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View From Vancouver: Qualifying For The Quarterfinals

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
A View From Vancouver Photogallery

Panthers play-by-play man Steve Goldstein is in Vancouver to cover the Olympic games for Westwood One radio. And while he's there, he'll be blogging on his experiences and his thoughts on the hockey tournament and the Olympics in general. Only seen on, enjoy as Steve brings you closer to the action (unless you're actually in Vancouver and at the games that is).

It's a big quadrouple header today on the ice here in Vancouver.

These are all elimination games from now on so the intensity will be even higher. If that's even possible!

The sun has finally gone away and we have clouds and rain the rest of the week. But hey, eight great days of weather at the winter Olympics. I'll take it!

The U.S. finds out it's opponent today as Switzerland plays Belarus (3pm EST).

Canada made a goalie change as former Panther Roberto Luongo plays against Dennis Seidenberg and Germany (7:30pm EST). Martin Brodeur will get to watch this one from the bench.

All of Canada wanted a goalie change and now they've got it. Regardless of who is in net, the Canadians should beat Germany today. But they would play Russia tomorrow in the quarterfinals. Keep this in mind...Luongo is 11-11 in the playoffs and has never been past the secnd round. Brodeur on the other hand, has 98 post-season wins, three Stanley Cups and an Olympic gold.

Now, Luongo has been super this season for Vancouver in the same building these Olympics are being played in. And the only way to succeed at a high level is by getting an opportunity to do so. But Team Canada has opened itself up to major crticism if they dont get past Russia and play for a medal. It's a tough call to make but giving up on Brodeur, regardless of who the other goalie is, is a difficult move to make.

Tomas Vokoun is back in goal for the Czechs tonight as they play Latvia (10pm EST). The winner squares off against Finland tomorrow.

Spoke to team USA GM Brian Burke yesterday and he was anything but happy with his team's play. Yes, you are reading it right...despite the win over Canada, which by the way was seen by more than 7 million people in the U.S., Burke was irate at his team's play. He said only 10 guys are pulling their weight and everyone else is watching them do it. Now, some of that is GM talk trying to ensure his team doesn't gett too happy about the Canada win and lose focus. But, there is some truth to what Burke is selling. The U.S. got outshot and outchanced by a 2-1 margin in the game, and for much of the second period Canada dominated the game. Ryan Miller won the game for the U.S. in goal and the Americans got timely goals from Rafalski, Drury and Langenbrunner. Interestingly, those are the only three U.S. players with Olympic experience.
Four games today and four more tomorrow including team USA at 3pm EST.

I'm ready for more hockey...And I better be!

More later.
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