Up next the quarters, and these matchups:

1. U.S. vs. 8. Switzerland

2. Sweden vs. 7. Slovakia

3. Russian vs. 6. Canada

4. Finland vs. 5. Czechs.

…there may be a few folks watching, talking, breathing, and living that Canada game. It’s at 4:30 for those just awakening from comas.


– Yankee Doodle Dandy still leading the hit parade at 26-23 over the Germans. Another field goal, and we got a horse race!


Medal expectations so far: 18

Medals: 11

– 1 for 2 this day as Canada was expected to nab a pair in ladies ski-cross.

…Time for the Tim Horton’s trip, and then watch a hockey game. Hope my blood pressure can stand it. That’s Geespotting at the Games…c’mon back now!


At The Games – Tue. Feb.23rd

In At the Games Baby on February 23, 2010 by geespotting

11 down, and here is the latest from the Games, that are on in Vancouver. There is snow in them there hills today too. Here is the rundown:


– Ahh, yes, a sight to see as a pair of young Canadians make Olympic history, and do so at the expense of the U.S. For the first time ever, a North American pair have won Gold at ice dancing. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were virtually flawless as they skated past their buddies from the U.S. to achieve the feat last night. In addition to that little piece of history, they are also the youngest couple to ever win this event. So, without looking too far ahead, it is possible that this team is around to win in 4 years in Russia, and then 4 years after that too!


– No upsets this Olympics in women’s hockey as the showdown for Gold features the 2 bitter rivals. The U.S. were bounced 4 years ago in the semis by the Swedes, but, not this time as they rolled to a 9-1 win. For Canada, the Finns were a stronger opponent, thanks in part to their goaltender, but a 5-0 win vaults them into the Gold medal game Thursday afternoon.


– In the short history of the women’s hockey event, no other player has scored more often than Canada’s Agosta. That may be a suprise based on some of the lopsided scores from previous games, and some of the stars that have graced the ice from the U.S. and Canada. Agosta has scored an incredible 9 times so far, and I guessing she will be the first to hit double digits when she will score on Thursday, and will score a goal that will be key to a Canadian victory. That’s what I am guessing anyway.


– I don’t expect any suprises in the qualifying games today as the Swiss, Czechs, Slovaks, and Canadians should all advance to the quarters. I don’t expect a close one between Canada and the Germans, but, then these Games haven’t been what we have expected…at least here in Canada. That being said…a Canada-Russia quarter will once again put hockey at the top of the Olympic headlines. The limb I am going out on is rather big…stunning, isn’t it?


– For all but one of the days of these Games, the U.S. has led the charge. That hasn’t changed, but, the Germans are marching back. The Yanks now have 25 medals, while Germany sits 4 back.


Medal expectations so far: 16

Medals: 10

– As expected Virtue and Moir medalled for Canada, although, many thought maybe a Silver was coming their way. Ski cross for the ladies should garner another one, and possibly two today!

…Off to watch the hockey…and back tomorrow for geespotting! Oye til then.


At The Games – Mon. Feb.22nd

In At the Games Baby on February 22, 2010 by geespotting

A full 10 days in the book…here’s the loop da scoop from the Games. I thought I saw Boner at the Cecil…but, then I thought…’why would a washed up former child star be at a strip club?’ It just doesn’t happen anymore…


– His story is an odd one indeed. From Vail, Colorado, Del Bosco was a part of the U.S. ski team until he was given the boot off of the team. He loved to party and was found passed out in a ditch with a broken neck after a bender. He tested positive for pot, and that ultimately led to his demise with the Yanks. Marijuana use? Hey…no problem…we will pick him up here in Canada. It didn’t go exactly like that, but, Del Bosco (at the urging of his Sister) hit rehab, and hit the slopes again for Canada. His comeback story is one of the big ones of the Games, and he had a chance for Gold in ski-cross. He started off slowly in the Final, and was sitting in 3rd spot before the 2nd to last jump…but, took a spill, finished 4th, and lost out on a much anticipated medal. That just sounds too familiar these Games for Canada.


– Another medal for Groves, a Silver in the ladies 1,500 long track. She has been easily the most consistent of our skaters in any discipline. Here is hoping that she can help our ladies in the team pursuit garner another medal. As for Christine Nesbitt, she started out very well, but, couldn’t hold it for the last lap, and placed 6th.


– The best Canadian story of day ten was the original dance of figure skating. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were in second spot, but, their dance was spot on, and vaulted them into the top position, and a chance for a Gold medal later today! Considering that 2 American pairs are also in the running, it would be a nice change to beat the Yanks!


– I had mentioned previously the best Canadian story of the day. This one is easily the worst of the Games for Canada, as Joannie’s Mom passed away upon arriving in Vancouver to watch her daughter compete. Within hours of being in Vancouver, Therese had a massive heart attack that would claim her life. Within hours of that tragedy, Joannie announced that she will compete in ladies figure skating. Just to see Joannie on ice, at the Games, could be the moment for Canada, regardless of how many medals we acquire the rest of the way.



– The first of 3 games on a day described as Super Sunday. Each of the matchups would determine top spot in each group, and determine who would get a bye into the quarter-finals. Also interesting that each game represented a re-match of the last 3 Gold Medal Games. In this one, the Russians avenged their 98 loss to the Czechs with the win, and top spot in the group.

STARS 1. Evgeni Malkin, RUS. (2 goals, 1 assist)

2. Pavel Datsyuk, RUS. (1 goal, 1 assist)

3. Tomas Vokoun, CZE. (28 saves)


– The aftermath of this game has been the fact that the Canadians lost at home to the U.S. It was the most watched event ever on Canadian TV, and everyone is in a state of shock after this one. Not so fast folks. We had 45 shots on goal, and still had plenty of room to improve on. Their goalie won them the game, and our goalie made a couple of costly mistakes. It doesn’t matter that Canada will play an extra game, and it doesn’t matter that we may play the Russians in the quarters. At this point of the tourny, any of the teams in the quarters are worthy opponents. That was Canada’s mulligan. If we lose again, then we can start the finger pointing, and the ‘what’s wrong with our game?’ statements. For now…I still like our chances!

STARS 1. Ryan Miller, U.S. (42 saves)

2. Brian Rafalski, U.S. (2 goals, 1 assist)

3. Jonathon Toews, CAN. (2 assists)


– This battle for top spot wasn’t really much of a battle. Unlike the first 2 games of the day, this score was flattering for the Fins, who had a great performance from Miikka Kiprusoff to keep them in the game. Despite the loss, the Finns nail down a bye into the quarters by finising 4th. The U.S. gets the number one seed, followed by Sweden, and then the Russians. Canada gets the 6th spot, and a game tomorrow against Germany.

STARS 1. Nicklas Backstrom, SWE. (1 goal, 2 assists)

2. Loui Eriksson, SWE. (2 goals)

3. Henrik Lundqvist, SWE. (20 saves, shutout)


– The U.S. continues to lead the way with 24 medals, but, a good day for the Germans have moved them up to 18, and just 6 back.


Medal expectations so far: 15

Medals: 9

– We went 1 for 3 with the Groves Silver yesterday…but, also expected medals from Chris Del Bosco & Christine Nesbitt. A win by Canada’s womens team today will guarantee as a medal for the final, and a medal (hopefully Gold) on track for the figure skating team of Virtue & Moir.

…At the Games in Vancouver, that’s Geespotting. Rick Rock, sheet shot, Faux Rox.


At The Games – Sun. Feb.21st

In At the Games Baby on February 21, 2010 by geespotting

9 Days done at the Winter Games in Vancouver. Thank you Tim Horton’s for the caffeine motivation.


– I wouldn’t normally start talking curling ’til the medal rounds…but, it should be pointed out that our men & women are rolling. Neither has lost yet. It hasn’t been easy with some close games…but, great to see Canada pull through when the pins are down.


– More heartache on the short-track, and more for Charles Hamelin. This time, Charles and his brother Francois quailified for the men’s 1,ooo final, along with 2 Korean skaters and Apolo Ohno. The result…OH NO…for Canada. The Hamelins jumped out to the early lead…but, in the final 2 laps the Koreans overtook them, followed by one quick sprint from Apolo…and we are left out in the cold, missing 2 more medal chances.


– Once again, Kalyna Roberge failed to make the final. It has been a tough games for her. The final featured an unprecedented 8 skaters, including a Canadian Tania Vicent. The 34 year old Vicent was a surprise to make the Final, yet, she had skated amazingly to get to the Final. Sadly though, the field was too tough, and resulted in an 8th place finish for Tania.


– The men’s long track 1,500 provided another chance for the Ft. St. John native to medal, but, once again, he finished out of the top 5 in 8th spot. Morrison actually blamed the “Own the Podium” campaign for Canadian Olympians stating that he missed out on a chance to train with the best, his bud Shani Davis. Davis by the way, lost a chance for a double Gold, and settled for Silver. Both the long and short track events have proved to be a surprising let-down for out athletes so far.



– Based on how well the Swiss played the Canadians and U.S., this overtime win was a surprise. The win for the Swiss means a finish close to the top 8, and a chance to avoid any of the ‘big 7’ in the qualification round.

STARS 1. Roman Wick, SWI. (1 goal, 2 assists)

2. Tore Vikingstad, NOR. (3 goals)

3. Raffaele Sannitz, SWI. (1 goal, 1 assist)


– With the win, the Slovaks can still finish in 2nd spot in their group…but, will actually be cheering for their rival Czechs to beat the Russians today. Upon doing that, the Slovaks will get a bye into the quarters.

STARS 1. Jozef Stumpel, SLO. (1 goal, 2 assists)

2. Michal Handzus, SLO. (1 goal, 2 assists)

3. Jaroslav Halak, SLO. (21 saves, & shutout)


– A bit of a surprise, considering that the Germans have more NHL star-power than the Belarussians. But, then, not much of a suprise based on how poorly the Germans have played through their first 2 games. The story however was goaltending, as Vitali Koval made 37 saves for Belarus.

STARS 1. Sergei Kostitsyn, BEL. (1 goal, 3 assists)

2. Vitali Koval, BEL. (37 saves)

3. Marcel Goc, GER. (1 goal, 1 assist)


– The U.S. keeps on rolling, scoring another 3 yesterday, and up to an incredible 23.


Medal expectations so far: 12

Medals: 8

– Misses by Charles Hamelin, and Denny Morrison have dropped our meter. Hopefully, today will be better with ski-cross, and more skating!

…That’s the skinny from Geespotting at the Games!


At The Games – Sat. Feb.20th

In At the Games Baby on February 21, 2010 by geespotting

Now 8 days under the belt…heading for the home stretch. Saw Dustin Diamond…how odd was that?


– Seriously…did anyone really think that this blast from the past would be battling Lindsey Vonn for skiing supremacy? He has 2 medals now, and has skiied incredibly so far.


– She wanted the Gold medal in women’s skeleton, and had to take a couple of risks. Sadly, those risks cost her not only the Gold…but, a medal in general. A finish out of the top 3 didn’t cut it as far as her ability goes. Was it the pressure of competing…or the pressure of WINNING in Canada? Needless to say, within minutes of her ‘loss’ she was in tears and talked about letting her country down. Maybe our ‘Games’ will be in 4 years.


– Montgomery was in the same boat as Hollingsworth as far as expectations were concerned. His approach was dead opposite however, as the free wheeling Canuck won Gold in men’s skeleton. His laid back, free spirit was certainly a big reason why he was able to stay calm, yet focused in winning our 4th Gold. He celebrated by guzzling a jug of beer along the trails of Whistler. That sounds more like it for a Canadian!



– It wasn’t going to be an upset like 8 years ago when Tommy Salo took an Ikea break , and cost the Swedes a shot at a medal. The Swedes dominated, but, the Belarussians stayed in the game long enough to give Sweden a taste of bad meatballs.

STARS 1. Daniel Alfredsson, SWE. (2 goals)

2. Daniel Sedin, SWE. (goal and assist)

3. Dmitri Meleshko, BEL. (2 goals)


– Another strong performance from the Czechs, who moved into a 2 and o spot, and a chance to win the group if they can beat the Russians on Sunday. No real problems in this one, despite the closer score.

STARS 1. Marek Zidlicky, CZE. (3 assists)

2. Tomas Kaberle, CZE. (goal and assist)

3. Patrik Elias, CZE. (goal and assist)


– Surprisingly, the Finns may be the best team through 2 games so far, while the Germans may be the worst. Finland has outscored their opponents 10-1, while Germany has yet to score. The Sweden-Finland game on Sunday night may decide the top seed heading into the playoff rounds.

STARS 1. Kimmo Timonen, FIN. (2 goals)

2. Niklas Backstrom, FIN. (24 saves for the shutout)

3. Niklas Hagman, FIN. (2 assists…and now 4 points in the tourny)


– I honestly thought that a number of countries would battle it out for this honour, and the battle would continue the whole 2 plus weeks of the Games. Not the case, as the Yanks are the first to hit 20!


Medal expectations so far: 10

Medals: 8

– It was supposed to be a double medal day in skeleton, but, Canada went 1 for 2 with the Montgomery win, and the Hollingsworth 5th place finish.

…Speed skating should warrant some hardware tomorrow. From the Games, it’s Geespotting!


At The Games – Fri. Feb.19th

In At the Games Baby on February 21, 2010 by geespotting

Seven days in the bag…here’ s the loop da scoop:


– She is expected to be one of the Canadian stories of these Games, and did not disappoint in winning the ladies 1,000 in long track speedskating. Another very humble, and worthy winner, Christine was all smiles and tears after taking home the Gold. More could be on the way for Nesbitt with the team pursuit and the 1,500.


– It may have been fitting that Evgeni Plushenko lost the Gold in men’s figure skating after his comments earlier stating that ‘men have no business competing unless they can complete the quad’. I think American Evan Lysacek may have changed that statement with ‘men have no business competing unless they can bring a full program to the board’. Of course, he didn’t say that, but, he is complete final program was what eventually gave him the deserved Gold, while Plusenko ran out of quads and took the Silver.


– Another Canadian athlete expected to “Own The Podium”, Patrick skated well enough to move up in the standings, but, also gave us some indicators that he is still new to competition at the tender age of NINETEEN! Give him a break, and let him hone his skills for 2010 in Russia.



– Like the Canadians before them, the U.S. were too strong for the Norwegians. They hung in there for awhile, but, the speed of the Yanks was too much as they moved to 2 and 0.

STARS 1. Brian Rafalski, U.S. (2 goals)

2. Phil Kessel, U.S. (goal and assist)

3. Ryan Malone, U.S. (goal and assist)


– It turned out to be a lot tougher for the Canadians who had a 2-0 lead, and couldn’t put away the Swiss. Jonas Hiller was the star, as the Swiss goaltender almost stole them the upset win…AGAIN! Martin Brodeur was strong for Canada, who will have to be a lot, lot better if they are to win this thing. Too many times, Canada was caught for odd man Swiss breaks…and their d-men caught backing in and backing in. Back to the basics for Sunday and the U.S.

STARS 1. Jonas Hiller, SWI. (45 saves)

2. Patrick Marleau, CAN. (goal and assist, 8 shots)

3. Dany Heatley, CAN. (goal and assist, 5 shots)


– The Slovaks proved that they can compete with anyone in this surprise shootout win over the Russians. Both goalies were awesome, and the Russians quest for the perfect play cost them the extra point. Too many show-boaters, and not enough of the teamwork needed to win this short tourny.

STARS 1. Jaroslav Halak, SLO. (36 saves)

2. Ilya Bryzgalov, RUS. (32 saves)

3. Pavol Demitra, SLO. (shootout winner, and 1 assist)


– The United States are starting to run away with this thing…now up to 18 medals…7 more than 2nd place Germany.


Medal expectations so far: 8

Medals: 7

– Christine Nesbitt was the Canadian star of the day in winning her Gold. A medal expected from Patrick Chan, dropped our medal count one back of where we should be.

– Down and out in Vancouver, that’s Geespotting…watch for Rick Rock on the Coast.