Love to Learn, Learn to Love.

JuicyLesson 142: More on the Olympics; Hockey. Screw Mike Babcock, P.K. Subban’s Benching; Curling … Fear and Loathing in Sochy as the Russians Go Down to Ignominious Defeat.

More on the Olympics … Canada’s performance in hockey and curling, P.K. Subban being benched again … Russia’s ignominious defeat.

Just enjoying the Team Canada against Lativia in the Olympic hockey
Tournament quarter-final. It’s been a fast-paced first period so far, with Patrick Sharpe’s goal being the only one scored so Canada leads the game 1-0.

I fucking hate Mike Babcock, the Canadian head coach and coach of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League because he has benched P.K. Subban for the second straight game. According to the Gazette’s Jack Todd Babcock, that cock, didn’t want Subban on the team to begin with and with Latvia just having tied the game at 1-1, last season’s winner of the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s premier defence man is a healthy scratch for the second game in a row. Fuck Babcock and the horse that he rode in on.

As a matter of fact, re. Babcock, I have only seen the asshole side of his character this year. Before this season, over the last decade or so, Babcock has seemed somewhat affable, somehow above the fray, a dignified, handsome, granite-chinned, McGill graduate who had played Varsity hockey for that university. This season, he has made a few remarks which at first glance seemed to be out of character – I remember at first thinking what? Who is that guy?

Well that is Mr. Babcock, coach of the perennial winning Red Wings, ah yes. The Red Wings who are not doing as well this season as they have over the last ten years or so and Babcock is obviously feeling the pressure, which is really no excuse to turn surly.

“We try. We fight. We play to the end. But we lost.” — Alex Ovechkin, Russian Alternate Captain in the aftermath of the Russian defeat by Finland and the former’s exit from the tournament. Well at least Hab fans can rejoice in the fact that Emelin and Markov are free to leave Russia and come back to Montreal where the Canadiens are back practising. Markov disappointed me. He looked slow and cumbersome out there. I think the Habs should let him go after this season when he becomes an UFA (Unrestricted Free Agent). Trading him prior to this season’s end so that he becomes a rental on another playoff bound team, I feel, would be a mistake for two reasons.

Trading Andrei off so that he becomes a member of a Habs’ rival might piss him off, which might cause him to come back and haunt our beloved team in the playoffs. Secondly, trading Markov would impact negatively on the Canadiens chemistry. He is a wily veteran who knows the ropes and according to Pierre Lebrun, I think it was, trading Markov would be the equivalent of the Canadiens kissing their playoff chances good-bye. Plus Markov is more valuable on the small ice in the NHL than on Sochi’s big ice.

Back to Subban: Why in hell would you leave such a talented and excellent defenceman out? To prove a point? Not only can Subban play a good defence, he also has the ability to score goals, something Canada has not been able to do in well these games. For example, they out-shot the Latvians 16-5 in the just-ended first period but only got one as did the Latvians on their meagre total of five shots.

Subban is also an excellent point man when his team has a one-man advantage. Canada’s power play has left a lot to be desired so far in this tournament as far as the scoring of goals goes. Although being able to maintain puck possession in their opponents’ zone when the Canadians have the man advantage, they have not been able to develop a scoring touch. That c the case, raise your hand if you feel that Team Canada (TC) could use additional scoring on the power play. Now lower them if you believe that Subban would not be able to help Canada’s power play; everyone should still have their hands up.

Yesterday’s JuicyLesson on the sport of curling has turned out to be rather timely as both Canadian teams – the men and the women – punched their tickets to their respective gold medal tilts to be held starting at 8:30 am this morning for the women and Friday for the men at the unreasonable hour of 3:30 am, EST. Canada’s Jennifer Jones led the Canadian team to victory against Great Britain (GBR) and Team Canada’s Brad Jacobs skipped his team to a win over the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC). So on the women’s’ side, Jones’ rink will take on Sweden for the gold while Jacobs must beat GBR to win gold. To get to their births in the final, the Swedish women just edged Switzerland while GBR edged Sweden in one of the men’s semi-finals.

Hockey: Canada managed to defeat Latvia 2-1 to earn a birth in the men’s hockey semi-final. They will have to beat the U.S.A. to advance to the gold medal game against the winner of the other semi-final between the Swedes and the Fins, the latter having ousted the Russians from the tournament – a disaster for Russia – yesterday. On the women’s’ side, Canada meets the USA in the gold medal show-down between these two arch rivals which is to take place at high noon today.

Peace.

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