Saturday, February 22, 2014

USA Ice Hockey: Overrated.


SOCHI, Russia -- Teemu Selanne led his team around the ice, with a bronze medal draped around his neck, after he finished off his sixth Olympics with a sweet victory.
If the Finnish Flash is retiring and hanging up his skates after the NHL season, he picked a pretty good way to go out on the world's stage.
Selanne scored two goals and Tuukka Rask had a 27-save shutout, helping Finland rout the United States 5-0 Saturday to win hockey bronze at the Sochi Games.
The 43-year-old, smooth-skating forward with a lightning-quick shot and Jussi Jokinen scored 11 seconds apart early in pivotal second period.
Selanne and his teammates were not finished, scoring three goals in the third against a team that looked like it would rather be at home.
"It was just something special," Selanne said. "I'm so proud."
The Americans, meanwhile, were humiliated.
"I'm kind of embarrassed where we're at now," U.S. defenseman Ryan Suter said.
Selanne has helped Finland win four medals in the last five Olympics, more than any other nation in the NHL era.
Before the match became a rout, it was a game of missed opportunities for the Americans.
Patrick Kane couldn't convert on a penalty shot in each of the first two periods. He missed the net to the right on his first one-on-one duel and hit the right crossbar on his second.
"Just didn't really capitalize on anything," he acknowledged.
Kane, who also missed a breakaway in overtime against Russia, said Saturday's setback was one of the most frustrating games of his career.
"Whether it was confidence or not getting enough chances, who really knows at the end of the day," he said. "I thought I had opportunities. ... You think you're in three times against the goaltender alone and hopefully you could score a couple of times out of that. It just wasn't meant to be."
[
No, it wasn't.
The Americans wasted a chance to earn medals in consecutive Olympic hockey tournaments for the first time since winning gold in 1960 and silver in 1956.
Finland, meanwhile, took advantage of two power plays in the third period with goals to put the U.S. away in a game it didn't look interested in after falling behind 2-0.
If the league and players' union do not let the world's best players go to South Korea in four years, Kane and Co. may never get a shot to help the Americans win gold that has been elusive since the 1980 "Miracle on Ice."
Jonathan Quick, starting ahead of silver-medal winning goaltender Ryan Miller, stopped all eight shots that got to him in the first before giving up five goals on just 21 shots over the last two periods.
"Absolutely not second-guessing the decision to go with Quick in net," U.S. coach Dan Bylsma said. "He was our best player in the semifinal game.
"He was excellent again tonight. He made five, six or seven excellent saves in the first half of this game. And no, I did not consider pulling him as the game went to four and five."
Selanne, who has said he will retire after playing for the Anaheim Ducks this season, skated off the ice in Sochi for the final time with 20 seconds to play and hugged two teammates on the bench before leaping back over the boards at the final buzzer.
From the ice, Selanne reached over the boards to embrace every assistant coach and executive on Finland's bench. The popular player got lifted off his skates more than once by hugs.
"Maybe this was his last game for national team and as a captain," Finland coach Erkka Westerlund. "It was excellent game to finish."
Finland won bronze for the second straight Olympics and third time since 1998, the first with NHL players. It lost to rival Sweden in the 2006 gold-medal game and in Friday's semifinals.
The Finns were fired up for the consolation prize and weren't satisfied with a two-goal lead after two periods, pouring it on with Juuso Hietanen's goal 6:10 into the third -- as a penalty on Kane was expiring -- and Selanne scored for a second time less than two minutes later.
Selanne, the oldest player in the tournament, extended his Olympic record to 43 points with another fantastic game.
The U.S. seemed set up to end its Olympic hockey championship drought, or at least come home with a medal, with a group of talented players in their prime.
It started well, routing Slovakia, outlasting the host Russians in an eight-round shootout and cruising past Slovenia and the Czech Republic by a combined score of 20-6.
The Americans were humbled by defending champion Canada, which also beat them in the gold-medal game in 2010, with a 1-0 win that was more lopsided than the score indicated.
Then, they got schooled by Finland, a team that wanted to win more than they did.
"They played hard and taught us a real good lesson for 60 minutes," U.S. forward David Backes said.

New Clubs, New Outfits, and Sochi



So long, Jasmine Club Set, I hardly knew ye. I don't know what to make of this Sweet Love Club Set. Here you have a club set that has excellent control but poor accuracy and average spin and curve. Same as the Sleipnir Club Set. As a matter of fact, I don't care too much about the spin and curve of the clubs as I care about the control and accuracy. Good control and accuracy make for an excellent club. I consider, among the 11 club sets I have, my Miracle Voice Club Set to be the gold standard in terms of control and accuracy.



But here's the thing: this Sweet Love Club Set is supposedly made of chocolate. Normally, milk chocolate, when used as a golf club, will melt under heat and it will break when it tries to hit a golf ball. This leads me to the supposed accusation that this isn't really chocolate, but some sort of graphite carbon compound designed to look like chocolate candy. That would make a whole lot more sense.



It's nice for showing off, but as a competition club, it's not the sharpest tool in the shed. Now, on the other hand, the Microphone Club Set is a bit more decent. It's still not as strong as the Miracle Voice Clubs in terms of accuracy, but it's much better than the Sweet Love Clubs or Sleipnir Clubs in terms of that stat. I used it for cube fishing with Lucia in her Feline Set. Since I got Lucia's Furry Friends set, I now use her for my primary cube fishing on Abbot Mine Hole 15 since the room for error is huge.



As a matter of fact, Lucia and the Microphone Clubs go hand in hand because Lucia is the idol of the team. And I like the nice harp touch that comes from hitting a comet with the wood or iron or wedge, and the nice musical notes that come from it. So in the end, it was a good purchase, but now, I will consider making a move to buy the blades or that Batter Up! set that the Titan tribe designed. It's settled. I will make a move for the latter and extend my club collection further with that baseball set. Stay tuned.





I bought some new shirts for a few characters. I got the Heart Tee and Her Tee for Hana, Lucia and Arin, and I got the Star Tee and His Tee for Nuri. And I finally got that Piano Set for Hana. Tried my luck at the Gacha, but after seeing that I only got the Corrupt Demonic Wings for Azer, I will most likely pass on trying again.

I think the Her Tee looks nice on Lucia when combined with her Feline Set and her hair color being black. On the flip side, the Heart Tee definitely looks good on Hana when she looks like Madoka and she is wearing a swimsuit. As for the His Tee and Star Tee, the personal jury is still out to lunch.




I kind of lied to my mom about what I wanted to spend the 30 and change remaining on my card on. I moved 10 and the change to the next phone bill...but the other 20 went towards buying Time Boosters and Auto Calipers. And the coupons were used to form a Figure Skating Set for Lucia. So now she is the Pangya version of Yuna Kim. I'm kinda disappointed that these skates are just regular shoes. She's not even skating in them. They're just...shoes that look like skates.

Well, I won't complain. Lucia looks nice looking like Yuna Kim, but...one Yuna Kim is enough.

2.22.2014.



So long, witches.
Go home, witches.
She'll get rid of you at last.

Hello, Kyubey.
Goodbye, Kyubey.
Watch as Homura kicks your ass!

Homura is here again
And heaven's perfect blue again.
She is more than just your friend again,
Homura is here again!

Ring the bells, and praise her now,
There's no one who can doubt her now,
We will take the oath and Magi vow.
Homura is here again!

With her you cannot go wrong.
That's why we're singing this song!

Homura is here again
And heaven's perfect blue again.
She is more than just your friend again,
Homura is here again!

Happy birthday, Homura Akemi!