Ron Wilson: No gold, no positives

I realize I haven’t had the chance to talk about the gold medal game here. As a loyal USA fan, it hurt. A lot. I had a bad feeling going into it, but the tying goal with 20 seconds left gave me some false hope ... only to be crushed in overtime by one of my own: Sidney Crosby.

I finally knew what it felt like to be anyone who is not a Penguins fan. I understand why people dislike Crosby. He's really, really good. He is also a little bit of a bitch, but he’s MY bitch. I felt a sting of betrayal when he put in the OT game-winner. But what a story this kid is, hey? He’s won just about everything, and he’s only 22 years-old. It’s disgusting and awesome all at the same time. I’m glad he’s back on my side.

I pouted when the game was over. I'll admit it. I whined a little about how it would have been a much better story if the US won (I blame it on my PR side). But I recognized that Canada was an unbelievable team just like they were supposed to be. I also recognized that what the US managed to do throughout the tournament was unexpected and amazing. They were inspirational to watch. This young squad wasn't expected to be undefeated until the very last game in the Olympics. They surprised everyone and won people over. A silver for them is still an incredible feat.

So today when I came across a headline on my THN newsfeed that said, “Ron Wilson says there is no positive in gold medal loss for US” a giant record scratched somewhere in my head.

No positive in the U.S.’s gold medal loss?

Okay, I agree with Teemu Selanne when he says that the bronze medal is an easier emotional win because you actually win the game to get the medal. When you get bronze, it’s because you won. When you get silver, it’s because you lost.

But honestly Ron Wilson, how do you get zero positives out of coming up just short of the gold?? I can think of a few:

1.       Um, you won the silver medal. This is pretty obvious. You could have finished dead last in the tournament or pulled a Russia and embarrassed yourself.
2.       Your little underdog team turned out to be pretty darn good. So good that they went undefeated up until the very end. They worked hard and played well. They weren’t really supposed to be as good as they were.
3.       The USA team captivated America. I had friends who could care less about hockey but were all fired up for the gold medal game and publicly displaying their support. By ‘publicly displaying’ I mean putting it as their Facebook status, but that’s a pretty big deal these days.
4.       Ryan Miller. Zach Parise. Chris Drury. Brian Rafalski. Ryan Kesler. And so on…
5.       The hockey was great. The first USA-Canada game was one of the best hockey games I’ve ever seen. Ryan Kesler’s empty net goal? Yes, please. Six goals in, like, ten minutes against Finland? Wow. Not to mention the gold medal game.
6.       Millions of people tuned in to watch. 27.6 million to be exact. That’s just the NBC broadcast. Numbers haven’t been this good since the 1980 miracle. And the ratings weren’t only good for that game – 8.2 million people watched the first US-Canada game on MSNBC (second highest for the network ever). As an American hockey fan, I’m proud of that. I’m not saying there is going to be a huge new following of hockey fans in the States (because there wont’ be), but the ratings are something to speak of.

Those are just a few that come to mind. I know it’s hard to come that far, tie a game with 20 seconds left and lose the gold medal in overtime. I was heartbroken too. But that’s hockey. That’s what we love. As far as I can see, the positives outweigh the negatives. 



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