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The Home Stretch

by Anthony Oliva / New Jersey Devils
It's hard to believe we're in the stretch run.  Women's medal games are held today!  Where did the time go?

• The Canada vs Russia game was such a letdown.  The crowd knew it was over midway through the second period.  I really thought that would have been the game of the tournament.  Afterwards, the first period of Sweden vs.Slovakia was brutal.  It was like the entire arena was hungover from the previous game.  I actually saw a few fans draped in Canadian flags sleeping on the concourse for this one.  (It turned out to be quite a game, though.) And before any of that, how dramatic was USA vs Switzerland? I'm not one to re-watch "classic" games over and again, but if there was a box set of the 2010 Winter Olympics hockey, I would buy it just for the sequence bookmarked by the two USA disallowed goals.  That was crazy.  If anyone can remember anything wilder than that, please, bombs away with the emails.

• Speaking of which, the most popular note throughout the Olympics, the one one thing that generated the biggest response from the readers? Explaining what Mini Eggs are to me.  Apparently, not only to I work at the Rock, but I live under one, too, because these chocolates are quite popular.  It's funny that a few people here and there cared enough to drop a line about the games over teh last two weeks, but my inbox gets flooded with information on chocolate candies.  Cadbury, evidently you have a winner with the Mini Eggs.

• A Canada vs. USA rematch for the gold medal would be... I can't even think of the word, but it's something good. Anything short of Canadian gold... I can't think of that word either, but it's something bad, at least in the True North Strong and Free.
• How popular is Martin Brodeur in his home country?  His image is plastered across gum wrappers.  Gum wrappers!

Martin Brodeur: Canadian Olympic Team Member 1998, 2002, 2006
• More odd choices for Canada Hockey Place greetings: Goldie Hawn, and Martin Short, whose recording is, "Stay alert, have fun and enjoy the game.  And keep your stick on the ice!"  What is that supposed to mean?

• Olympic volunteers all wear bright blue shirts and jackets, and are affectionately known as the Smurfs.

• Canada Hockey Place maintenance crews all wear blank navy blue hockey jerseys with orange and white trim.  I can see how someone from Nassau County might be offended and think those are Islanders jersey. Odd uniform choice.

• Vancouver has a very strong recycling campaign that everyone buys into.  I tossed an empty water bottle into the trash and was asked to remove it and place it in a proper recycling can.  I've also seen a weird recycling-themed mascot on the streets, and witnessed CHP workers separating glass, aluminum and plastic containers from the bins behind the arena.  It's intense.

• Lion's Gate Films gets its name from the Lion's Gate Bridge, in turn named for a pair of mounds called the Two Lions on a mountain overlooking Stanley Park and Coal Harbour.  The Two Lions look like a pair of jungle kings sitting upright, Sphinx position.  The BC Lions also derive their name from this natural landmark.  I learned all that from a Calgarian mother waiting in line for the Olympic flame with her kids the other day.

Questions, comments (especially crazy hockey stories that trump yesterday's USA vs Swiss game) go here:

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