The Miracle, that’s what the U.S.A team was called in 1980 by Americans. Now, tomorrow two teams will match-up against each other on the largest scale again. The Winter Olympics loss to the U.S.A team in 1980 didn’t fade away after it happened, it spawned two movies, the last one starred Kurt Russell.
The real miracle was what happened next. Russian players started coming over and playing in the NHL, coaches would use Russian tactics to win games. They played as if nothing else but what happened on the ice mattered.
That passion, the grit to put everything else out of mind and focus on the here and now, the moment. That’s it, nothing fancy, nothing else. Play the best you can, as close to perfect as possible, and you may well become part of a miracle all your own. Both teams are stacked with NHL stars, as some who play for the Russians play for their home country, rightfully so.
The days of using College kids and amateurs is long over, and the use of Professionals having taken over. Although the mystery of the Russians has been solved, this game has still remained the same.
The starting goalie for Team U.S.A, Jonathan Quick was great in their first game, only surrendering one goal on 22 saves leading to a seven to one game. With all of the star power in this game, it’s sure to be a fast-paced affair with the only real defense being played when the goalie stops a shot.
And on Russia’s side, they have quite a bit of star power, as their six best players happen to be some of the best in the world. In Russia’s game against Slovenia, their defense was a bit shaky, maybe it was just rust and they will be much better defensively this time around. Either way, this game is sure to be entertaining to say the least.
Even though these two teams are facing one another tomorrow, they will do so earlier in the tournament than they did in 1980, so some of the luster that was on the game before will be gone, but not entirely.
There is still rivalry here, and despite the fact that all of the kids playing in the game are too young to have been there for the 1980 game, they all know these two teams are steeped in history that not this team, or future teams to come will be able to get out from under. Tomorrow these two teams face off, competing for a shot at the gold medal round.
There are no underlying sub plots this time around, to the degree that they were last time. Just a straight up, knock down, drag out match that will leave both teams exhausted at the end. But this is where you put it all on the line. This is where the lights shine the brightest and legends are made. Tomorrow might just be another hockey game, sure. It might also be another chance at one more miracle.
By Justin Watts