In sports we always like to make predictions, talk about who is the best and who sucks, and can find ourselves chirping as if our opinion is the only one that matters. When a day comes along that a player surprises us, emerges from a quiet existence, or just does something so spectacular that we all go nuts for the sport, its insane! Its these moments that reminds us of why we become passionate about the game, a player, and our favorite team.
How appropriate is it for us all as hockey fans to appreciate what Oshie accomplished in the Shootout for Team USA’s win over Russia? Hockey fans across the globe have to be inspired by this players ability to rise above and beyond during a pressure situation while on worldwide television as millions of people have their eyes all on him. This was an especially exciting spectacle for Americans to watch while having their morning coffee yesterday! My phone was blowing up with messages from friends back in the states and Canada raving about what they were watching on television, this game certainly had their adrenaline pumping!
I am sure Oshie’s family was experiencing complete panic as their own was being put to the test, and boy how he made them proud!
Wow, did Oshie rise to the occasion scoring 4 out of 6 goals which is the most times a player has ever scored in an Olympic Shootout. He commanded goaltender Sergi Brobrovsky’s attention even having him beat on the 2 shots he misfired.
Yes, being American, I was naturally proud for the team, but I am more excited about what a tough back and forth game, an overtime, and then a Shootout, does for this great game. This game created such a buzz on the social networks and a trending #oshieinsochi pulled more eyes towards whats happening with men’s ice hockey while in Sochi.
So, how much excitement did this game stir up because this player did something incredible, well just take a look at Oshie’s twitter account. He has been acquiring followers at a rapid rate, gaining 35,000 new followers in just under one hour after his performance, which is a lot for a hockey player. His total number of twitter followers has doubled in a 24 hour period!
What perfect timing for Oshie’s shootout skills to blend with the always historic matchup vs.Russia. How many people automatically have flashbacks to the 1980 “Miracle On Ice” and of course we do, as the media is consistently discussing the frenzy that game in 1980 caused, keeping it fresh and current into today’s game. Al Michaels was sharing stories of the 1980 Lake Placid Miracle earlier today reminding us all of just how historic the 1980’s win was. The stories told bring us back to a time when communism and the Olympic Games met, and most were told not to make eye contact. Today eye contact is glaring and the evidence that times have changed.
Could all this buzz with Oshie be one of those moments that create so much confidence that team USA charges forward to the podium? Does this confidence create something spectacular within each USA player that pushes them to rise above and win Gold?
We will see, because the Russians did not disappoint in this game they played hard and Pavel Datsyuk came to take on team USA being the dynamic player he is. I said it earlier in the week that this team needs a healthy Datsyuk in the lineup to be on the podium and his play confirmed my opinions, as he played the game with such control every time he was called upon. He is the type of player who leads his team by example and I often joke that this player should start his own league as he puts on a show.
The outcome was obviously not what Russia wanted or as some say, Russia deserved to win this game up until the Shootout when the outcome has no bias. The result of the game didn’t make the Russians happy, but that game delivered a product to their homeland that was intense and had fans on pins and needles!
People are talking Olympic hockey around the globe, and more eyes will be towards Sochi anticipating what will happen next with Hockey.
International rules allowed for one player to catapult into being a fan favorite, captivating the audience, which is unusual for a team sport. The Shootout rules did hockey good as we move forward and want to grow the game. How many more eyes are on Team USA, Oshie, and of course Olympic Hockey right now? How many more of those are new eyes? There is a player that the world can identify, we know his face and we know his name…
This shootout has many humming a new tune…. “Oh say can Oshie” — JR