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February 28, 2010

What. A. Game.

Filed under: Hockey — chuck goolsbee @ 4:14 pm
Excited Wil (Wheaton) is excited. on Twitpic
Excited Wil (Wheaton) is excited. on Twitpic

This photo (of and by my fellow Goaltender Wil Wheaton) best represents today’s Olympic Gold Medal game in Men’s Ice Hockey that wraped up the 2010 Winter Games just over the border from me in Vancouver, B.C. If you missed it, you missed an epic game, filled with more thrills and excitement than can be described. Team USA came back from a 2-0 deficit and tied the game with 24 seconds to play. This forced the game into overtime.

Overtime. Sudden Death. It is how the ultimate games should always finish. Play until you score. None of this shoot-out stuff. The 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway ended their Gold Medal game with a shoot-out after overtime expired, with Sweden edging Canada for the Gold. As a hockey fan it was awful to watch, as games should be played to win, not forced into an artificial conclusion via a shoot-out. Overtime play however is never artificial. It is thrilling beyond belief because it is real, it is intense, and the end can come at any moment. Some of the best games ever were decided in overtime. Many have become legend: The Easter Epic. Bobby Orr’s flying goal on May 10, 1970. The Miracle on Manchester. The “Monday Night Miracle” in game 6 of the ’86 Conference Finals. The epic goaltending battle between Hasek & Brodeur in the ’94 Playoffs (both had shutouts going, and Buffalo won in the second overtime 1-0 over the New Jersey Devils.) The five overtime Flyers-Penguins game of the ’00 Playoffs. The Canucks quadruple-overtime win over Dallas in ’07.

Nothing is more thrilling than overtime hockey.

Team USA played very well today. Our Goaltender Ryan Miller won a well-deserved tournament MVP award. They put on a show that nobody expected, and that delighted everyone who watched. They played their game, and took the heavily-favored Team Canada right to the very brink. Thank you Team USA. You earned every ounce of the silver around your necks, and then some.

February 21, 2010

Not a Miracle, Just a damn good game.

Filed under: Hockey — chuck goolsbee @ 9:55 pm

My throat is sore from yelling. I frightened my family tonight. First Sue, who was reading abook on the couch when Team USA scored their first goal less than a minute into the first period. Then eventually everyone as I screamed and yelled through one of the most exciting hockey games in a long time.

I’m normally a rather quiet person. I’m also not much of a sports fan… I didn’t even watch the Super Bowl this year, or any of the past several years now that I think about it. I usually go skiing on Super Bowl Sunday, or work on my car if the snow conditions in the mountains aren’t right. But when Olympic Hockey comes around, I get very vocal.

I watched every game of the 1980 Olympics, long before it became a “Miracle.” I recall stressing through the 2-2 tie with Sweden in the first game at Lake Placid and thinking that Team USA might really have a chance. Their hard-charging style and gutsy play (IIRC they tied the game at the very end by pulling Craig out of the net) was inspiring to watch. Maybe even a medal? Then everything started coming together. The last-second tying-goal at the end of the 1st period of the game against the USSR was one of those moments I’ll never forget. You could see the Soviets just did not take the competition seriously, and that goal scared the hell out of them.

What a lot of people don’t recall was that the famous showdown with the USSR was NOT the final game. Team USA had to win one more game to seal the medal.

Tonight’s USA vs. Canada game was not the medal game either. The win doesn’t have much significance in determining medals at all. It was however a triumph for USAHockey. Canada came into the tournament heavily favored. Everyone knew that tonight’s game was the closest match up expected in this year’s Olympics, but even here Canada was expected to win.

What a game. If you missed it, I have to tell you that you missed an epic. Team USA came out flying and just plain out-hustled Team Canada. Within seconds they had shots on goal, and within a minute they had scored. Canada eventually evened the tally, but the USA answered with another goal to end the first 20 minutes with a 2-1 score. The second period was really a mirror image of the first, with Team Canada looking much better, and seemingly winning every footrace to a loose puck. Thankfully Ryan Miller, the USA Goaltender kept them in the game. The final period of play became a complete barn-burner. By now my screaming had the whole family around the TV watching with me. Sidney Crosby of Team Canada scored with 3 minutes remaining, bringing the score to 4-3 in favor of the USA. Despite TeamUSA looking tired and flat-footed for much of the third period Miller stood on his head when he needed to, and even though Canada pulled the goalie in a last-minute bit of hustle Ryan Kesler out-skated two Canadians to make a heroic effort to bat the puck into the empty net to seal the win.

Due to the intrusion of pros, Olympic Hockey has lost a tad of its luster for me, but none of the excitement. Tournament hockey is always the best kind of hockey. To play or to watch. It carries an intensity not found anywhere but perhaps the NCAA Finals or the Stanley Cup. Unlike those however, these guys are also playing for their country, on a world stage. Tonight’s game was a tremendous example of that. To Team USA, well done! Well done indeed.

June 12, 2009

Spotter Guide to the LMP1 & 2 cars at the 2009 Le Mans

Filed under: Cars,Hockey — chuck goolsbee @ 12:19 pm

From the guys at Cold Track Days, here’s your lineup:


I’m not in France at the moment, so I’ll be catching what I can on Speed TV over the weekend. Stanley Cup Game 7 and Le Mans, all on the same weekend!

May 15, 2009

Kevin Smith – A Friend of the Hockey Court – TIME

Filed under: Hockey — chuck goolsbee @ 9:49 am
Kevin Smith, on Hockey:
Kevin Smith, on Hockey:

People literally walk on water! Last guy to popularize water-walking got a religion built around him. That guy was Rocket Richard; the religion is the Montreal Canadiens.

via A Friend of the Hockey Court – TIME.

Tip of the hat to Wil Wheaton for the link, via twitter.

It’s playoff time, go catch a game.

April 3, 2009

I’m not a Wings fan, but… wow.

Filed under: Hockey — chuck goolsbee @ 8:23 am

Spectacular goal.

March 21, 2008


Filed under: Hockey — Tags: , , , — chuck goolsbee @ 12:09 pm

As an ex-goaltender this is painful to watch. In Toskala’s defence these are very tough shots to stop, but I gotta say, he should have got in front of it and not tried to catch. Doctrine says, take it in the chest and then sweep it off to your D with the stick.

Oh well. I bet he never makes this mistake again!

Another view:

February 6, 2008

Volkswagen runs out of ideas, crashes the Bus.

Filed under: Cars,Hockey,rants — chuck goolsbee @ 7:57 am
Vanagon Fragment
Vanagon Fragment

The above is the sole digital photo I have of my old VW Vanagon. I found it in my photo library. Taken with a primitive digital camera in 1996, it was a photo of my house, which I was selling on the Internet as we planned to depart for the UK. Note the “for sale” sign in the rear window of the van as well. We sold the Vanagon to another small family in our neighborhood. I hope it served them as well as it did us. If I find a analog photo I’ll scan it and put it here too.

I noted that VW is going to be selling a badge-engineered Chrysler minivan as the VW “Routan”… what a sorry state of affairs. They teased the world with a retro-Bus 7 years ago to wrap up their resurgence of the Beetle design. It never has come to fruition. Instead we get this. below is the text of a comment I left on TTAC early this morning…

Back in the early 90s when my kids were little and my dog was big I have a ’89 Vanagon “Wolfsburg Edition”. Built the year the Wall Came Down. I loved that box-on-wheels. So OK, 80 MPH was about as fast as it could go without being dropped from high altitude, but as a family hauler and hockey bus (I was a goalie, and my wife played “D” on local adult rec team) it was unparalleled.

Our two annual vacations were always in that machine. In winter we would load the kids in, and the luggage and skis onto the Yakima rack up top, lay down the bed in the back, throw in a cooler between the seats and drive 24 hours straight from Seattle to central Colorado where my parents live at the base of a ski hill. “Hi Mom, here’s the grandkids, see ya later!” 😉 The other trip was a summer wander all over the West, either US, Canada or both. That Vanagon was the cheapest and most utilitarian funtcional RV ever built. No, it wasn’t a Westphalia camper, but the 2-2-table-3 seating arrangement was fantastic, and terrifically functional for hauling kids. The passenger (myself or my wife) could stand up and walk to the backseat ferchrissakes! The kids could sit facing each other, even strapped into those damn car seats, and be engaged in sibling rivalry yet be out of fist range!

My only complaint was thedesign of the fold-up cupholdeers, they were all destroyed within a year of buying the thing. So were all the replacements. Just a bad design.

The tightest turning circle of any car I’ve ever owned. Very easy to maintain and self-service (important for this home mechanic!) Fun to drive in it’s own looney sort of way. You could park it anywhere as the footprint of the thing was in reality about the same as a Jetta, but with that big sliding door and the fact that the front seat riders can easily walk back to it meant that door clearance was never an issue.

I sold that Vanagon when I was transferred overseas in early 1997. I wish I hadn’t.

It is a shame that 50 years of design and refinement were abandoned by VW. The Vanagon was essentially the apogee of the original VW Bulli/Combi Bus, just with the “wasserboxer” engine in the end. Literally. Nobody thought outside the van shaped box like VW. Their products were always offbeat and unique.

To badge-engineer something from Chrysler is an insult. Though I agree with others and say that at least they’ve tarted it up beyond its ugly start. The problem with most “minivans” is that they are just station wagons with a sliding door. They are NOT vans. They lack the utility of a van. They lack the room to maneuver INSIDE that a van gives you. VW vans have a long history of being second homes on wheels and nothing from Chyrerberus is going to get that job done.

We’ve all been waiting for that New Bus to complement the New Beetle, and VW craps out THIS TURD?? Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

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