Channel Surfing is Too Many Men On The Site’s quick guide to tonight’s NHL action, as well as any other interesting broadcasts in the world of hockey. Included is a list of the scheduled games, game notes, as well as a pre-game warmup song.
Men’s Olympic Hockey – Gold Medal Game
Canada vs. Sweden (7 a.m. EST – CBC, NBC)
(Writer’s Note: I’d like to thank Mike for letting me, one of the few Canadians here at TMMOTS, take the finale of Olympic Channel Surfing. This is an exercise in being unbiased, so bear with me.)
This one’s for all the marbles, ladies and gentlemen, and it promises to be a good one. This game features the last two Olympic men’s hockey gold medalists, as the 2006 champions from Sweden look to take the gold medal back from Canada, who won on home soil in 2010.
This game may well be decided between the pipes as two of the world’s best goaltenders square off. For the Canadians, Carey Price has been strong when called upon, playing his best game in Sochi on Friday with a 31-save shutout in a 1-0 win over the United States. For the Swedes, Henrik Lundqvist will get the call in net, and it’s a no-brainer. He’s been in this very situation before, making 25 saves to defeat Finland for Olympic gold back in 2006.
- Canada is tied with Switzerland for fewest goals conceded in the tournament with three, while Sweden has scored 17 goals in its five games.
- Both teams come in with injury issues. In the quarter-finals, Canada lost John Tavares to a lower-body injury, while the Swedes lost captain Henrik Zetterberg after their first preliminary round game. Sweden was also battered with injuries before Sochi, as Henrik Sedin and Johan Franzen couldn’t make the trip to Russia, joining Canada’s Steven Stamkos on the sidelines.
- Despite only playing one game, Zetterberg still has one more goal than Canadian captain Sidney Crosby.
For both Canada and Sweden, their top-end production has come from the blue line. Erik Karlsson is tied for the tournament lead with eight points in five games, while Canadians Drew Doughty (four goals, two assists in five games) and Shea Weber (three goals, two assists in five games) are both among the tournament’s top 10 scorers.
- This will be Canada and Sweden’s first gold medal game against each other since NHL participation was introduced in 1998. However, they did meet in the 1994 gold medal game, where Peter Forsberg did this to Corey Hirsch.
- Speaking of Forsberg, he’s not happy about three of the four officials being Canadian.
- Ironically, both Canada and Sweden defeated the teams they played in their respective gold medal games in 2006 and 2010 in the semifinals in Sochi.
Pre-Game Warmup Songs
Yep, there’s going to be two to ensure both countries are properly represented, though it may honestly turn into the entire pre-game playlist when all is said and done.
Sweden – “Hate To Say I Told You So” by The Hives
A pretty up-tempo song that could almost serve as a reminder from the Swedes that they’re still very much among the hockey elites. Going in, most dream gold medal scenarios revolved around the host Russians getting in, with very few fleeting thoughts about Sweden getting in.
Well, they’re here now, and they want the gold back, so they could see this game as the chance to make a statement to the rest of the world.
For those seeking something a little more American, the Foo Fighters have covered it live.
Hedersomnämnanden (Swedish for Honorable Mentions, according to Google Translate)
- “New Noise” by Refused (This was the entrance music for Canadian pitcher John Axford when he was the closer for the Milwaukee Brewers)
- “Bring It On Home” by The Hellacopters
- “Ray” by Millencolin
- “One” by Swedish House Mafia
And now, for the reigning, defending Olympic champions from Canada… I’ll be honest, there are an embarrassment of musical riches from Canada (The Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies,
Justin Bieber (he’s your problem now, America!), Our Lady Peace, April Wine, Neil Young, etc.), making it REALLY hard to choose just one. I thought about going with O Canada or Maple Leaf Forever, but for this one, we’re going back into the vault.
Canada – “Tom Sawyer” by Rush
Having seen Rush live last year, I can tell you there aren’t many things that can replicate the feeling when you hear the opening drum sequence of “Tom Sawyer”. The building erupts, the beat instantly grabs your attention, and while it’s instantly recognizable, it’s not overly presumptuous, which is pretty much the Canadian way of doing things.
I could probably make this entire section about Rush without batting an eye, but not sharing would be un-Canadian! We shared Nickelback with the rest of the world, so that counts for something, right?
Anyway, on to the next section…
Honourable Mentions, Eh? (Complete with Canadian spelling!)
- “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive (though You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet was an option here, too)
- “Turn Me Loose” by Loverboy
- “Little Bones” by The Tragically Hip (This goes out to all Canadians who will be at bars early in the morning to watch the game)
- “Feeling Good” by The Sheepdogs (Wow, something more modern!)
- “Starseed” by Our Lady Peace
- “Fight The Good Fight” by Triumph
The time for talking is done, and now it’s time for the gold medal game. I hope you’ve learned something here this morning, even if it’s acquiring new musical tastes.
If you’re awake, enjoy the game, folks!