Crosby’s game-winner good for the game?

Feb 28, 2010, 4:25 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:51 pm

By Mike Salk

I don’t have the energy for a long post (like this one after the US beat Canada last week). But wow, what a game. Really, this one finished the way it probably should have. The US team showed that their win last Sunday wasn’t just a fluke. And the gold medal went to the team (and country) that wanted it and deserved it most.

Congratulations to Team Canada and their fans. They were the best team in this tournament and I’m happy for them. That being said, I hope the hockey over the past few weeks has convinced you that this is a sport you could watch full time. The NHL game doesn’t look that different from the Olympic game. And now you know a lot of the players!

A couple of other thoughts:

-The Olympic committee needs to adopt the NHL’s playoff overtime rules. It’s one thing to settle early round games with a 4 on 4 overtime or a shootout because of time constraints), but not a medal round game. They should have played 5 on 5 until someone won – which is what the NHL does in the playoffs. Why should the gold medal be decided by a different game than the one played for the first 60 minutes? In this case, the rules benefited Canada with it’s faster players who played better in open space.

Thankfully, it didn’t come down to a shootout. That would have driven me crazy. I don’t mind them during the regular season, in fact they can be very exciting. But elimination games should NEVER be decided by something outside the regular rules of the sport. Can you imagine settling an NFL playoff OT with a kickoff? Or a skills competition? The shootout isn’t far off…

Plus, there is nothing more exciting than playoff overtime hockey when the game just keeps going and players are exhausted.

-I’m not sure how I feel about Sidney Crosby being the one to score the winner. On one hand, he is the marquee name in the sport, and I hope his fame, charisma, and reputation is enough to make people watch the sport – just as it was with Wayne Gretzky in the 1980’s. But on the other hand, I worry that casual fans will think he is the only worthwhile player to watch in the sport, when in fact there are so many great players in the game today. Remember, it was an incredible pass from his linemate (5-time all star Jarome Iginla) that set up the game winner.

What do you think? Does Sidney Crosby make you want to watch more hockey? I’m genuinely curious…How about Alex Ovetchkin Ovechkin? I think Ovetchkin Ovechkin is a better all-around player with his goal scoring ability and heavy checking game. But wow, Crosby is exciting…and he sure has a flare for the dramatic.

-I’m not sure what the environment was like where you watched, but the crowd at The Ballard Loft was fantastic. Tons of real hockey fans cheering at all the right times. The cheer when Zach Parise tied it up was an unbelievable sports-viewing moment for me.

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Crosby’s game-winner good for the game?