The women's olympic hockey tournament was kicked off this afternoon with Sweden facing off with Switzerland. I think everyone remembers Sweden as the team that upset the USA in the last Olympic games for the silver medal. Canada will also be playing against Slovakia, who has yet to appear in a women's Olympic competition. Something tells me that trial run test isn't going to go well but we will see. At any rate, some random thoughts during the game.
--The emotion of the women's teams is interesting. You see the joy and frustrations in their body language way more than in men's hockey. Especially the frustrations when they don't score, get called for offsides, or try to draw penalties.
--Just when I thought to myself "Self...Bill Patrick isn't on TV enough" there he is.
--Cammi Granato is doing an analysts job for the NBC coverage. In the early 90's, she was one of only 4 or 5 female players I actually knew. I know she played hockey way longer, and more successfully, than most men but what is with her nose? It looks like it was broken about 100 times over and reformed baring due east. I wonder who would win in a shootout between her and her husband (she is married to Ray Ferraro). Or her brother for that matter.
--Boy does NBC sure plug their own stuff, ad nauseum. Plus, they keep missing part of the game play because the commercials are overlapping. To top things off, they keep that long pause uncomfortable moment when they cut between studio and either video spot or back to the action. The interview with Sweden's captain during the 2nd intermission was great.
--There are 12 Swiss team members under the age of 20. That means they were born in the 90s.
--Women's hockey has been popular in Canada (of course) and the USA for many years. It was interesting to hear them talk about other countries. Apparently, eventhough men's hockey is strong, women's hockey isn't very big in European countries. I found that interesting considering all the talent in the men's field coming from Europe, especially Finland, Sweden, and Russia.
--Tina Engstrom scored the second goal for Sweden. Her brother Tobias plays for the Thrashers. I believe they are the first brother/sister hockey combo in Olympic history.
--The Swiss goaltender is pretty good but no one can continue to survive when your team doesn't play defense in front of you. Sweden had 4 open shots at the goal on that third tally.
--There is no body checking. Why?
--Switzerland got robbed of a goal late in the 3rd period when the ref waived off an obvious goal saying the whistle had blown.
Sweden wins! 3-0