A few thoughts on hockey at the Olympics:
-I’m not a fan of lopsided games (eg Canada’s stomp over Austria etc)–it’s not interesting or entertaining. Twelve teams is too many for the Olympics and I’d rather see eight participate. I’m not sure the “reward” of getting annihilated in group stage is helpful enough to the hockey federations of the bottom teams–I’d bow to research on that, but on the surface it doesn’t seem to accomplish anything.
-Logistically I understand the reason behind the best-of-one format in the Olympics, but if the idea is awarding a gold medal to the best team than it simply doesn’t work. Unfortunately, given how short the Olympics are it’s not possible to have a true test of that, but if the World Cup ever comes back they should have best-of-five’s (I don’t see that happening either, but it’s the minimum they would need to be).
-The streaming of games online has been excellent thus far, although I dream of the day where the commentators can be muted in favour of just game sounds. Listening to Craig Simpson is almost as bad as listening to Shawn Simpson (TSN 1200). Let the game speak for itself.
-I feel for Russia losing today, as they should have beat the US 3-2. The winning goal was disallowed because the net was off its moorings. It was the correct call, but the Russians must feel like they missed out. In the grand scheme of things it may not be that relevant.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)