Everything Else

See now this is what I’m talking about.

We have our most exciting game of the tournament, Russia-North America from last night. And while we wax poetic about the Olympics and about the two Canada-US games from 2010, how many other great games do you remember from the Olympics? Maybe one or two others? This was as good as anything that tournament has offered up.

Ok, sure, it’s one made-up team that essentially got to pick current or about-to-be All-Stars while everyone else had harder restrictions. But it was still faster than just about anything you’re going to find in an NHL game. And that’s the point. These international tournaments are supposed to be of a higher level than what we get in the league. This is why soccer fans love the World Cup and European Championships (even though the last version of each of those has been rather dogshit). It’s the best the sport can produce. That’s what we got last night.

Everything Else

Here’s the thing. I love Anze Kopitar. I love watching him play. I think he’s the equal of Toews or Bergeron as two-way centers who can do anything you ask him. If he didn’t play on the West Coast he’d probably have a Selke to his name already (though Bergeron should honestly win it every year until he retires, and then maybe one or two years after that).

That doesn’t mean I think an international tournament should be mutated so that he can play with a mishmash of other players from countries the NHL just doesn’t fancy instead of Slovenia. While that’s not the reason Team Europe was created, it sure feels like it. The NHL feared Denmark or Switzerland or Norway or whatever else getting embarrassed in three games. I’m not sure this outfit will do much better.